Can you use a mask instead of conditioner - expert opinion
Can you use a mask instead of conditioner - expert opinion

To be honest, we ourselves have used a mask instead of a conditioner for a long time and thought that we were doing it for the benefit of our hair, but that was not the case. There are nuances here! Which ones - read in our material!

Karine Kotova

Karine Kotova Biolage Technologist

Home care always consists of at least two steps: cleansing (shampoo) and conditioning. Both steps must be matched to your hair type. As a second step, you can use both a conditioner and a mask. They differ in the degree of penetration into the hair layers. As a rule, the conditioner works on a protective layer - the cuticle: it smoothes, prepares for styling. The mask penetrates deeper - into the hair shaft (cortex), and its effect depends on the remedy itself: restoration, moisturizing or nourishing the curls.


I know that many girls decide to abandon the conditioner in favor of a mask because of the deeper action, and I do not see anything wrong with that. Masks that are not intended for professional use can improve hair condition at home.

There is also an opinion that the mask does not cover the hair scales and this can only be done by a conditioner. This is not the case: both are capable of it. The only exception is masks aimed at powerful recovery, they really need to be fixed with conditioner. But in this case, it will be written in the recommendations for use.

Conditioner for hair volume Uplift, Biolage R.A.W Balsam-conditioner Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle "Protection against hard water", Pantene Smoothing conditioner Mane Tamer, Evo Moisturizing balm for the radiance of colored hair ColorMotion +, Wella Professionals Smoothie balm Schauma "Energy of nature" for damaged hair, Schwarzkopf Softening conditioner for unmanageable hair Frizz Dismiss, Redken Balm-care "Milk for hair" for dull and weak hair, Nivea Svetlana Butova

Svetlana Butova Hair stylist and trichologist of smart beauty space Institute

The main difference between the conditioner and the hair mask is that the latter is more concentrated in composition and texture. The mask molecules are aimed at restoring the hair cortex and cuticle. The conditioner, in turn, has a lighter formula, its action is aimed at maintaining health, moisturizing and closing the scales of the hair trunk.


Now on the market there are a huge number of regenerating and moisturizing masks of different composition and pH level. Masks with a lower pH level (4-3, 5) not only nourish and repair the hair core, but also tightly seal the scales for protection and conditioning. Masks with a pH above 4 are best used with conditioner. You can see the acidity level in the instructions or on the product packaging.

Nourishing oil OI Hair Butter, Davines Regenerating mask with oil of prickly pear seeds Regenerating Mask, Christophe Robin Hair mask Superfood "Aloe", Garnier Nourishing oil OI Hair Butter, Davines Intensive regenerating mask Full Force "Coconut", Ollin Professional Mask for restless hair, Restless Circle, Davines

If a girl loves to use hair masks, then she should be ready for the opposite effect. The fact is that in the hair there is a limit to the space in which useful components can fit, especially for thin European strands. What will happen if the vessel is filled, albeit with a useful liquid? That's right, the liquid will overflow. The same applies to the structure of the hair: if we fill the cortex, the components of the mask will begin to attach in the scaly layer, preventing them from closing. This will result in a lack of shine, stiffness and fragility of the hair. And this is clearly not what we wanted, is it? It is worth knowing when to stop.

Taha Safari

Taha Safari Organic Kitchen expert, hairdresser, art director of the new beauty coworking space for stylists and popular blogger


The conditioner works mainly on the surface of the hair, but the mask is still a deeper effect. However, few people withstand the full time recommended for the mask. What do we end up with? We washed off the mask before it started working, and did not use the conditioner, it turns out that the hair scales are open, from this, the strands can become dry and electrified. Even if the recommended time for the mask is maintained with each wash, there is a risk of making the curls heavier. I recommend using a conditioner after each wash, and a mask, for example, 1-2 times a week.

Hair Freestyle Organic KItchen Explosive Volume Mask by @markaryanofficial

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