Allure March 8, 2023



The Best Budget-Friendly Hair Masks for Every Hair Type


Treat hair of every curl pattern and color with one of these budget-friendly, damage-erasing, hydrating treatments. 

Your hair's health is just as important as how cute, long, or voluminous it is. But taking care of your hair can become a bit challenging and time-consuming, especially after all the bleaching, braiding, heat application, and general manipulating some of us do. Thankfully, using the right treatments can often help to restore your hair back to its former glory, no matter how damaged it is.

Hair masks are one way to repair distressed strands. And while these treatments come in a wide array of formulas and price points, at their core, masks are rich in moisture-boosting and strand-strengthening benefits. "These typically are packed full of moisture and smoothing agents," explains Los Angeles-based hairstylist Michael Dueñas. Look for ingredients like hydrating oils (coconut and avocado oils are always reliable moisturizers), as well masks that incorporate hydrolyzed proteins — made of amino acids and peptides — to simultaneously help rebalance moisture and strengthen hair.

San Diego-based stylist Gina Rivera agrees and adds that some ingredients often include smoothing keratin and strengthening fatty acids. If possible, she recommends steering clear of hair masks formulated with silicones. Avoid this ingredient particularly if you have finer hair that's easily weighed down or hair that has a hard time retaining moisture. The stylist tells Allure that, while silicones can "create the illusion of healthy hair," they can also coat the scalp, "clogging your pores and drying your hair from the inside out." Cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson previously confirmed to Allure that silicones like dimethicone prevent moisture from getting into your hair and can cause it to dry out.

Whether your hair needs some extra moisture after too many color appointments or your split ends have become a bit out-of-control, hair masks are a relatively quick fix. They might not be as Instagrammable as their face mask counterparts, but that doesn't make them any less necessary. The right combination of ingredients can fortify fried strands, smooth damage-induced frizz, and leave parched hair's thirst quenched. "The highly moisturizing ingredients in hair masks help bring in much-needed moisture and nourishment to your hair," New York City hairstylist Cheryl Bergamy tells Allure.

Fortunately, some of the best hair masks can be found in your local drugstore — and conveniently available online — for delightfully low prices. Whether your entire head needs it or just your ends, here are some of the best deep treatments and masks on the market, curated by Allure editors and stylists for any hair type.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Curls Pineapple So So Moist Vitamin C Curl Mask

Curly-haired folks, this one's for you. Made with a cocktail of vitamins including vitamins C and A, this mask penetrates deep into the hair, keeping curls hydrated and moisturized all day long.

Pacifica Rosemary Hydrating Leave-On Scalp Mask Smoothie

For a dry scalp, look no further than the Pacifica Rosemary Hydrating Leave-On Scalp Mask Smoothie. It's formulated with kombucha and rosemary oil to soothe any itchiness and leave roots feeling cool and calmed.

Batiste Overnight Leave-In Hair Mask

Apply the Batiste Overnight Leave-In Hair Mask on damp or dry hair then wake up and rinse it out for silky, strong hair. The formula is infused with conditioning vitamin E and moisturizing coconut and macadamia oil to ensure hair is softer than ever.

Garnier Fructis Damage Repair Mask

Shelly Aguirre, a stylist at Chicago's Maxine Salon, tells Allure that Garnier Fructis's one-minute Damage Repair Mask works "wonders" on fine hair. The treatment is formulated with moisturizing avocado extract and free of parabens and silicones. Aguirre recommends applying it once a week using a wide-tooth comb immediately after shampooing. Leave it on for one minute, rinse, and voíla — smooth, hydrated hair. 

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque

If you have oily hair, New York City-based hairstylist and salon owner Nunzio Saviano recommends choosing a hair mask with macadamia oil. According to Saviano, the lightweight ingredient, which is the star of the Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Hair Masque, has "superior conditioning benefits" that won't weigh hair down or make it greasy. Twice a week, comb the product through your wet, shampooed hair and leave it on for seven minutes before rinsing it out. 

Pantene Pro-V Soothing Recovery Mask

Bergamy recommends the Pantene Pro-V Soothing Recovery Mask, which is enriched with moisturizing avocado oil to smooth frizz and combat fussy flyaways once and for all. After shampooing, simply comb the product through your hair using your fingers and leave it in for five to seven minutes before rinsing it out. 

Not Your Mother's Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Nutrient Rich Butter Masque

Not Your Mother's Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Nutrient Rich Butter Masque is an antioxidant-rich hair mask that's especially great for wavy hair, thanks to lightweight ingredients like vitamin E-packed matcha green tea, conditioning glycerin, and moisturizing almond oil. The formula is also free from silicones, phthalates, and parabens. Apply after shampooing once or twice a week for up to five minutes before rinsing out. 

Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask

Argan oil in Eva NYC's Therapy Session Hair Mask helps protect hair from environmental damage while hydrolyzed vegetable protein hydrates and smoothes frizz. After two to five minutes on hair, damage is diminished, hair feels less brittle, and it looks silkier. 

Twist by Ouidad Sunday Feels Deeply Hydrating Hair Mask

Apply the Twist by Ouidad Sunday Feels Deeply Hydrating Hair Mask to thirsty, stretched-out curls and watch as each coil springs back into shape. A blend of coconut, jojoba, and grapeseed oils penetrate each strand to moisturize, and shea butter seals all the nourishment in. 

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Hair Masque

Saviano recommends SheaMoisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Hair Masque for its sulfate-, phthalate-, and paraben-free formula, which protects hair from breakage. The treatment is infused with moisturizing coconut oil and fatty acid-rich shea butter to smooth frizz. 

Curls Dynasty Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment

Formulated with aloe vera juice, soybean oil, and pumpkin seed oil, the Pumpkin Mint Deep Treatment from Curls Dynasty is a must in your washday routine. Former Allure editor Jihan Forbes loves this treatment when her curls begin to feel dry. "When I use a hair mask that's mostly natural ingredients, my hair always comes out looking better on wash day," she says. "This gives my hair that unparalleled feel — plus, it smells like a delicious lemon cookie."

Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner

We love the minty scent of the protein-packed Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner, which helps strengthen your hair without leaving it feeling coarse afterward. In addition to the moisturizing babassu oil and scalp-stimulating mint, the wheat and soy-based amino acid complex in the formula will soothe your dry, itchy scalp while noticeably conditioning damaged ends.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Smooth Deep Conditioner

Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle Smooth Deep Conditioner, made with aloe and sea kelp, tames even the frizziest hair in three minutes flat. Allure news editor Nicola Dall'Asen used the treatment back in high school on her very damaged and bleached hair and made an indelible impression on her. "Back then, it was basically the only thing keeping my hair from falling right out, but its absurdly low price and intense moisture ended up making it my go-to deep treatment for years to come," she says.