The best tried and tested hair masks to heal tired tresses

By Josefin Forsberg

Video by Matilda Djerf (@matildadjerf), products selected by Vogue Scandinavia's editors.

In 'Tried & Tested' Vogue Scandinavia’s editors put beauty products to the test, trialling new releases and trusted old staples in a bid to find our Vogue-approved favourites. This time, we're sourcing the best hair masks to banish brittle strands and fix frizz

All products featured on Vogue Scandinavia are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


What are the benefits of using a hair mask?

Sun, sea, and sand are formidable foes for luscious summer hair. A few months of exposure to these moisture-sappers will leave most of us with frizz to fix, brittle ends, and a cocktail of unwanted chemicals from sunscreen and chlorine affecting the health of our hair. That's why we consider hair masks the unsung heroes of summer hair care, offering a plethora of benefits that can truly transform your tresses.

These intensive treatments provide deep conditioning in minutes, repairing potential damage to help tame unruly strands and amplify shine. Hair masks can also strengthen hair, reduce breakage, and enhance elasticity, making them essential for anyone looking to maintain luscious, healthy locks and grow healthy lengths of hair.

How often should I use a hair mask?

The frequency of hair mask application is a common query that largely depends on your hair type and its current condition. For most people, indulging more than once a week will be overdoing. However, if you’re dealing with particularly dry or damaged hair, you might benefit from using a mask twice a week. For oily hair types, less frequent use — such as bi-weekly or monthly — may be sufficient to avoid over-conditioning. It's all about finding that sweet spot where your hair feels pampered but not overwhelmed​.

Can hair masks help with hair growth?

The right hair mask can be the secret weapon in your arsenal for achieving those longer, stronger strands you’ve always dreamed of. These power-packed treatments, often infused with biotin, keratin, and essential oils, work wonders by stimulating hair follicles and promoting healthy growth. By fortifying the hair shaft and reducing breakage, these masks not only encourage growth but also ensure your hair looks fuller and more vibrant. Consistent use of hair masks can also improve scalp health, essential for optimal hair growth. So, if you’re dreaming of Rapunzel-esque locks, a good hair mask might just be your fairy godmother.

How do I apply a hair mask for best results?

Applying a hair mask might seem straightforward, but mastering a few techniques can significantly enhance its benefits. Start with clean, damp hair and gently squeeze out excess water to avoid diluting the product, creating a smooth base for the mask to work effectively. Apply the mask evenly from roots to ends, paying extra attention to the most damaged areas. Allow the mask to sit for the recommended time, usually five to 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

For an added boost, wrap your hair in a warm towel while the mask is on. This simple step can make a significant difference as the heat helps open the hair cuticles, allowing the nourishing ingredients to penetrate more deeply. If you’re pressed for time, look for express hair masks that work in just a few minutes.

Can I use a hair mask instead of conditioner?

Hair masks are the heavyweights of hydration and repair in hair care, but they are not meant to completely replace your daily conditioner. You can certainly use a hair mask in place of a conditioner on occasion, especially if your hair is in dire need of extra TLC. However, for the best results, you should use both on rotation in your routine. Remember, conditioners are designed for frequent use, while masks offer a more concentrated treatment, making them perfect for those times when your hair needs a little extra love

The best hair masks for every hair type:


The best hair mask for dry and damaged hair

If your hair has been feeling more like tumbleweed than the shiny strands you desire, consider Korres' Almond and Linseed Nourishing Hair Mask. This transformative, restorative product – enriched with a powerful combination of almond oil, linseed extracts, and shea butter – acts like nourishing rain for arid hair, deeply hydrating and revitalising. Not only does it quench the thirst of parched tresses, but it also strengthens your stands, preventing breakage and split ends, all while taming frizz.

Our reviewers praised its effects, noting how it leaves hair "soft, silky, and beautifully conditioned". Ethical beauty enthusiasts appreciate that it is vegan, cruelty-free, and dermatologically tested, offering a blend of luxury and sustainability. Moreover, its affordability makes it a standout choice for anyone seeking effective hair repair without breaking the bank.

What we like about the product:

  • Intensive Hydration: Almond oil, linseed extracts, and shea butter deeply moisturise dry and damaged hair, revitalising each strand​.
  • Damage Protection: Strengthens hair to prevent breakage and split ends while effectively smoothing frizz​.
  • Ethical Beauty: Vegan, cruelty-free, and dermatologically tested, ensuring a sustainable and ethical choice for hair care​​.


Almond and linseed nourishing hair mask


The best hair mask for curly and coily hair

The Garnier Fructis Method For Curls Hair Mask is not only effective in hydrating and defining curly and coily hair, but it also offers great value. Featuring a 13 per cent moisture complex with hyaluronic acid and shea fatty acids, it promises to deliver up to a week of intense moisture with each use. Specifically formulated for various curl types, the mask's affordability makes it a versatile choice, suitable for use as a rinse-out treatment and a leave-in conditioner.

Our testers rave about this product, particularly its vegan and silicone-free composition. "This unique blend enhances moisture absorption without weighing down the hair," as one reviewer noted. She went on to highlight how the mask left her "waves well-defined without using a mousse or curl cream," and added that her hair "smells delicious" after using the hair mask."

What we like about the product:

  • Especially formulated to define curls and coils, leaving styling products almost redundant.
  • Features a moisture complex that keeps hair hydrated for up to a week.
  • Silicone-free composition that smells "delicious".

Garnier Fructis

Method for curls hair mask



The best hair mask for colour-treated hair

There's nothing worse than spending a small fortune on colour that fades, leaving dull strands in its wake. Luckily for us, Oribe's Beautiful Color Masque "locks hair dye in place," according to our reviewers. But how? The masque's formulation includes bioflavonoids, which create a protective barrier against UV rays and environmental pollutants, effectively preventing colour from fading.

Additionally, the product contains advanced frizz-taming bio-polymers that enhance gloss and manageability, ensuring the vibrancy and health of colour-treated hair. "It makes my hair look like I just left the salon," one reviewer gushed. "Shiny and refreshed."

What we like about the product:

  • Exceptional colour protection that shields against UV rays and pollutants, helping hair dye stay in place for longer.
  • Restores and revitalises damaged strands and rejuvenates hair, leaving it healthier and more resilient to breakage.
  • Contains premium ingredients like next-generation frizz-taming bio-polymers and botanical extracts.


Beautiful color masque



The best hair mask for fine and thin hair

Are you trying to transform limp, lifeless locks into a voluminous mane? Then Ida Warg's Plumping Hair Mask should find its way onto your shower shelf. This potent potion infused with hydrolysed wheat proteins and peptides breathes life into every strand by retaining moisture within the shaft, plumping it up to help your tresses look fuller.

The addition of shea butter ensures that while the hair gains volume, it also remains deeply nourished and hydrated, preventing any heaviness that could weigh down the newfound volume​. Our testers felt the effect, with one user sharing that "my fine hair feels much thicker and looks noticeably fuller after using this mask."

What we like about the product:

  • Volumising magic at work, with a formula that plumps each and every strand.
  • Lightweight hydration ensures that new-found volume isn't weighed down.
  • Leaves hair noticeably thicker after just one use.

Ida Warg

Plumping hair mask



The best hair mask for frizzy hair

Renowned for its exceptional smoothing abilities, the Color Wow Money Masque is a top choice for taming frizzy hair. Formulated with marine extracts, the mask provides deep hydration, resulting in a glassy, mirror-like shine. What sets it apart from other hair masks is its unique texture: a slippery, gel-like consistency that rinses cleanly. This ensures that hair feels light and voluminous rather than coated and heavy.

One satisfied reviewer stated, "My strands have never been shinier," emphasising the significant enhancement in hair's lustre and smoothness after just one application. Even better, the mask is designed to work effectively on a wide range of hair types, including thick, curly, and fine hair. One reviewer praised its impact on curly hair: "I have thick, naturally curly hair, but this mask leaves my hair soft, silky, shiny, and easily straightened."

What we like about the product:

  • The gel-like formula that won't weigh down our hair.
  • Our most tired tresses are left with a mirror-like shine.
  • Works for most hair types.

Color Wow

Money masque



The best hair mask for oily and greasy hair

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Cooling Hydration Scalp Mask is one kick-ass clarifying concoction containing Binchotan charcoal, which is known for its ability to draw out impurities, excess oil, and buildup from the scalp. But despite its strong detoxifying abilities, it does not dry out the scalp. Infused with aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, it instead helps to balance and maintain scalp hydration – a crucial benefit to consider for those with greasy hair considering maintaining proper moisture levels can prevent the scalp from overproducing oil.

The inclusion of tea tree, peppermint, and spearmint oils provides an immediate cooling sensation that soothes an irritated scalp, reducing scalp itchiness and irritation. "It felt so refreshing to use," one of our reviewers commented. "This product does a fantastic job of hydrating without over-moisturising. It has helped balance the oil production on my scalp, which used to be a major issue," added another.

What we like about the product:

  • Detoxifies the scalp without leaving it feeling stripped of moisture.
  • The tea tree, peppermint and spearmint oils don't just smell divine, they also have a cooling sensation to soothe irritation.
  • Hydrates without over-moisturising the hair.


Scalp Revival charcoal + tea tree cooling hydration scalp mask



Best hair mask for hair growth and thickness

The root of any hair growth problem starts at, well, the roots. That's why Maria Nila's Head & Hair Heal Masque is such a treat for faltering follicles; It contains ingredients like apigenin, peptides, and oleanolic acid, which are known to stimulate and improve blood supply to the scalp. Two key aspects to enhance the hair growth process and increase hair density​.

To further ensure the optimal environment for hair growth, aloe vera extract helps calm the scalp while another nifty inclusion on Maria Nila's ingredient list – the active Piroctone Olamine combined with the other nutrients – works to prevent dandruff and other scalp issues that can contribute to hair loss. "Since I started using the mask once a week, my hair has been so soft and healthy and I don't lose as much hair when I brush it," one tester gushed.

What we like about the product:

  • Healthy hair growth starts at the scalp, and this is one potent scalp-healing potion.
  • Not only does it promote new growth, but active ingredients in this formula prevents hair loss.
  • Leaves hair healthy and soft.

Maria Nila

Head & hair heal masque



Best hair mask for scalp health

Living Proof is known for its fabulous formulas that pack a punch, delivering upon lofty promises, and its Dry Scalp Treatment is no different. While some would argue that this isn't strictly speaking a hair mask, but a leave-in treatment, we're willing to move the goalposts for this product. After all, it is often recommended by dermatologists and hair care experts for its ability to provide both instant and long-term relief, helping a dry scalp heal with a hyaluronic acid-based molecular patch and a niacinamide complex.

The reviews from our own testers came in with a roar: "I have been dealing with a dry, itchy scalp for years and am blown away by how fast my scalp is clearing up," one said. Another noted how it is "a game-changer for dry scalps."

What we like about the product:

  • A "game changer" for dry scalps.
  • Revitalises with a hyaluronic acid-based molecular patch and a niacinamide complex.
  • Delivers longterm relief for those dealing with dry and itchy skin.

Living Proof

Dry scalp treatment



The best hair mask for split ends and breakage

A round of applause for L'Oréal Paris' Dream Length Elvital Savior Mask. No really, this mask features a unique fibrous texture that activates when you clap your hands together, which helps it effectively wrap around and repair the damaged areas of your hair. The formula works with a combination of collagen peptides and the aforementioned fibre concentrate to revive even the most damaged lengths​ while vegetal keratin and castor oil work together to reinforce the hair, making the ends softer and less prone to damage​. In fact, this hair mask specifically targets the ends of your hair, which are typically the most vulnerable to splitting and breakage​, keeping your hair stronger for longer.

As for our testers, they report significant improvements in their hair's texture and health. "It keeps my split ends at bay," one commented. Another noted how it helped extend the lifespan of her human hair extensions. "I have been using this product once every other week instead of the regular conditioner to help keep my hair from looking thin and fried at the bottom"​

What we like about the product:

  • The low price makes this product the definition of a steal.
  • Targets the lower ends of your hair which usually bears the brunt of breakage.
  • Helps hair look stronger for longer.

L'Oréal Paris

Dream length Elvital savior mask


The best hair mask for bleached hair

If your lack lustre bleached locks have you at the breaking point, Kérastase Première's Masque Filler Réparateur Hair Mask is just what the doctor ordered. The beauty of this formula is in its unique dual-action formula that targets both the external and internal structure of the hair. It reconnects broken keratin bonds and strengthens hair from within, which is crucial for hair that has been weakened by bleaching​. Ensuring the hair remains soft and manageable despite exposure to hard water (bleached hair can absorb more calcium) this mask also helps remove buildup to prevent future damage.

One tester wrote that it "made a significant difference in the health and appearance of my bleached hair," and another appreciated its capability to "restore strength and reduce breakage."

What we like about the product:

  • Helps remove calcium build up to prevent further breakage.
  • Repairs hair from the inside and out.
  • Strengthens bleached hair, helping it stay healthy.

Kérastase Première

Masque filler réparateur hair mask