MSN June 26, 2021



The Best Budget-Friendly Hair Masks for Every Texture


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.

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. 

John Frieda Volume Boosting Wonder Drops

John Frieda's Volume Boosting Wonder Drops lift flat, fine hair, thanks to a powerful amino acid-rich formula. After conditioning, squeeze out excess water and use your fingers to apply the product through your hair. Leave it in for three to five minutes before rinsing. The mask comes in a convenient single-use pouch, so you don't have to commit to a full tub. 

Nexxus Vital 8 in 1 Deep Conditioning Masque

"Enriched with coconut oils and keratin, this mask is fantastic for limp and damaged [hair]," Aguirre tells Allure. Nexxus's Vital 8 in 1 Deep Conditioning Masque also features a blend of fatty acid-rich soybean oil and has a lightweight texture that works to simultaneously smooth, moisturize, and nourish your hair. According to Aguirre, the protein-packed mask also "adds strength and shine." 

Hask Tea Tree Oil & Rosemary Hair & Scalp Treatment Mask

Hask's Tea Tree Oil & Rosemary Hair & Scalp Treatment Mask features cirulation stimulating rosemary and tea tree oil, which works as an antifungal treatment. To use the mask, slather it directly on wet hair, leave it on for three minutes, and rinse.

The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Anti-Breakage & Repair Antidote Hair Mask

The Mane Choice's Anti-Breakage & Repair Antidote Hair Mask is packed with nourishing and moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, and aloe vera juice, so it can condition and smooth damaged hair of any texture. A blend of kalahari melon, olive, and mongongo oils helps to soften hair for a smoother, more manageable time detangling. 

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. 

Redken Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask

The Redken Color Extend Magnetics Mega Hair Mask comes highly recommended by New York City-based hairstylist Devin Toth, who has deemed it "perfect" for color-treated hair. Its sulfate-free formula deep-conditions while simultaneously extending the vibrancy of your single process for weeks on end. 

L'Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Repair & Protect Balm

Save yourself several trips to the salon: Instead, add the Best of Beauty-winning Elvive Color Vibrancy Repair & Protect Balm from L'Oréal Paris to your hair-care routine. The nourishing formula, which has antioxidant-rich niacinamide, helps preserve your hair color and prevents fading. Use it two times a week after shampooing for three to five minutes at a time.

Paul Mitchell Color Protect Reconstructive Treatment

Rivera calls Paul Mitchell's Color Protect Reconstructive Treatment a "terrific option" for color-treated hair. "It repairs, conditions, and hydrates the hair while helping prevent breakage and reducing split ends," she says. 

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. 

Brite No Yellow Hair Mask

Blonde and bleached hair will benefit from Brite's No Yellow Hair Mask, which deposits a purple tint onto strands to erase any yellowness. There's also moisturizing glycerin and strengthening wheat protein to treat as it tones.

Dr. Miracle's Strong + Healthy Hydrating & Strengthening Deep Conditioner

Dr. Miracle's Strong + Healthy Hydrating & Strengthening Deep Conditioner is lightweight enough for finer and wavy curl patterns without skimping on hydrating and repairing damage. Strengthening rice protein and moisturizing babassu and coconut oils make hair stronger over time to prevent breakage.

TPH by Taraji Mask On

The gel-meets-oil texture of TPH by Taraji's Mask On conditioning mask melts right into hair to instantly make it feel soft and smooth. This is due to the inclusion of hydrating coconut oil and mango seed butter, which is rich in essential fatty acids to moisturize both hair and scalp.

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. 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."

Cantu Deep Treatment Masque

Full of nourishing oils like coconut, sweet almond, and jojoba — Cantu's Deep Treatment Masque will bring elasticity to your curls. The mask also comes in travel-sized pouches so you can take it with you on the go. It's a favorite of hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew, who recommends this treatment for dry or damaged hair.

Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner

Use Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner before or after shampooing and conditioning to give damaged hair the boost of strength and softness it so desperately needs. In addition to the titular sage, honey and babassu oil in the formula help replenish moisture.

Soultanicals Afrotastic Curl Elastic Deep Conditioning Treat

Knots are no match for Soultanical's rich, detangling Afrotastic Curl Elastic Deep Conditioning Treat, made with alma, ximenia, and avocado oils that leave your hair touchably soft. Just take a whiff of this floral-scented mask and you'll just know it will transform your hair. "It also helps to smooth out my rough ends... which are due for a trim right about now," says Forbes.

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.

Ors Hairestore Hair Mayonnaise 

Ors Hairestore Hair Mayonnaise is a favorite among people with curly or kinky hair, but it works great on straight or wavy textures as well. This protein-rich treatment combines wheat germ oil, olive oil, and egg protein to strengthen your damaged or dry hair. Hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons likes to use this treatment for any clients with chemically or heat-damaged hair. "Moisturize ends in the shower and let it sit there for about 10 minutes," he recommends prior to washing and blow-drying.

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's 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.

NatureLab Perfect Repair Treatment Masque

NatureLab's Perfect Repair Treatment Masque uses stem cells from bamboo, argan oil, and prickly pear oil to nourish your hair whether it's damaged from color-treating or chemical processes. Fitzsimons (who is an ambassador for the brand) swears by this mask and says he likes using it as a styling product. "I'll apply it to damp hair and style it into place, almost like a gel, but it's repairing my hair throughout the day." For regular use, he recommends applying to clean, conditioned hair for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. "It'll leave your hair smoother, softer, shinier, and in better health."

Carol's Daughter Rhassoul Clay Softening Hair Mask

The Carol's Daughter Rhassoul Clay mask uses a blend of Moroccan rhassoul clay, aloe juice, and cactus flower to absorb excess oil as it conditions strands. If your hair has become dull or brittle from overstyling, just add this into your wash-day routine and watch it come back to life.

Sashapure Restorative Conditioning Masque

Sashapure's Restorative Conditioning Masque is called "restorative" for a reason. This deep conditioner revitalizes your hair after any damage using the power of Peruvian sacha inchi oil. New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Kenneth Howe previously told Allure that this oil is great for hair. "Its omega-3 fatty acids exert potent anti-inflammatory effects on the hair and scalp, reducing dryness, itch, and flaking," he says, explaining that its vitamin E is also a potent antioxidant that protects hair from environmental damage. "Vitamin E also contains bioactive compounds such as phytosterols, carotenes, and other polyphenolic compounds that contribute to health, shine, and longevity of hair."