What is a Hair Mask and What are the Benefits?

Hair structure diagram with description of cuticle, cortex and medulla

What is a Hair Mask and What are the Benefits?

A hair mask is a deep conditioning treatment for damaged, lifeless hair. Many people know about facial masks, which contain nourishing cleansers and moisturizers that result in healthier, smoother, vibrant skin, but hair masks aren’t as widely known. You can think of a hair mask as a super-conditioner. In fact, organic/natural conditioners may contain some of the same ingredients in smaller amounts as hair masks.The main difference is that hair mask ingredients can be tailored to target particular hair needs (excessive oiliness, excessive dryness, frizzies, split ends, sun damage, longer lasting colour), whereas most conditioners are “one formulation fits all” products.

The most beneficial hair masks are made from natural ingredients and contain natural oils, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Masks are formulated to penetrate the hair cuticle (the protective outer layer) into the cortex – the thickest inner layer of the hair’s structure, which contains important proteins and oils that provide hair strength, elasticity, moisture content and colour.

Hair structure diagram with description of cuticle, cortex and medulla

As you can see from the diagram above, most of the hair’s thickness is in the cortex layer. The cortex contains keratin proteins and lipids (oils) and determines the strength, elasticity, moisture and colour of your hair. A healthy cortex means healthier hair. Most hair treatments, including masks, optimize the health of the cortex layer.

At From Hair On salon in Port Moody, our masks and other hair treatments primarily affect the cortex, because without proper care and treatment of this important internal structure, the condition of the hair becomes compromised.

Different Masks for Different Hair Issues

Our hair salon uses and sells the Surface Masque line of mask products, which contain natural ingredients. Each product in the Masque line is formulated to address specific hair conditions. Masks are applied to the hair and allowed to penetrate from 60 seconds to up to 10 minutes – depending on which mask is used. The masks are formulated at molecular weights that assure they won’t rinse out the first time you shampoo. The mask remains in the hair for approximately 5 shampoos. During that time, they optimize hair health, providing nourishment, moisture and correction of common damage.

Can I Make My Own Hair Mask?

If you search online, you can find many recipes for hair masks, although finding the right recipe to target your particular hair concerns is more challenging. The downside of homemade hair masks is that the ingredients tend to be quite basic, are often not organic or natural, and ingredients are limited to what you can find in your kitchen cupboards, so targeted and scientific they are not! Mask treatments are affordable, so saving a few dollars by making a sub-standard mask that may have little benefit doesn’t make good sense.

If you’d like a hair mask treatment, please contact us to book. We often combine hair styling and a hair mask treatment in one appointment. Although we’re located in Port Moody, many of our clients come to us from Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, New Westminster and beyond.

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