Which drugstore hair mask is best?
There is a wide selection of drugstore hair masks available that can benefit every hair type. Some buyers prefer to shop for hair masks at drugstores to find good deals on various products. These products can be very inexpensive while providing benefits to the hair, while other cheap hair masks contain harmful ingredients that adversely affect the hair. When distinguishing the best products, it is essential to consider the product’s ingredients, the mission behind the brand and the best formula for your hair type.
What to consider before buying a drugstore hair mask
Those with damaged hair should look for masks that provide added hydration and work to repair individual hair strands. The products that you purchase should be described as color-safe or used for chemically processed hair. These products will not strip the hair of nutrients and will rebuild breakage for a healthy shine.
What to look for in a quality drugstore hair mask
Before purchasing, make sure the brand sustainably sources its ingredients and pledges not to use harmful products on animals to achieve a final product.
These products will contain more natural ingredients than products that do not sustainably source their ingredients and test harmful chemicals on animals. Just because a brand name is popular does not mean it is the best for your hair type. When looking for a hair mask, consider all brands. Just because you are buying a cheap drugstore product does not mean it cannot be sustainable. Sometimes the more inexpensive brands use better ingredients for your hair than the most expensive brands and vice versa.
When purchasing a drugstore hair mask, avoid products that have parabens, sulfates and alcohol, as these will not only dry out the hair but create other health complications over time. Hair grows from a healthy scalp. Since these ingredients do not benefit the scalp, they will make it harder for the hair to grow. Many drugstore hair masks contain these harmful chemicals due to being cheaply sourced. Check the product description and ingredient list before purchasing a product to ensure that it is safe for use.
Parabens: Parabens can disrupt hormones in the body, harm reproductive organs and increase cancer risk. When used abundantly, products that contain parabens can cause skin irritation.
Sulfates: Similarly to parabens, sulfates can irritate your eyes, skin, mouth and lungs. For people with sensitive skin, sulfates can clog pores and cause acne.
Alcohol: Alcohol can irritate and dry out the hair and cause split ends and hair loss over time. If you are looking for a hair mask that repairs dry hair and the product states that it contains alcohol, it may end up doing more harm than good.
Cruelty-free and sustainable
Most brands have moved toward a more natural, eco-friendly manufacturing process, which includes less animal testing. Products that adhere to these animal-friendly standards will consist of a “cruelty-free” symbol on the packaging. However, different labels apply to varying levels of animal use in manufacturing and testing. To tell if a product is cruelty-free, look for the branding on the package that declares products is vegan. Hair masks that are vegan and cruelty-free will contain necessary natural ingredients to repair hair and take added measures to avoid the use of parabens, sulfates and alcohol.
For more information, take a look at the complete hair mask buying guide from BestReviews.
Tips for buying a drugstore hair mask
For best results, apply the mask when your hair is damp. While you can use hair masks on dry hair, they are usually most effective on damp hair. Apply right after showering.
Wash your hair after you’re finished. This won’t negate the benefits of the hair mask, and it will help remove any unwanted residue from your hair.
Consider buying many individual packs vs. one large container. The more that you try, the sooner you will find the perfect product for your hair.
How much you can expect to spend on a drugstore hair mask
Shoppers will find drugstore hair masks between $3-$10. Anything above $10 is not considered a drugstore product. Premium drugstore masks will be anywhere from $8-$10 and contain more ounces, while hair masks from $3-$7 will likely be in small packs and have fewer ounces and hair benefits.
Drugstore hair mask FAQ
How do I apply a hair mask?
A. When using a hair mask, users should first dampen their hair and spread the hair mask formula evenly throughout the hair slowly, starting with the scalp. Once applied, the product should be massaged from root to tip carefully without pulling out any strands. The process is completed by gently combing the hair and wrapping it in a towel or a t-shirt. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes or whatever the manufacturer recommends for best results.
Does the hair mask have to be the same brand as my shampoo?
A. No, the brand of hair mask does not have to be the same as the shampoo that you use. However, some brands formulate specific products to be matched with each other to provide added benefits. For example, a few shampoo bottles may tell you to follow the shampoo up with the brand’s conditioner and hair mask. This is mainly advertising but can also provide benefits when used together. It will not hurt your hair to use a different brand of hair mask than your shampoo and conditioner.
Which drugstore hair mask is best?
This hair mask is safe on color-treated and chemically processed hair and works to restore the lipid balance that gives hair strength. It will prevent breakage over time and revive dull strands. It can be too heavy for those with oily hair.
Sold by Ulta
This hair mask’s main objective is to hydrate the hair. It penetrates each strand for the greatest benefit and smells pleasant. Due to its oil base, this mask may not be the best for people with thick hair but is recommended by the brand for all hair types.
Sold by Amazon
Best drugstore hair masks for thin hair
Those with thin hair should look for drugstore hair masks that promise a cream-based formula that is not too heavy. The job of these types of masks is to hydrate the hair without weighing it down. When choosing drugstore hair masks for thin hair, choose masks you have to leave on for the shortest amount of time that still provide significant benefits.
This hair mask is specifically formulated with keratin to coat each strand of your hair, leaving it tangle-free, soft and manageable to style. It is too heavy to use on thick hair, but when used on thin hair, it provides the perfect amount of bounce and shines without looking hair looking greasy.
This hair mask deeply condition the hair without the presence of silicone, aluminum and petrolatum. It replenished moisture by supporting elasticity and reducing the look of breakage and split ends.
Best drugstore hair masks for thick hair
Persons with thick hair will want to look for drugstore face masks that are lightweight and target the ends of the hair. When applying these products, avoid the roots as much as you can. This will make the hair bouncier and look less oily when styling.
This product is a perfect hydrator for those with thick curly hair. The formula is lightweight while still absorbing deep into the hair follicle to bring added nutrients and reduce frizz. It leaves thick hair looking shiny and bouncy. This product is not for use on straight hair.
This product is a nutrient-dense conditioner that doubles as a hair mask. It contains a unique smell designed with essential oils that may not be the best for users with dry hair. It restores softness and shines while the fatty acids and antioxidants work to make the hair more manageable.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.