Mask or hair conditioner, how are they different?

Beauty

Araceli Nicolas

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Hair care always arouses female interest. Wearing a perfect mane (soft to the touch, shiny, without frizz and with volume) is the desire of many women, and for this it is not enough to use a shampoo. exist complementary treatments and essentials to be applied after washing to keep hair healthy and beautiful. The main ones are two: conditioner and hair mask. Although they have many things in common, they are two different products. Knowing how they differ and when to use each of them is key to getting the most out of them for the benefit of your hair.

Differences between hair mask and conditioner

Mask or conditioner? It is one of the questions that is always asked in a hairdresser. The stylist Raquel Saiz, from Salón Blue by Raquel Saiz, explains that «the conditioner It is used after shampooing, because with washing we drag out hydration. Applies to restore moisture and that the hair is soft. Its formula is light so as not to weigh down. Instead, the mask provides a deeper and more intense care, not to restore superficially what we have removed with washing, but to repair it reaching the deepest parts of the hair fiber. For this reason, the application time is 20-30 minutes and it is done with heat, to open the hair scales and facilitate penetration ».

From left to right: Cocunat Boombastic ultra-nourishing mask (€ 34.95);  Rich Opuntia Oil Mask hair mask (€ 35).
From left to right: Cocunat Boombastic ultra-nourishing mask (€ 34.95); Rich Opuntia Oil Mask hair mask (€ 35). – DR

The conditioner has an immediate effect, and for that reason it does not need a time for it to act. It is applied and removed instantly. While the face mask, at the very least, you have to let it act five minutes (or what you say in the instructions). In addition, it is important to know that both products (unless the manufacturer indicates otherwise) must be applied middle to ends, always avoiding the roots.

In addition to having a different function, mask and conditioner are also distinguished in texture and formula, as explained by the experts of the brand. Shampora. «In general, conditioners have a consistency creamier, lighter and easily rinsed. Its chemical composition is also different: the pH of a conditioner is slightly acidic (approximately 4.5). This allows the conditioner close cuticles and leave hair shinierand untangled. The mask has a thicker consistency, less viscous than the conditioner and its pH is around 5 – 5.5. This allows you open cuticles and penetrate into the hair structure, providing deep nutrition and hydration.

From left to right: Ouai Leave In Conditioner Leave-In Conditioner (€ 27.99, only at Sephora);  Klorane Mango Express Detangling Conditioner (€ 13.45);  Shampora customizable conditioner (€ 12).
From left to right: Ouai Leave In Conditioner Leave-In Conditioner (€ 27.99, only at Sephora); Klorane Mango Express Detangling Conditioner (€ 13.45); Shampora customizable conditioner (€ 12). – DR

When to choose each one?

When it comes to caring for a hair, it is essential to choose the most appropriate products for its nature and needs: dry, oily, colored, curly, fine hair … There are suitable masks and conditioners for all types of hair. Experts advise to use conditioner whenever you wash your hair to facilitate styling (especially for long hair), and replace it with the mask once a week or every 15 days, according to the state of the hair.

There are exceptions, as you comment Gema Eguiluz, senior stylist at the IN-Viso salon, «For example, for curly hair it is always more advisable to face mask that provides greater hydration, that helps to better define curls and control frizz. On the other hand, for thinner hair, you have to look for a light, specific mask so that the hair does not become heavy, even thicken the hair. Those containing rice protein or hydrolyzed keratin are ideal. ” Similarly, in summer or after having been to the beach, it is also advisable to use a mask, the product that will hydrate and nourish the hair from within, thus repairing the damage caused by the sun, salt, etc.

Ritual to multiply the effects of the hair mask

In general, the mask needs an exposure time to work. Although this depends on each product and that is why it is advisable to read the manufacturer’s instructions beforehand, Vanesa Carranza, technician responsible for Rica Spain, offers some tips to multiply the effects of the hair mask. This ritual is perfect when the hair is especially noticeable dry or spoiled.

«Before applying the mask, you have to remove excess moisture of hair with a towel. After applying it, dipping a towel in hot water, drain it and roll it in the hair. In this way, the product will better penetrate the hair fiber and the effect of the mask will be enhanced. With the mask applied it is convenient detangle hair with a comb. To properly rinse the mask, it is best to start with warm water and finish with cold water. After rinsing the mask, dry the moisture by 50% and comb the hair.

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