It’s so easy to get confused when choosing hair care products, because there is such a variety of items waiting for you on the shelves! Oils, balms, masks, deep conditioners and sprays... Shampoo and balm are the basics, but what about deep conditioners and masks — what is the difference between them, why, when, and how you should use each? We'll figure it out right now. 

Deep Conditioner vs Hair Masks: The Basics 

Hair masks and deep conditioners may seem similar, because both types of products can add shine and smoothness to your hair, make it look better and become stronger. These products can include the same active ingredients, and be either homemade or ready to use. Also, a good deep conditioner or a hair mask should stay on your hair for about 20-30 minutes to get the desirable results. But still, these products are different, and each of them has its own benefits. Read on and find out!

Spot the Difference | Deep Conditioner vs Hair Masks

Deep Conditioner Benefits in Hair Care 

1. Hydration 

A moisturising benefit makes the best deep conditioner for curly hair, dry or damaged strands. But actually, all types of hair need a boost of hydration from time to time. You can get it with the Dove Intense Repair Conditioner that helps to lock in moisture as well. Its formula with keratin makes your hair soft and manageable.

Spot the Difference | Deep Conditioner vs Hair Masks

2. Frizz-free 

You can’t underestimate the benefit of deep conditioner for frizzy hair. Such product as TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Conditioner smooths the cuticle scales of your hair and can control frizz up to 3 days. This infused with argan oil conditioner makes your hair silky and easier to manage.

Spot the Difference | Deep Conditioner vs Hair Masks

3. Shine 

Once your hair is well moisturised, and its cuticles are smooth, the strands reflect the lights, become radiant and healthy looking. This benefit makes the best deep conditioner for curly hair, that often lacks shine, but not only, because all hair types deserve that extra glow. 

4. Protection 

Deep conditioner covers your hair with a protective layer, which helps to reduce breakage and split ends appearance. Your best deep conditioner for coloured hair will also protect dyed and damaged strands from breakage and loss of pigment.

Spot the Difference | Deep Conditioner vs Hair Masks

Hair Masks Benefits in Hair Care 

1. Different purposes 

Hair mask is a product designed for damaged hair recovery and nutrition, can help deeply moisturise dry scalp, ends and mid-length. There are masks to boost hair growth, strengthen hair, get rid of dandruff, scalp itchiness or excessive oil production. 

2. Extra nutrition 

Mask for hair is one of the most concentrated and rich in nutrients type of products. Pay attention to the ingredients included to make the most for your hair. For example, the keratin-enhanced formula of TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Deep Smoothing Mask strengthens your hair, picks up the slack of protein, transforms your strands into silky soft and shiny.

Spot the Difference | Deep Conditioner vs Hair Masks

3. Deep penetration 

Some hair products work at the cuticle level only, but mask can reach way deeper and transport active ingredients to your hair shaft and follicles. The result? After regular use, your hair becomes healthier, stronger and shinier. 

4. Hair Revival 

If you want to restore damaged hair, hair mask is definitely the best solution. Or even better, if you do masks regularly at least once a week, after a few months you can see the change. We suggest you trying the Dove Intense Damage Repair Hair Mask with moisturising cream and keratin actives to repair rough and dull hair.

Spot the Difference | Deep Conditioner vs Hair Masks

Spot the Difference: Deep Conditioner VS Hair Masks

Spot the Difference | Deep Conditioner vs Hair Masks

1. Purpose 

Deep conditioner is used to add extra shine, smoothness, and protect your hair. Masks are made for hair nutrition and recovery. Sometimes, both products can help you reach the same goals, but in a different way. For example, deep conditioner for hair growth protects your hair from external damage, smooths the cuticle, makes your hair more elastic and less brittle. A mask for hair growth will strengthen your hair, enrich it with nutrients and impact hair follicles. There are hair masks for many different purposes, while deep conditioning usually provides the same effect. 

2. Features 

Both products have moisturising and hair strengthening properties. Even though, their composition may have many similar components, like olive oil deep conditioner and olive oil hair mask, but masks are more concentrated. The penetration depth of the products is also different — a mask penetrates into the deeper layers of your hair and restores it from the inside, while deep conditioner works at the cuticle level. 

3. Terms of use 

Deep conditioner shouldn’t be applied to your scalp and hair roots — it’s recommended to focus on the mid-length and hair tips. Masks can be applied to your hair roots and sometimes to the scalp, too, especially the ones for strengthening, boosting hair growth and anti-dandruff effect. It’s recommended to use an appropriate mask for your hair type 1-2 times a week. Deep conditioner should be consumed 1-2 times a month for normal to oily hair, but deep conditioner for dry hair can be used once a week. You can apply hair mask right before or after washing your hair, then cover it with your regular hair balm. Deep conditioning should always be the final part of your washing routine. 

Spot the Difference | Deep Conditioner vs Hair Masks

How to Choose the Correct Option for your Hair Type 

If you need to deeply restore and moisturise your hair from within, nourish it with the goodness of active ingredients, strengthen and boost hair growth, you’ll need a mask. Deep conditioner is for those who want to add shine, smoothness, reduce frizz and split ends, as well as protect the hair from damage. 

FAQs about the Difference between Deep Conditioner and Hair Masks 

Q1 How to use deep conditioner for hair? 

How to deep condition hair at home? Homemade, ready to use or salon deep conditioner has the same application method. After washing, apply a conditioner to your hair, spread evenly, avoid the roots but make sure to coat your hair tips. Leave for 20-30 minutes, then rinse. 

Q2 How to use a hair mask? 

Use your mask before or after washing your hair, leave for about 20-30 minutes, then wash off and apply your regular conditioner. You can also cover your mask with a plastic shower cap, and slightly warm up your head with a blow dryer for deeper penetration. Check the 5 dos and don’ts of using a hair mask

Q3 How to make all natural deep conditioner for black hair and other hair types? 

You can always make a natural deep conditioner at home. But before trying homemade recipes, make sure you don’t have an allergy to the ingredients and do a patch test, or consult with a trichologist. 

If you’re going through the process of change to reverse hair damage, you may try this homemade deep conditioner for transitioning hair with avocado. Mix ripe avocado with a few tablespoons of coconut, castor or olive oil, and it’s ready. 

You can easily prepare coconut milk deep conditioner for natural hair at home, too. Separate the fat from one can of coconut milk, mix it with a few tablespoons of rose oil and pumpkin seed oil. Blend all well, and you can use it. 

To add extra hydration, elasticity and smoothness to your hair, we suggest you trying the aloe vera gel deep conditioner recipe. 

Now you see, how deep conditioner is different to hair mask, and if you want to help anyone else to figure that out, just share this article with them!