Regardless of the time of year, our dry, dehydrated strands can't seem to catch a break. And the current season—somewhere in the middle of winter and spring—is kind of like being in the eye of the storm. (We were actually going to say the inferno, but that felt a bit dramatic.) First, we still have cold temperatures to contend with, but then we have things like rain and humidity (depending on where you live, of course) to wrestle with as well. Suffice to say, our strands aren't having it, and our addiction to heat styling and perennial visits to the colorist aren't particularly helping the situation.
Sound familiar? Just us? Well, in case you've been feeling the same, we're here to help in the form of sharing our favorite hydrating and repairing hair masks for damaged hair—ever. From all-natural soothers that smell of palo santo to a cheapie drugstore favorite beauty editors love, you’ll find something for your in-need-of-repair strands in this roundup. Here’s to shiny, hair-commercial locks! Keep scrolling to discover the 11 best hair masks for damage, according to Byrdie editors who have been there.
The idea behind French hair guru David Mallet’s cult-favorite hair mask is as simple as the chic black-and-white packaging: to hydrate your strands like a tall glass of water. Made with Keravis, a powerful protein complex, the unscented formula penetrates deep into your strands to restore shine, body, and bounce. We can’t get enough.
White tea, baobab oil, and jasmine extracts help make this creamy hair mask a Byrdie-editor favorite—oh, and Oribe’s obsession-worthy signature scent doesn’t hurt, either. Slather it on your strands and let the plant collagen, biotin, and niacinamide absorb. Then, rinse out for super-soft, heavenly-smelling hair.
For truly tuckered tresses, this rebuilding mask from Davines is a godsend. Fortified with helpful ingredients like jojoba, keratin, and wheat protein (among others), it has the ability to breathe new life into damaged hair. Just make sure not to overdose on the stuff. We recommend applying a generous dollop to damp hair post-shampoo, letting it sit for 10 minutes, and then rinsing thoroughly. (Your hair will look and feel almost unrecognizable.)
Consider this the medicine your sad, sick, lifeless hair needs—and an all-natural medicine, at that. Coconut oil, vitamin E, palo santo, and more all make this a hydration powerhouse. Apply the healing mask to dry or towel-dried strands, leave it in for an hour (or sleep with it in overnight), and then rinse out for happy, moisturized hair that smells so good.
Truly, this brilliant mask system for damaged hair couldn't be niftier and is great for rejuvenating strands with moisture and strength regardless of type or texture. Plus, it’s fun to use in that it boasts a one-two-punch design: a cap system that not only features a reparative essence for ultimate conditioning but also locks in steam and heat for top-notch absorption. Essentially, it’s like getting a salon treatment while you binge on Netflix.
Long hair comes with its own set of problems—namely, split ends and frayed strands aplenty. Hairstylist Valery Joseph’s line was created specifically with longer manes in mind, and the hair mask is formulated with keratin, artichoke leaf extract, and rice protein to repair over time as well as instantly smooth.
A quick Q&A: What’s better than a silkiness- and shine-enhancing conditioner that comes in under $3? Nothing. This option from Aussie is a budget-friendly Byrdie HQ favorite—in one part due to the money we save and one part due to its damage-defying magic.
Suitable for all hair types, this sulfate-free mask from celebrity hair guru Kristin Ess works as a wonderful elixir to help detangle, rehydrate, and nourish damaged hair. Another benefit? It only takes about five minutes to weightlessly envelop strands with softening agents and features a cool zip-up technology that supports worse-for-the-wear split ends.
Though more of a treatment than mask per se, this pick from Nexxus is a Byrdie team go-to (associate editor Audrey Noble wrote a rave review) and specifically targets damaged hair with salon-grade ingredients like keratin, collagen, elastin, and black rice extract.
Yes, it’s an investment, but according to Editorial Director Faith Xue (and a few of our other editors), this luxurious hair mask from French beauty brand Leonor Greyl surpasses the competition when it comes to helping out dry, dehydrated locks. Additionally, it looks pretty great inside of our shower and smells like something you’d find in a French garden. Can you tell how smitten we are?
A super-intensive formula for even the direst of damage, this regenerating formula from Christophe Robin works for every hair texture (though it’s especially lovely for thicker hair types) and seamlessly absorbs pear seed oil into dehydrated strands for exceptional moisture and smoothness. Curious about the hero ingredient? According to the brand, prickly pear is rife with antioxidants and other natural reparative properties.
When multiple editors shout their applause and admiration for the same hair mask pertaining to damaged hair, you know you’ve found good-hair-day gold. Loved equally by senior editor Hallie Gould and features editor Amanda Montell (who have very different hair types and lengths, by the way), this formula boasts the ultimate treatment for super-damaged strands. With lotus flower and ceramides (and a dreamy twilight-inspired scent), this one belongs in your arsenal ASAP.
Last but certainly not least, this cocoa butter–enriched hair mask for damage comes in clutch whether you have thick and coiled strands or short and fine. Not to mention it’s safe for color-treated hair, imparts lusty shine, repairs stressed-out strands, and smells like the French Riviera to boot. That is all.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Erin Jahns.