A hair masque is a deep conditioning treatment for the hair. It is not used every day, but is applied once every week or two to add moisture to hair, prevent frizz and breakage, and make hair soft and shiny. There are many different masques available, and it is also possible to make one at home with items found around the house.
Typically, hair masques contain deeply conditioning and moisturizing ingredients, including shea butter, avocado oil, botanical and fruit oils or extracts, and vitamins, among many others. A hot oil treatment is one type; in this type of treatment, warm oil is applied to the hair to make it soft and moisturized. Masques can be useful for people with any type of hair, but those with dry or color-treated hair often find them especially beneficial. Those who have oily hair can still make use of one, but it may be a good idea to do the treatments less frequently, such as every two or three weeks.
A hair masque should be applied to wet hair, which will allow the nourishing ingredients to better penetrate. In general, people who are using one may want to apply the treatment while out of the shower, because most masques will need to sit on the hair for quite a while. Some must be left on the hair for 30 minutes for the full benefits.
Users should be sure to thoroughly coat all of the hair for the most benefits. It may also be a good idea to apply a plastic bag or shower cap to the hair while the treatment is in place. This can prevent dripping as well as encourage further conditioning through the build-up of heat under the plastic. After the designated time has elapsed, the masque should be thoroughly rinsed to prevent hair from becoming greasy.
Hair masques are typically much more expensive than other conditioning treatments for the hair, and frequently come in smaller containers. For that reason, many people choose to make their own deep conditioners at home, using ingredients such as avocados, mayonnaise, egg whites, and olive oil. There are many recipes that can be found by searching online, all using natural ingredients found in the kitchen. Otherwise, hair masques may be purchased in drugstores or salons, or ordered online.