The 20 Best Hair Masks for Dry, Damaged Hair to Keep It Healthy Until Your Next Trim

Use weekly for best results

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best hair mask for dry damaged hair universal image: a photo of a woman touching her curly hair
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If you’re noticing excessive dryness, frayed ends or more frizz than usual, your hair may need some TLC. “Physically damaged hair has a raised outer cuticle layer that makes it look dull, causes it to snag and lacks movement. It doesn’t swing or sway the way healthy hair does,” says Chris Appleton, a celebrity hairstylist.

When this happens, things can snowball quickly. As Appleton explains, “The raised cuticle layer allows for moisture to leach out of your hair, so it becomes more and more dehydrated. Over time, the sulfur bonds that keep your hair strong and elastic begin to break down and the hair becomes fragile and prone to splitting or breaking.” Along with getting a trim and reducing heat exposure to your hair, you should also incorporate a mask into your routine.

What Is a Hair Mask?

“Between heat styling, color and chemical treatments, UV rays and harsh products, your hair is exposed to many different elements that can cause damage daily. So, if you want to keep your strands strong and glossy, a mask should be a regular staple in your routine,” explains Appleton. “For dried or fried hair, using a mask once or even twice a week can be a saving grace, as it can help improve the strength and elasticity of your strands, which reduces hair breakage,” he adds.

The Best Hair Masks for Dry, Damaged Hair at a Glance


Pro Pick

ColorWow Money Mask

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Editor Pick

Kerasilk Strengthening Mask

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Best for Thick Hair

Not Your Mother's Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Nutrient Rich Butter Masque

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Best Leave-In

Augustinus Bader The Leave-In Hair Treatment

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Best for Color-Treated Hair

Oribe Masque For Beautiful Color

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Meet the Expert

Chris Appleton is a celebrity hairstylist and the global creative director for ColorWow. Appleton is known for his work as a world-renowned conceptual hair stylist, highly sought after by some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, fashion and advertising. His work has been showcased on covers and major features for top-tier magazines across the globe, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire and Grazia. Appleton's carpet clients include Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande and Katy Perry.

How We Chose the Best Hair Masks

To find the best hair masks for dry, damaged hair, we tested many different options and took various factors into consideration, including each mask's specific ingredients and their purported benefits. Combined with our expert's recommendations, we supplemented our shopping list with editor picks, as well as highly-rated formulas on top beauty retailers like Sephora, Ulta and Dermstore.

Alright, ready to find a mask that suits your strands and budget? Here, 20 of the best hair masks for dry, damaged hair to add to your cart now.

Help! Why Is My Hair So Dry and How Can I Fix It?

Pro Pick

1. ColorWow Money Mask


  • What We Like: doesn't weigh your hair down or leave a filmy coating after you rinse
  • What We Don't Like: some users reported that the outer packaging of the jar wears off in the shower
  • Hair Type: fine, medium or thick
  • Active Ingredients: blue sea kale, hydrolyzed vegetable protein complex, Mediterranean Sea kelp and algae blend

Created to boost hydration for all hair types, this universal mask has a texture that’s unlike what we’ve come to expect from a treatment. Rather than feeling thick and creamy, Money Mask is semi-solid and translucent, so it looks sort of like a wax but is actually much softer to the touch. The formula is rich in blue sea kale, which binds with damaged keratin to restore strength and elasticity and a hydrolyzed vegetable protein complex that reinforces the cuticles, while sheathing your hair in a weightless shield that leaves strands smooth and shiny.

Editor Pick

2. Kerasilk Strengthening Mask


  • What We Like: smells clean, not cloying
  • What We Don't Like: on the more expensive side
  • Hair Type: thick, coarse, prone to frizz
  • Active Ingredients: amino acids, shea oil, red raspberry seed oil

Over the past year or so, we’ve really come to cherish bath time and try to make the most of it. This smoothing mask is a star player in our shower these days because it hydrates our bleached bits and dry ends like no other, and makes detangling our unruly waves a breeze thanks to amino acids and hydrolyzed proteins in the formula. Use weekly after shampooing for silky smooth (but never weighed down) strands.

  • What We Like: budget-friendly price, is especially good for wavy or curly hair in need of more moisture
  • What We Don't Like: might be too heavy for those with fine or even medium hair
  • Hair Type: thick
  • Active Ingredients: superfood blend of matcha green tea and wild apple blossom

We’re just going to state this up top: his mask is not for our fine-haired friends. But if you have thick, coarse hair that tends to drink up any product you put on it, read on. With a rich buttery texture, this nourishing treatment has a nice slip to it that makes application easy, as it literally glides through your hair. Once or twice a week, apply it to clean, wet strands, gently massaging it through your mid-lengths and ends. Let it absorb for two to five minutes and rinse thoroughly to smooth down any puffiness and keep parched curls moisturized and happy.

Best Leave-In

4. Augustinus Bader The Leave-In Hair Treatment

Augustinus Bader

  • What We Like: softens and detangles hair for easier combing and reduced breakage, fast-absorbing, fragrance-free
  • What We Don't Like: on the pricier side
  • Hair Type: all hair types
  • Active Ingredients: patented TFC8 technology, coconut oil, castor seed oil, argan oil, hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Formulated for all hair types, this leave-in treatment has a lightweight, serum-like texture that doesn't weigh down your strands—plus, it doubles as a heat protectant. Packed with antioxidants and nourishing oils, it also helps replenish moisture, while smoothing over any frizz or frazzled ends caused by over-styling or coloring your hair. As one reviewer shares, "[It] leaves my hair feeling light, full and clean [and it] tames frizz without the weight. It feels fresh the next day, too."

Best for Color-Treated Hair

5. Oribe Masque For Beautiful Color


  • What We Like: smells really good, enhances color vibrancy, protects against UV damage
  • What We Don't Like: on the pricier side
  • Hair Type: dry, color-treated hair
  • Active Ingredients: bioflavonoids, phytoceramides, Oribe signature complex

Beloved for good reason, this decadent mask (and stylist favorite) is a go-to for keeping your colored strands bright and shiny. "I [got] balayage highlights and my color is still intact 8 months [after] having that done," shares one reviewer. Formulated with smoothing ceramides and strengthening keratin, it keeps your hair cuticles intact, so your color doesn’t leach out as quickly. Add to that protective UV filters and it’s exactly what we need to bide time between salon appointments. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you of that signature Oribe scent that makes your strands smell like a million bucks.

  • What We Like: developed by hair and scalp experts
  • What We Don't Like: it's a pre-shampoo treatment
  • Hair Type: over-processed and damaged hair
  • Active Ingredients: castor seed oil, glycerin, olive fruit oil

Formulated for extremely dry and porous hair, this Philip Kingsley treatment delivers instant hydration for overly processed and damaged strands. Meant to be used weekly as a pre-shampoo treatment, you apply it to wet hair and let it sit for ten to 20 minutes (ideally covered in a shower cap or towel to increase absorption). Rinse well and follow with your regular shampoo and conditioner. Note: Don’t use this treatment 72 hours before or after dyeing your hair, as it can affect how the color takes.

Best Drugstore

7. Garnier Fructis 1 Minute Nourishing Hair Mask

Garnier Fructis

  • What We Like: affordable price point, you only have to leave it on for one minute, no silicones, parabens or artificial colorants
  • What We Don't Like: coconut scent might be too strong for some
  • Hair Type: dry, frizzy hair
  • Active Ingredients: shea butter, shea butter oil, sunflower seed oil

God bless Garnier for giving us this mask. At under ten bucks a tub and with fast-acting ingredients that deliver the goods in a minute, we are singing its the shower, of course. Though there are five formulas to choose from (avocado, papaya, goji extract and banana), we’re partial to the coconut because it makes our frazzled hair silky-soft and shiny with its rich, creamy texture. Massage it onto freshly shampooed strands and rinse out after a minute to indulge your dry ends with zero hassle or guilt.

Best Multi-Purpose

8. Kopari Beauty 100% Organic Coconut Melt


  • What We Like: can use it on your skin and your hair
  • What We Don't Like: can be messy
  • Hair Type: all hair types
  • Active Ingredients: organic coconut oil

For head-to-toe hydration, we love Kopari’s Coconut Melt. Made with 100 percent pure, organic, and unrefined coconut oil, this multitasking moisturizer melts on contact and is loaded with fatty acids to nourish dry skin and hair. To use it as a mask, apply it to dry, unwashed hair from root to tip. Comb through to distribute the oil evenly, then wrap your coconut coated strands up into a bun for 40 minutes (or you can sleep on it overnight for a deeper treatment). Make sure to shampoo twice to get any remaining oil out and enjoy your newly softened strands. (To use as a moisturizer, simply apply it onto damp skin after showering.)

Best for Curls

9. Bumble and bumble Bb Curl Butter Mask

Bumble and bumble

  • What We Like: has a creamy texture and nice slip to it
  • What We Don't Like: n/a
  • Hair Type: thick, curly
  • Active Ingredients: avocado, coconut and jojoba oils

Looking for a way to bring bounce back to your curls? Try this creamy mask by Bumble and bumble the next time you wash your hair. Rich in avocado, coconut and jojoba oils (among other hydrating ingredients like shea butter), it quenches thirsty coils on contact. And as anyone with curls knows, moisture is key to adding definition and spring. Take it from one reviewer who says, "It's [a] must-have for people with curly hair. It really enhances the curls you already have and they come out less frizzy."

Best for Fine Hair

10. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Weightless Mask

Living Proof

  • What We Like: silicone- and SLS-free formula, rehydrates fine hair
  • What We Don't Like: may not be moisturizing enough for those with thick, coarse or curly hair
  • Hair Type: fine to medium
  • Active Ingredients: hemisqualane, murumuru butter, amino acid blend

For ladies who have thinner hair, the idea of slathering on a deep conditioning mask can incite a bit of fear. (After all, there is a fine, fine line between smooth and slick, y’all.) Thanks to the super stylists and biotech scientists at Living Proof, this weightless mask delivers shine and softens your hair without sacrificing body and lift at your roots.

  • What We Like: made with clean and naturally derived ingredients, protects against heat damage
  • What We Don't Like: you need to use a lot of the product each time
  • Hair Type: all hair types
  • Active Ingredients: rosehip oil, vitamin B, algae extract

In the words of one of over 3,100 reviewers on Ulta, "I really can't find anything I dislike about this mask. It smells lovely, and it does wonders for the hair. My hair tends to get greasy quickly, and certain hydrating products can make it go limp. This did none of that. I let my hair air dry after using this mask and couldn't believe how luxurious it looked. Shiny, hydrated, and soft." We’re guessing that has something to do with the B vitamins, rosehip oil, argan oil, collagen and silk in the formula. For best results, use weekly.

  • What We Like: has a concentrated dose of powerful purple pigments that neutralize yellow or orange tones in blonde hair, only takes five minutes
  • What We Don't Like: purple tint can stain your fingernails and cuticles (so wear gloves)
  • Hair Type: chemically-treated blonde or naturally light hair
  • Active Ingredients: moringa oleifera seed oil, hibiscus

Whether you have a platinum white pixie or golden blonde highlights that fall down your back, every blonde can benefit from using a toning mask. With a purple tint that neutralizes any brassy or yellow tones that tend to creep in with lighter hair, these single-dose treatments brighten up your color instantly, while hydrating dry ends. Use it weekly to maintain those vibrant hues.

Best for Frizz

13. Kérastase Discipline Oleo Relax Mask


  • What We Like: great for smoothing frizz-prone hair
  • What We Don't Like: may be too heavy for some hair types, is on the more expensive side
  • Hair Type: thick, curly or coily hair
  • Active Ingredients: virgin coconut oil and shorea butter

If you have the type of hair that puffs up at the first drop of rain or hint of humidity, this Kératase mask is for you. Packed with shorea butter, virgin coconut oil and rosa muscata fruit oil, the hydrating trio of ingredients tames unruly frizz and makes for a more manageable mane straight out of the shower. Comb it through damp hair, wait for up to 15 minutes (pending how much time you’ve got) and rinse out to keep fuzz at bay.

Best for Chemically Processed Hair

14. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Strengthen & Restore Treatment Masque

Shea Moisture

  • What We Like: good price point
  • What We Don't Like: can be greasy, some users report not liking the scent
  • Hair Type: damaged, brittle or chemically processed hair
  • Active Ingredients: coconut oil, shea butter, mango seed butter

Calling anyone who regularly colors, straightens, perms or heat styles their hair: This deep conditioning mask helps restore strength and elasticity to damaged strands, so it’s less prone to breakage. Formulated with Jamaican black castor oil and organic shea butter to hydrate the hair and scalp, it also features peppermint oil, which adds a satisfying tingle to the whole experience. (Tip: After applying the mask, place a plastic cap over your hair and sit under a warm dryer for ten to 15 minutes to boost the absorption.)

Best for Dull Strands

15. Amika Flash Instant Shine Mask


  • What We Like: you only have to leave it in for 60 seconds before rinsing, nozzle applicator makes it easy to use
  • What We Don't Like: bottle doesn't last long
  • Hair Type: dry, dull hair
  • Active Ingredients: hydrolyzed flax seed, red wine extract, amino acid complex

For a quick boost of shine without having to sit (or stand) in your bathtub for 20 minutes, this mask is a must try. The thin, serum-like consistency makes it easy to spread over your hair and the hydrolyzed flax seed and amino acids in the formula smooth down the cuticle upon contact. Use the pointed nozzle to fully saturate your strands from mid-lengths to ends, wait a minute and rinse out thoroughly before marveling at your newfound sleekness.

Best for Processed Hair

16. Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask


  • What We Like: makes hair feel soft and fluffy, enhances color
  • What We Don't Like: might be too heavy for those with fine hair
  • Hair Type: medium and thick
  • Active Ingredients: brown algae extract, baobab seed oil, Alpha Keratin 60ku, amaranthus caudatus seed extract

For folks who have very dry or damaged hair, give this rehabilitative mask by Virtue a go. It has a proprietary ingredient called Alpha Keratin 60ku that binds to compromised areas of your hair and fills them in like spackle on a wall. Add to that brown algae, baobab seed oil and amaranthus caudatus seed extract that infuse strands with a hit of moisture, and your hair will thank you. (Tip for ladies with extra-coarse or frizzy hair: Do a partial rinse for added smoothing, leaving some of the mask in your hair like you would a leave-in conditioner.)

Cleanest Ingredients

17. Innersense Organic Beauty Hydrating Hair Mask

Innersense Organic Beauty

  • What We Like: the scent, lightweight texture and finish
  • What We Don't Like: some users report that it's not moisturizing enough
  • Hair Type: all hair types
  • Active Ingredients: glycerin, monoi oil, jojoba seed oil

Rich and reparative, this luxe treatment by Innersense gives dry hair a generous boost of moisture through monoi oil and shea butter, while tamanu oil and quinoa strengthen any weakened areas. Use it weekly to restore shine and bounce to lackluster strands. Bonus: The light floral scent is a treat for the senses.

  • What We Like: is a leave-in formula, leaves very dry, frazzled hair smoother
  • What We Don't Like: need to follow very specific instructions
  • Hair Type: dry, damaged, chemically-treated hair
  • Active Ingredients: K18 peptide, hydrolyzed wheat protein and wheat starch

This breakthrough treatment features a bioactive peptide that works quickly (in four minutes, to be precise) to reverse damage from chemical treatments, heat styling or friction caused by everyday wear and tear. The leave-in formula is not meant to be washed out; rather you apply it after shampooing and in place of your conditioner, let it sit for the full four minutes before resuming any styling or applying any other products. (For best results, it’s recommended that you use the mask for the first four to six consecutive washes following a service like, say, fresh highlights, and then every three to four washes as needed to maintain hair health.)

  • What We Like: has a rich and creamy consistency to it, silicone-free formula
  • What We Don't Like: it's very expensive
  • Hair Type: thick, dry, damaged hair
  • Active Ingredients: jojoba, coconut, manketti and cupuacu nut oils

Let us preface this by saying that we are aware that this is a steep price to pay for a hair mask. However, if you're looking for a luxurious way to pamper yourself (and your ends), this French import will certainly deliver. Formulated with a hydrating and strengthening cocktail of jojoba, coconut, manketti and cupuacu nut oils, it leaves your hair softer, shinier and more manageable on the whole. The mask is thicker than most we've tried, and is meant to be applied on dry hair for up to 20 minutes before rinsing.

Best for Heat Damage

20. Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask


  • What We Like: adds weightless moisture, smoothness, body and shine to hair
  • What We Don't Like: bottle runs out fairly quickly
  • Hair Type: all hair types, but especially chemically-damaged or very dry hair
  • Active Ingredients: bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate

If your hair has been through the wringer lately, this restorative mask is a favorite among many for adding back moisture and boosting shine to bone-dry ends. Infused with the brand's signature "bond building technology," it rebuilds broken and weakened bonds caused by excessive heat styling.

How Often Should You Use a Hair Mask?

“I recommend using a hair mask at least once a week, if not every three to four shampoos,” advises Appleton. “After shampooing, squeeze out any excess water from your hair. Then, scoop or squeeze out enough product to cover your strands completely. Leave it on as advised on the label (usually three to five minutes or 20 to 30 minutes for a deeper treatment) and rinse out thoroughly with warm water.”

What to Consider When Buying a Hair Mask for Dry, Damaged Hair

Here are a few things to look for in a hair mask:

  • If you have curly or thick hair, you want a deeply moisturizing treatment that has richer oils or butters in the formula.
  • If you have fine hair, opt for a mask that has a lightweight finish.
  • If you have chemically processed hair (i.e., bleached, colored or permed), consider a mask with restorative ingredients like protein and keratin.

Is a Hair Mask Better Than Conditioner For Dry Hair?

It's not so much that one is better than the other; it's that they both serve their own purpose in your haircare regimen. You should always use a conditioner after shampooing your hair, but once a week, swap in a mask for that extra boost of moisture and smoothing.

15 Products for Dry Hair That Replenish Brittle Strands

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...

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