I love hair conditioner. Seriously. If I were forced to move to a desert island and I had to choose one beauty product it, would be my Kérastase conditioner: I’m choosing my curls.
I love conditioner so much I even commit one huge curly-haired no no by leaving in conditioners for days on end at times. Because why not? Especially in the summer—between the humidity, the beach and boozy brunch—après-shampoos become leave-in conditioners and the only way for me to tame unquenchable dryness.
If this scenario sounds at all familiar, consider upgrading to a hair mask (or masque, if you’re high strung like me). Since their emollients are more concentrated and reach deeper into the hair follicle, masks are better equipped to stay on your strands for longer. Though they’re more expensive than regular conditioner, it’s worth the coins to keep sticky tangles and breakage at bay.
Most experts recommend using hair masks once a week, but I use them up to twice a week. My hairdresser, who is always fielding my complaints about breakage, assures me it’s fine, as long as I wash it out no later than the third day. Everyone’s tresses are different, but it’s a system that works well for me.
Here are some of the best that I’ve tried that not only hydrate, but also won’t punish you if you “forget” to wash them out after a day…or three.
SheaMoisture African Black Soap Purification Masque
One of my all-time favorites. The tea tree oil is so tingly and removes buildup yet it’s still very moisturizing. SheaMoisture African Black Soap Purification Masque. $14.80,@ Amazon
Kérastase Discipline Masque Curl Idéal
My weekly. It’s heavy duty but goes on light, and helped repair my battered ends. Kérastase Discipline Masque Curl Idéal. $62.50, Kérastase
Ouidad Melt Down Extreme Repair Mask
This saves me every season. It’s like a superfood for your curls and works recovery wonders after a blowout. Ouidad Melt Down Extreme Repair Mask, $44, Ouidad.
L’Oreal Total Repair Damage Erasing Balm
An affordable heavy-weight that smells amazingly well. Put on a heat cap for ridiculous results. L’Oreal Total Repair Damage Erasing Balm. $8.44, @Amazon.
DevaCurl Heaven in Hair
I haven’t tried this one yet but I keep hearing rave reviews from the thick curls crew online. DevaCurl Heaven in Hair. $28, DevaCurl