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Hair conditioner vs. hair mask: understand the differences

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Heya! We all understand what hair conditioners are for. But hair masks are a relatively new addition to our hair care regime. What exactly is a hair mask? Is it just a thicker conditioner? Should you use a conditioner or a mask? Or both? And when? Read on - we've got answers!

What is a hair mask?

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Usually, a hair mask is a mixture of highly hydrating butters and oils, conditioning ingredients, hair softeners, strengtheners and other do-gooders for hair.
How does a hair mask help?

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Think of a hair mask as an at-home nourishing treat for your hair - just like how weekly face masking is a rejuvenation for your face. The highly moisturizing ingredients in hair masks help bring in much-needed moisture and nourishment to your hair. In particular, hair masks are great for dry and damaged hair - although there's a mask for almost every hair type and concern out there.

What's the difference between hair conditioner and hair mask?

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A hair conditioner is just that - it makes the hair strands soft and manageable (conditioned). A hair mask goes deeper than that, and also deep hydrates the hair strands, besides performing a conditioning job.

When should I use hair conditioner and when should I use hair mask?

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A conditioner is for regular use, while a hair mask is ideally used once a week. 

How should I use a hair mask?
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While it’s generally advised to leave a conditioner for no more than 1 to 2 minutes, a hair mask requires a lengthier leave-in period, varying anything from 15 min to even overnight! Hair masks are typically used post hair-wash and on wet hair. But for hair which requires intense repair, it’s recommended that you apply it pre-wash. This allows the moisturizing agents to penetrate deeper & repair damage.
For better results, wrap your head with a head wrap or a towel while the mask gets to work.

Can I use a hair mask for every wash?
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Given how rich masks tend to be, it will be a bit of an overkill to mask after every wash. Keep it to once or twice a week.

Can I use conditioner and hair mask on scalp? Or is it only for the strands?
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Conditioners are ONLY meant for use on hair strands. Whereas hair masks should ideally be applied from root to tip. 
We hope that got most of your questions on conditioners vs. hair masks answered. Do drop us a line if you've got more. As always, we love finding answers! Until then, cheers. Be good!

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