If there was ever a time to embark on a healthy hair journey, it’s now. With so much going on outside, it can be calming and empowering to take control of what we can, whether that be our manicures, pedicures or even the state of our hair.
Whether you’ve touched up your roots or embraced the growth, cut your own hair or are growing out a look that’s starting to look very ‘80s, you can still make sure your strands are soft and stunning. To find out how, we reached out to Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist Dominick Pucciarello and Ouidad brand ambassador Irinel de León, who also styles celebs in LA, who offered some of their favorite ways to pamper your locks during this lockdown.
Moisturizing hair masks
“Honestly any deep conditioning hair mask is great. Look for a moisturizing one,” says Pucciarello. “Load your hair from ends to roots with the conditioning treatment and then wrap your head in a plastic cap or plastic wrap for 20 minutes or overnight. Conditioners will never hurt your hair.”
Below are just some of his and de León’s favorites.
Ouai Treatment Mask ($32; sephora.com)
This mask from stylist Jen Atkin’s line is formulated to work on a wide variety of hair types, and leave strands incredibly soft and smooth after just one treatment.
Playa Healing Hair Mask ($38; sephora.com)
This certified clean mask has a 4.5-star review from fans, and is designed to cleanse the scalp to rid it of buildup while moisturizing hair.
Shu Uemura Ultimate Reset Mask Treatment ($69; sephora.com)
This luxurious mask is excellent for repairing and restoring damaged hair that has undergone frequent bleaching, coloring or heat styling.
“Mask as much as you can to increase hydration and moisture back into your hair,” says de León, a curly hair expert. “Try putting a mask on and braiding your hair to sleep in, rinsing the mask out in the morning for best results.”
Ouidad Ultra Nourishing Intense Hydrating Mask ($32; dermstore.com)
“If your curls are feeling lifeless, damaged, over-processed or dry, this is a great option to detangle instantly, and replenish moisture and shine, since it’s infused with a number of different natural oils,” says de León. “This treatment mask is great for any wave or curl type.”
Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner ($38; dermstore.com)
“For anyone with coily or kinky curls, this treatment has moisture-rich ingredients like coconut and avocado oils to infuse curls with maximum hydration,” explains de León. “Doing this once or twice a week will help the strands retain moisture and strength. You’ll see a difference with just one use.”
NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Haircare Repair Leave In Treatment ($16; amazon.com)
With ingredients like bamboo stem cells to help strengthen strands and argan oil to diminish frizz, this affordable leave-in treatment comes out as a foam and can be swiped right through towel-dried hair to help repair dry, damaged and color-treated hair. A bonus: It smells like a fancy salon.
Just add protein
“If you do a protein mask, it makes the hair stronger. Prepare for your hair to feel hard when the protein mask fills in the cuticle with protein,” explains Pucciarello. “When finished, be sure to rinse hair thoroughly and use a conditioner to rinse the remaining protein off the hair that did not fill the cuticle, and soften it. These work a little differently.”
According to Pucciarello, these masks below are more advanced home conditioning treatments for people who regularly use them, or really need them. Think bleach blondes or those with relaxed hair.
Kérastase Masque Force Architecte Hair Mask ($56; sephora.com)
This highly-concentrated, strengthening mask is aimed at weak, brittle or damaged hair, and can help rebuild hair fibers.
Kérastase Resistance Masque Thérapiste Hair Mask ($28.96, originally $32; amazon.com)
This rich, repairing mask promises to restore and hydrate very damaged, weak and over-processed hair.
Advanced Clinicals Collagen Hair Treatment Mask ($14.50; amazon.com)
This is another option for a hair strengthening collagen mask, which is formulated to leave hair thick and gorgeous.
Royal Formula Argan Oil Hair Mask ($25; amazon.com)
With a 4.5-star rating from fans, this can smooth hair to make it more manageable, and is designed to promote natural hair growth and shine.
You can treat your hair even as these masks are soaking in, or when your hair is drying afterwards, too. “Don’t use any heat when diffusing your hair, and instead let it air dry,” says de León. “If you do diffuse, try switching the setting to cool and diffuse; your curls will love you for it and the shine will be on another level.”
De León adds, “Avoid tying your hair back into any tight hairstyles when it’s wet. Hair strands are the most vulnerable and fragile when wet, so tying hair back tightly will cause these strands to break, especially around the hairline.”
Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban ($30; dermstore.com)
Let your hair dry naturally and go glam with this comfortable, fast-drying hair turban.
These two moisture-wicking microfiber turbans promise to absorb water faster than a bulky bath towel.
LilySilk 5 Pack Silk Scrunchies ($29.99; amazon.com)
These top-rated silk scrunchies are a customer favorite because they are designed to not damage hair, and come in five cute colors.
Eva NYC Healthy Heat Pro-Lite Hair Dryer ($70; target.com)
This hair dryer offers healthy heat, which means it uses infrared heat to help lock in moisture and eliminate frizz, a diffuser and a cool button to keep strands strong.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.