Your in-shower routine includes shampooing and conditioning your tresses, but what about your pre-and-post-shower regimen? Indulging in DIY or readymade masks is non-negotiable. And if you haven’t spent a WFH weekday with a dollop of moisture-loving ingredients caked atop your head, what are you waiting for? If you’re planning on treating yourself to a nourishing mask, here’s all you need to know about the process.
Why mask the hair?
A mask is intended to counter the issue of dry, dull, and damaged hair from inside out for long-lasting results. A medley of nourishing oils and ingredients, a mask hydrates your tresses, improves the health of the scalp, reinforces the strength of your strands, and accelerates growth. Masks can penetrate the shaft of the hair to solve an issue from within, unlike conditioners that only affect a change on the surface and don't provide as much hydration and moisture. There's so much more to a mask than just plopping it onto your head. Here's what you need to know about the process.
The dos and don’ts of masking
- Do accompany masking with steaming. Masking, in conjunction with steaming, opens up the hair's cuticles and enables the nourishing nutrients to penetrate deeper into each strand to repair the damage. It will also rehydrate the shaft from the inside out and minimise breakage. Coupled with the frizz-fighting, smooth TRESemme Smooth Deep Smoothing Mask, you’ll see results almost instantly.
- Don't wash off the mask within five minutes. This isn't the same as applying a conditioner to the hair. A mask must sit on your hair for 20 to 30 minutes. This time frame can vary from product to product. Just check the instructions on the back of the mask before application.
- Apply the mask on the roots and length. Divide your hair into sections, and smear the mask all over—from the roots to the tips. Repeat this process twice a week. Focus more on the ends as they're more damaged than the rest of your hair.
- Don't leave the mask on overnight, as it prevents your hair from absorbing oxygen. Some masks contain a lot of protein, and over-protein can trigger breakage.
- Do choose a mask based on your hair's condition, type, and texture. If your hair is dry, you can opt for a hydrating mask; and for greasy, oily hair, a clay-based mask is ideal. If you're looking to tame curly hair, look for a moisturising mask packed with plant-based oils. And for dyed hair, a mask containing restorative and preservative ingredients is perfect.
- Don't overdo it. Apart from preventing your scalp from breathing, masks can weigh your hair down and stimulate excess sebum (oil) production in the scalp. And this results in greasiness.
- Do run a wide-toothed comb through your tresses once you've applied the mask to your hair. This facilitates even distribution of the product throughout the hair. Avoid detangling with a fine-toothed comb as they tend to pull the product out of your hair.
- Don't use too much product—just the recommended amount as quoted at the back of the product. Excessive product usage can weigh your hair down and make your hair look greasy.
- Do apply your mask to damp hair. This allows better product absorption, not just because your hair is wet but because your scalp is clean. A lack of dirt and impurities enables ingredients from the mask to penetrate the shafts effectively. The rules change when you're using an oil-based mask, though. This is because oil and water repel each other.