Briogeo's Don't Despair Repair Mask Gave Me Silky-Soft Hair

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Briogeo Don't Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

Emily Algar

What We Like
  • Incredible scent

  • Byrdie Clean

  • Suits most hair types (including curly, coily, and coarse)

  • Sulfate- and silicone-free

  • Contains rosehip and almond oil plus B vitamins

What We Don't Like
  • High price point for a hair treatment

  • May be too rich for ultra-fine hair types

Cult products often fall short of my expectations, but the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask isn’t one of them. As someone with fine hair, I can attest to the fact it nourishes and adds shine without weighing the hair down. Overall, it’s a really beautiful product that does what it promises.


Briogeo Don't Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

Emily Algar

We put the Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

As someone with hair that’s on the thinner side, finding an ultra-nourishing but still lightweight hair mask is not a simple task. But frequent swimming, heat styling, and more than six months without a trim (thank you, Sydney lockdown) have meant that my strands aren’t exactly in the best shape. 

With some serious need for a nourishing boost, I called in reinforcements by way of the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask. While relatively new (the brand launched in 2013), Briogeo is making huge waves in the industry, loved for its clean but effective formulations that cater to all different hair types. The mask specifically is somewhat of an iconic product, so my expectations were pretty high. 

It’s now been a few weeks of testing and I absolutely have some thoughts. So in the spirit of sharing really great beauty intel, I’ve detailed all of them right here. Keep scrolling for my full review.

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

Best for: All hair types, especially dry and damaged.

Uses: As a weekly deep conditioning hair treatment. 

Hero ingredients: Rosehip oil, algae extract, and B vitamins

Byrdie Clean? Yes

Price: $38 for 8 oz.

About the brand: Briogeo is a haircare brand founded in 2013 by Nancy Twine, who created the products based on nourishing DIY recipes she learned from her grandmother. Now, Briogeo is one of Sephora’s leading haircare brands, and its Don’t Despair, Repair Mask is a fan favorite. 

About My Hair: Fine and quite soft

My hair is short, fine, and very soft. I have a chin-length bob and I don’t color it, so it’s in relatively good condition. But because it’s fine it breaks and tangles easily, so I do love using a deep conditioning treatment from time to time. I also rarely use standard conditioner (I find it weighs my hair down when I apply it too frequently), so a weekly mask is a great way to nourish and repair damage.

The Ingredients: Natural oils and vitamins

The Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Mask features a stack of clean ingredients including avocado oil, argan oil, sweet almond oil, rosehip oil, wheat protein, algae extract, and B vitamins. The brand claims the mask will reduce breakage in two uses, and the 97% naturally derived formula is also vegan, cruelty-free, and made without sulfates, parabens, or silicones.

How to Use: As a deep conditioning treatment

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask Texture

Emily Algar

Briogeo recommends using the Don’t Despair, Repair Mask either weekly or biweekly, depending on your preference and the condition of your strands. I tried it weekly (in place of conditioner) and applied it after shampooing, being sure to squeeze out excess water first. The texture is pretty thick (like cake frosting), so you can apply the product without it dripping or disappearing down the drain. I then got out of the shower, applied a face mask, and let it sit for a good 15 minutes. After that, I rinsed, dried, and styled my hair as normal.

For extremely dry or coarse, coiled hair, you can leave the mask on for up to half an hour and wrap it in a shower cap for an extra deep treatment.

The Results: Glassy, healthy hair

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask Results on Emily Algar

Emily Algar

In a word, this stuff is gold. Right from the first application, my hair felt super soft, resilient, and shiny—but not like it was limp or coated in product. I definitely noticed the treatment had smoothed some of my frizz, and my fried ends from months of neglect and tight buns were much sleeker, probably in part due to the argan oil. 

Because it’s nourishing but not ultra-heavy, I think this mask is pretty fantastic for all hair types. The only exception would be super thin or fine hair—you might find it just a little too rich, given all the oils and butters included in the formula. My hair is too fine to use the Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Mask any more frequently than once weekly, but I think it’s an amazing alternative to conditioner (or in addition, for those with drier hair). I also loved the scent—it was clean, slightly floral, and generally delicious.

The Value: A worthy splurge

I'll be the first to admit this is a pretty expensive formula, but the quality of ingredients and proven results make it worth it. A little goes a long way, and if you’re only using the product once a week, the medium-sized tub should last quite a while. I also think it’s a worthy investment for those who bleach or color their hair—the fact it’s sulfate-free means it’s completely color-safe, and the nourishment here is real.

Similar Products: You've got options

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Mask: Enriched with sustainably sourced Mirsalehi honey, this superlative mask ($57) fights frizz and increases shine from the first use. 

K18 Biomimetic Hairscience Leave-in Molecular Repair Hair Mask: If you bleach your strands or want to mend broken ends, this powerful mask ($75) is here to save the day. The key ingredient making it worth the high price point is bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, a molecule that rebuilds the bonds that hold our hair together. 

Playa Healing Hair Masque: With kaolin clay and amla oil, this mask ($38) works to simultaneously rehydrate the hair and clarify product buildup from the scalp.

Final Verdict

As someone who’s usually not big on hair masking, I loved the Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Hair Mask. It’s clean, a delight to use, smells wonderful, and actually does what it promises.


  • Product Name Don't Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask
  • Product Brand Briogeo
  • Price $38.00
  • Weight 8 oz.
  • Full Ingredient List Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetyl Alcohol*, Brassica Alcohol*, Propanediol*, Stearyl Alcohol*, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil*, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Panthenol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate*, Biotin, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein*, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein*, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein*, Panax Ginseng Root Extract*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Laurus Nobilis Leaf Extract*, Palmaria Palmata Extract*, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil*, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil*, Pogostemon Cablin Oil*, Elettaria Cardamomum Seed Oil*, Ferula Galbaniflua (Galbanum) Resin Oil*, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride*, Cetyl Esters*, Isododecane, Cetrimonium Chloride*, Behentrimonium Methosulfate*, Brassicyl Isoleucinate Esylate*, Citric Acid*, Isopropyl Myristate*, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin*, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Hydroxide, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol.
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Faria, Pamella & Camargo, Luciana & Carvalho, Regina & Paludetti, Luis & Velasco, Maria & Gama, Robson. (2013). Hair Protective Effect of Argan Oil ( Argania spinosa Kernel Oil) and Cupuassu Butter (Theobroma grandiflorum Seed Butter) Post Treatment with Hair Dye. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications. 03. 40-44. 10.4236/jcdsa.2013.33A1006.

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