Last July, I had shared four affordable hair care products that I relied on to get me through New England’s hotter, more humid months. Since I have the two “C’s” of hair types- curly and color-treated- the products had to be both safe to use with my red highlights and hydrating enough to penetrate my curls to tame frizz and keep them moisturized- even in the most stifling of heat waves.
Now that we’re in the middle of one of the snowiest, coldest winters in recent memory- I have to do a little bit more than rely solely on Moroccan and Argan oil-infused conditioners and leave-in sprays. This time of year, I turn to masks to keep my hair healthy, shiny, and manageable through snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures- which can do a number on my curls between hiding my scalp under hats and going in and out of the cold and the heat in my place/office/car/etc.
Of course, great hair masks don’t need to cost a small fortune, and while many D.I.Y. beauty buffs swear on making their own from common household ingredients (the classic mayonnaise and egg mask, for example,) I opt for mess-free- and nicer smelling- products that give me just as good results.
Here are four masks I’ve been loving so far this winter, ranked by how much time it takes to use them!
The Quick Fix/In A Rush Masks:
Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion “Deep Conditioning Shine Mask”
This is actually the mask I use most often, typically every 2-3 days in the early mornings while I’m getting ready for work during the week. When I first initially purchased a tube of this sweet-smelling and lightweight mask, it was because my local pharmacy was out of stock of my daily conditioner (also from Suave) and I just wanted something to help keep my hair soft and strong until they replenished. I ended up really loving the results I achieved- my hair was noticeably shinier and easy to comb through and style after I’d rinsed it out- and you can’t beat how easy it is to use. You simply wash your hair, apply the mask, and leave it in for 5 minutes before rinsing (I usually opt to leave it in for 10 minutes if I’m not in a hurry, and go about my normal showering routine while I wait for it to set.)
Best of all is the price. I’m all for the occasional shopping spree or splurge (you have to treat yourself once in a while, after all,) but maintaining healthy hair and skin shouldn’t have to deplete your bank account- and when you have as much hair on your head as I do, and tend to go through products more often because of it- that can happen on an alarmingly regular basis. This Suave mask is mess-free, gives me great results, and is fairly and more than reasonably priced.
OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco “Intense Moisturizing Treatment”
For a few dollars more, I also occasionally pick up tubs of this Argan oil- packed mask from OGX that can be applied and combed through wet or damp hair, left on for 5-10 minutes (and covered with a shower cap for enhanced results,) and then rinsed out in the shower. I use this particular mask once or twice a week- depending on how my hair looks and feels- and usually concentrate on applying it to the ends of my hair to prevent split-ends and breakage.
Like the Suave mask, this product smells lovely and leaves my hair soft and manageable in no time at all. It’s also fairly priced and can be conveniently found in most markets and drug stores/pharmacies.
The Color-Reviving Mask:
Biolage by Matrix “Color Bloom Mask”
I’ve recently started using Biolage’s ColorLast Shampoo a couple times a week, and I’m loving it so far. The formula is really gentle, so it doesn’t fade or strip my reds or dry out my hair- but it still leaves my curls feeling squeaky clean (not greasy.) I decided to pair that product with this mask, usually saving it for when I’m about due for a salon visit or when I feel like my color is starting to look a little dull. I apply this product all over my hair while it’s damp, and tuck it under a shower cap for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing it out. Once dry, my hair is soft and my reds look brighter and more revitalized.
Price wise, this mask sells for about $22+, which isn’t horrible at all- but does distinguish it as the most expensive one out of the four I’m using on a regular basis. For that reason, I only break this product out once or twice a month as needed.
The Multi-Task Mask:
Kelapo Individually Wrapped Coconut Oil Packets
Coconut oil makes another appearance on my hair care list, this time in the form of individual packets for easier application. I save this type of mask for 1-2 times per month, and usually for those days where my hair is in desperate need of some TLC (after coloring, or post-flat-ironing, for example,) and when I have plenty of time to just leave it on to sink into my hair for a couple of hours before I rinse it out.
I like to warm up one of these packets, tear it open, and apply it to my hair from roots to ends while it’s damp before I wrap my hair in plastic wrap and hold it in place with a warm, fuzzy shower cap. From there, I can do various tasks/chores around my home: laundry, cleaning, catching up on e-mails (or Netflix,) etc. for a few hours- and then hop in the shower and rinse away. My hair is left revived, soft, shiny, and most importantly- healthy.
And there you have it- my four essential hair masks for winter. It’s actually snowing again right now, so I think I’m going to go get the shovel ready and figure out which one of these products I’ll be reaching for when I get back inside.
If you have any must-have winter hair care/beauty products you love and want to share- leave a comment! I’d love to read about them!