Is Caffeinated Water a Solution—or a Problem—When It Comes To Staying Hydrated?

Yay for energy and hydration, or nay for too much caffeine?

As much as we would love to wake up with manageable hair every day, sadly that’s not the case. Life, the elements, and our damaging routines (hot tools, color processing, the works) have made our hair so dry that conditioner alone won’t always cut it. That’s where a hair mask for dry hair comes in. These deep-conditioning treatments work harder than your average conditioner to deeply nourish and hydrate tresses. Like a souped-up second step, hair masks are your phone-a-friend when you need extra help smoothing split ends or improving shine. If your hair’s curly, you’re in better luck because a good mask session can also help enhance your curl pattern, helping your final style pop

We broke down our top 18 hair masks according to pros for when your hair needs extra TLC, from overnight options to budget-friendly formulas.

Our top 10 hair masks, at a glance:

How often should I use a hair mask for dry hair?

There are two simple rules to follow when putting on a hair mask for dry hair, according to Angela Soto, hairstylist and founder of Baja Studio in New York: Use a generous amount and leave it on for a decent amount of time. Depending on the formula, you can even sleep in the mask (under a shower cap, of course) and shampoo and condition it out in the morning.

The most common mistake Soto sees is people not leaving hair masks on for long enough. “The nutrients from a mask take time to absorb past the cuticle where you need the most therapy,” she says. However, there are a ton of fast-acting and effective formulas that still work just as fine when you’re pressed for time.

Christin Brown, Olaplex ambassador and celebrity stylist, notes that another common mistake she sees is people using a mask on dry hair and expecting the best results. “Using a hair mask on damp hair after cleansing will give you the best results and performance because it helps to open the hair cuticle to let the mask penetrate fully, faster.”

Our top 10 best hair masks for dry hair


Olaplex No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask

Key ingredients: Olaplex bond-building technology

If hot tools and color treatments have done a number on your hair, you need this mask. Industry pros love it because it’s basically like CPR for dry, dull hair. The best part? You only need ten minutes with this in the shower to see (and feel) an instant difference. Well+Good’s senior beauty editor, Aimee Simeon, loves using this after she’s gone flat-iron crazy with her curls to help improve definition.

Size: 3.3 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Contains  patented bond-building technology that rebuilds broken and weakened bonds
  • Safe for all hair types
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • pH balanced

Cons: 

  • Pricey



Key ingredients: plant-based proteins, niacinamide

Fancy something fancy? Korab recommends Kèrastase’s Nutritve masque, which ingredients list is stacked with plant proteins and niacinamide for deep hydration. The more you use it, the silkier your hair will feel. We recommend combing some through and leaving it on before a blowout or silk press for a smoother, shiner finish.

Size: 6.8 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Formulated with plant proteins and niacinamide for deep nourishment
  • Conditions, softens, and smooths
  • Suitable for all hair types

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • May contain ingredients that are not considered “clean”, vegan, or cruelty-free



Key ingredients: shea butter, manuka honey, marfua oil

For $11, this budget-friendly mask from Shea Moisture is hard to beat. The formula is thick and full of shea-butter and manuka honey, which hydrate and shine instantly. We love this for thicker hair or curls that feel dry and limp. Just leave it on, forget it for a few minutes, and watch how much easier detangling is once you rinse it. If you want to take things a step further, sit under a hooded dryer with this mask or even let the shower steam help penetrate the ingredients.

Size: 11.5 oz

Pros: 

  • Nourishes and strengthens hair
  • Affordable
  • Made with naturally-derived ingredients
  • Free from harmful chemicals, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and mineral oil
  • Cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Best for thick hair—might be too heavy on fine hair

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Key ingredients: olive oil, Goji berry

Korab is a fan of this hair mask from Pureology, which is a fix-it-all formula if your hair is damaged. It has olive oil and goji-berry extract, which is rich in antioxidants. Both work together to add shine to the hair while protecting it from environmental stressors.

Size: 6.7 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Deeply hydrates
  • Nourishes and softens
  • Restores damaged strands
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Free from sulfates, parabens, and  mineral oil
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Pricey
  • Scented—could be a downside if you prefer fragrance-free products or have fragrance sensitivities



Key ingredients: moringa oil

On days when you really want to stick it to dry hair, an overnight mask will come in clutch. Benefits of using an overnight hair mask include: shinier hair, less breakage, quicker detangling, and less time spent contemplating your life choices in the shower. Celebrity stylist Kristen Shaw recommends keeping this one (with moringa oil for shine) nearby. You can comb it through wet hair and tie it up in a microfiber towel before bed when you need extra moisture. When you wake up, your hair will be much easier to dry and style. Plus, you won’t have to worry about it feeling heavy or greasy.

Size: 1.6 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Deep hydration
  • Nourishes and strengthens hair
  • Enhances shine and color
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Made with naturally-derived ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Pricey


Virtue hair mask

Key ingredients: shea butter, mullein flowers, Alpha Keratin 60ku

When you look at your hair color in the mirror, and the first word that comes to mind is “blah,” it’s time to use this mask, specifically designed to make your color sparkle again. It has an impressive list of oils like shea and morninga to add shine, while rice proteins help keep your hair strong. You only need to keep it on for a few minutes to see results that almost mimic a professional gloss.

Size: 12 oz

Pros: 

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Nourishes, strengthens and protects strands
  • Formulated to promote hair longevity
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, synthetic colors and dyes
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Expensive

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Key ingredients: rice amino, avocado

As a curly gal with dry, color-treated hair, I can’t get enough of Briogeo’s Curl Charisma hair mask. It has a creamy blend of rice amino acids and avocado that help to rescue curls from the brink of dryness. I use it once a week and find that my curls are silkier and shinier post-wash, especially at my crown, where flyaways usually form.

Size: 8 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Fights frizz
  • Made with naturally-derived ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Pricey
  • Best for curly hair—might be too heavy for straight or fine hair



Key ingredients: coconut oil, meadowfoam oil, vitamin E

If you’re scalp could use a little lovin’, Shaw is a fan of this treatment mask, which should be rubbed into the scalp once or twice a week. It’s packed with ingredients that read like a who’s who of hydration: coconut oil, meadowfoam seed oil, babassu oil, and vitamin E. She also likes the La Tierra Segrada Jojoba, ($42), which she says she uses as an overnight mask, but it’s also great for the daytime.

Size: 6.8 fl oz

Pros:

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Nourishes and strengthens scalp
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Pricey
  • A bit greasy due to the high oil content



Key ingredients: argan oil, olive oil, avocado oil

Korab recommends a few minutes with this mask when your hair needs a reset. It has the holy trinity of oils: argan, avocado, and olive, which hydrate both above and inside of the hair shaft. Together, they act like a moisture-locking shield, ensuring that your hair remains soft, manageable, and, most importantly, moisturized without weighing it down.

Size: 8.5 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Deeply hydrates
  • Locks in moisture
  • Nourishes and protects
  • Suitable for all hair types

Cons: 

  • Pricey
  • May contain ingredients not considered “clean”, vegan, or cruelty-free

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Key ingredients: biacidic bond complex, baobab extract

When my hair looks brassy, I always reach for the Davines Heart of Glass mask, which makes it as shiny as it sounds. It checks all the hydration boxes and helps balance out brassy orange undertones with its purple hue. And, true to all Davines products, it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainably made.

Size: 8.7 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Strengthens and nourishes strands
  • Fights brassy undertones
  • made with sustainable, natural ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Pricey
  • Best for blonde, gray, and white hair only used once or twice a week

8 other hair masks we love


k18

Key ingredients: K18 peptide

By now, you’ve probably seen K18’s leave-in mask somewhere on your TikTok or IG feeds—it’s that popular. And for good reason: it’s easy to use and it works. If you heat style your hair, a good pump of this on damp hair eliminates the use of additional products like heat sprays and extra conditioners. It smooths and adds shine and body, leaving you with glossy, voluminous hair every time. Read the full review here.

Size: 1.6 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Made with K18’s proprietary peptide technology that heals and strengthens strand
  • Hydrates
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • Made with ingredients that might not be considered “clean”



Key ingredients: jojoba seed oil, sea buckthorn

Contributor Jamie Sanders and her 74-year-old mom swear by Amika’s Soulfood deep-conditioning mask, which is like soul food for tired, tangly hair. “I’ve completely foregone the use of conditioner ever since I started incorporating this mask into my hair routine,” Sanders writes. “I just no longer need it. I still use a leave-in conditioning spray, mainly to reduce static—but I can finger comb my strands easily after just using this mask, which has never been the case before.” Read the full review here.

Size: 8 oz

Pros: 

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Nourishes and strengthens strands
  • Detangles and conditions
  • Cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Pricey
  • Best for thick hair—might be too heavy for straight or fine hair



Key ingredients: henna gloss, hyaluronic acid, Veda4 bond strengthening complex

Our contributor, Dahvi Shira, says that Ranavat’s Mighty Majesty Glossing Hair Masque made her hair extremely shiny in five minutes. The secret? Transparent henna (unlike the color-depositing henna we’re most familiar with) acts as a juicy gloss suitable for all hair types.

Size: 5 oz

Pros:

  • Hydrating
  • Adds instant shine and fights frizz
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • Might contain ingredients not considered “clean”

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Key ingredients: rice water, hyaluronic Acid, and panthenol

Similarly, I cannot get enough of Ouai’s in-shower hair gloss treatment, which is great for using between color appointments. After I wash my hair, I’ll apply a dollop (a big dollop—I have thick hair) to the middle and ends of my strands and work it through until it’s coated evenly. I typically leave it on for five minutes, and when I rinse it out, my hair feels much healthier, like my split ends have been zipped up. 100/10 recommend

Size: 6 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Adds shine and fights frizz
  • Free of parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates, mineral oil
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Suitable for all hair types

Cons: 

  • Pricey
  • You’ll need to use more product if you have thick hair


Nutritive 8h Magic Night Hair Serum

Key ingredients: plant-proteins, niacinamide

If you aren’t a huge fan of thick textured masks, you might enjoy the feathery feel of this serum. While it can be used on top of a finished style for immediate shine, our contributor Rebecca Norris loves using it as an overnight treatment: “When I wake up and let my hair down, my hair is still slightly damp but is so beautifully frizz-free that you would have thought I had blown it out,” she writes. Read the full review here.

Size: 3.04 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Lightweight texture can be used as a mask or a serum

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • May contain ingredients that are not considered “clean”, vegan, or cruelty-free



Key ingredients: coconut oil, fig, shea butter

Besides the fact that this smells like a tropical vacation, we love that the formula gives a nice slip to make detangling through curls a breeze. Bonus: it comes with a scalp massager you can keep in the shower to help make your wash day routine more relaxing.

Size: 7.2 fl oz

Pros:

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Adds shine and fights frizz
  • Scalp massager included
  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Best for thick hair—might be a bit greasy on fine hair due to the oil content

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Key ingredients: blue-green algae, mango butter, cocoa butter

Dermatologist Adeline Kikam previously shared in Well+Good’s Dear Derm series that she swears by this moisturizing mask from Camille Rose. At $20, this buttery treatment is infused with ultra-rich oils for hydration and a burst of blue-green algae for added protection against breakage. At $20 a jar, it’s an affordable choice that’s deeply nourishing, especially on natural hair. Watch the full video here. 

Size: 8 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Nourishes and softens strands
  • Protects strands from breakage
  • Affordable
  • Made with naturally-derived ingredients
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Best on thick hair—might be too greasy for fine or straight hair



Key ingredients: violet, bonding technology

I’m also a big fan of Not Your Mother’s Purple Toning Mask, which doubles as a neutralizing and deep conditioning mask. I slather on a generous glob of this in-between salon appointments to keep my blonde looking fresh and my curls feeling juicy. 

Size: 8 fl oz

Pros: 

  • Fights brassy undertones
  • Doubles as a hydrating mask
  • Infused with bond-building technology for stronger, healthier hair
  • Affordable
  • Sulfate surfactant free, silicone free, paraben free
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

Cons: 

  • Purple can get messy in the shower
  • Best for blonde, gray, and silver hair only once or twice a week

FAQs

What key ingredients should I look for in a hair mask for dry hair?

“I recommend looking for a mask with ingredients of hydrating oils, proteins, vitamins, aloe vera, and shea butter,” says New Jersey-based hairstylist Jennifer Korab.

Remember that individual hair types may respond differently to ingredients, so it’s essential to choose a hair mask tailored to your specific needs, whether it’s moisture, repair, or overall hair health.

Are there DIY hair mask recipes effective for dry hair?

Yes, there are. Anthony Garcia, education coach at Aveda Arts & Sciences Institutes in San Antonio says one of the easiest ways to quench thirtsy strands is with straight-up avocado oil or coconut oil, which can be applied as an overnight mask and washed out in the morning. Similarly, this yogurt mask is an easy way to rejuvenate hair with something you likely already have in your ‘fridge.

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