What is the Difference Between Hair Masks and Conditioners?
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What is the Difference Between Hair Masks and Conditioners?

We have such an abundance of choice when it comes to choosing hair products that we can often get confused as to which ones do what, right? For instance, have you ever wondered what is the difference between Hair Masks and conditioners?

This post will hopefully help clear up some definitions of everyday hair products we’ve all heard about which work in perfect harmony together. First step to hair care is to know how Hair Masks and conditioners differ.

If you were wondering what order you should uses these products in it will be towards the bottom of this blog post;)

Let’s get into it!

In what order should I use my hair wash product in?

Firstly, I’d like to answer this question because there are so many terms related to hair care, that it can be confusing to even know which one to use and when! So here you are…

  1. Shampoo
  2. Conditioner OR Deep Conditioner (depends on porosity)
  3. Hair Mask (Once a month or so)
  4. Leave-in conditioner

What is a Hair mask?

There are Two Types of Hair Masks: Protein and Moisturizing Masks.

You can figure out which one you need and how often you need it by identifying what Hair Porosity you have. Hair Porosity is just a fancy term to mean how “thirsty” your hair is.

Basically put it is how much moisture your hair can take in/needs. For example:

  1. High Porosity: Loves Moisture and can take in moisture easily but also loses it easily.(This is all explained in the Hair Porosity post but to quickly explain… It does this because of the way the hair cuticles behave.)
  2. Medium Porosity: Is kind of the goal for high and low porosity because it can take in and lose moisture but it won’t be as drastic as the other two. It can get prone to Frizziness but not an unmanageable amount.
  3. Low Porosity: Does not take in moisture very easily, but doesn’t let the moisture out easily either when absorbed.

How Are Protein Hair Masks Different To Moisturizing Hair Masks?

Protein Hair masks are often described as strengthening. On the other hand, moisturizing hair masks…provide moisture to your hair! But what does that even mean?

To keep it simple, our hair is made up of proteins (keratin) which needs to be rebuilt and repaired from damage. You can help your hair do that by giving it extra proteins, externally, in the form of Protein Hair Masks.

Q. How often Should I do Protein Hair Masks?

Protein Hair masks can be done every 4-6 weeks.

Q. Which Porosity Benefits from Deep conditioners the most?

Due to its lifted hair cuticles, high porosity hair will benefit from protein hair masks the most. This is because the protein will coat the hair strand helping it to retain moisture longer than it usual does. However, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t as beneficial for the other two types…

1.DIY Hair Protein Mask:

You could chose to buy a hair mask, for that I can leave some links in under the DIY. Or you could make it yourself! Which I think is more fun anyway 😉

2. What is a Moisturising Hair Mask?

In simple terms, it’s really just a deep conditioner.

The thing that makes deep conditioners different to normal conditioners is that they have more penetrating ingredients in them. Which can include oils such as; Coconut oil, Olive oil, Avocado Oil etc

So in other words if you add some oils to a standard conditioner then you have a deep conditioner!

Be aware that some hair products may be labelled ‘Deep’ conditioners when really they’re just conditioners. It gives the seller a reason to price the product higher 🙁

Again wether you need deep conditioning or how often you need it will depend on your hair porosity and your general hair care routine.

Q.How often should I deep condition?And how long should I keep a Deep conditioner in my hair?

To answer the first question, very dry hair (eg. low porosity hair,) should aim to deep condition their hair after every shampoo instead of using normal conditioner.

Secondly, deep conditioners should be used for no more than 30 MINUTES. Why should you have a time limit when adding moisture to your hair, isn’t good for it?

Well, yes but over-moisturising is real. It can lead to things such as hygral fatigue and ultimately weak and damaged hair! That is definitely not our goal.

Make sure to check out the blog post on the effects of hair damage, as well as the reasons behind them to understand this better.

Q. Which Porosity Benefits from Deep conditioners the most?

Overall, deep conditioners are great for low porosity hair when used under a steamer/ anything that that will help lift those hair cuticles slightly. This will help the moisture penetrate the hair.

Q. Should I rinse Deep Conditioners out?

Yes, deep conditioners are a great source of hydration for your hair, however, too much moisture is not welcomed by your hair either. Over-moisturizing is a thing!(unfortunately). Over-moisturizing causes hygral fatigue.

What is Hygral Fatigue?

Hygral Fatigue is when your hair swells when wet and shrinks when it dries, this happens back and forth. Swelling and shrinking leads to breakage. Mille Organics explains this it greater depth if you are interested about how over-moisturizing can affect your hair.

DIY Moisturising Hair Mask

What is a Conditioner?

Conditioners are used after shampooing because shampoos open up the hair cuticles to get the dirt and excess oils out to clean and cleans.

The process of shampooing can be pretty harsh for the hair cuticles stripping them of their moisture. Therefore, conditioners are use to close those cuticles back up, locking necessary nutrients and moisture in.

Consequently, conditioners add moisture back in after shampooing, also giving slip to your hair, which eases the hair detangling process.

Finger Detangling is King! Especially when you’re in the shower and your hair is more vulnerable to damage. Using comb and tools is not a great idea, it will cause frizz and breakage.

Of course, do not over finger detangle in the shower either… just the necessary amount.

What is a Leave-in conditioner?

All the moisture from the conditioner we have just put onto our hair has been rinsed away! How can you keep your hair hydrated after that?

Well…Leave-In Conditioners!

Leave-In Conditioners are the base of styling because they will provide and help retain moisture once you have styled your hair. You can absolutely make your own or if you prefer purchasing them aim to buy ones with natural products in them. For example, the Garnier Hair Food 3 in 1 Leave in.

Perfectly sweet and simple after a lengthy blog post! 😉

DIY Leave-in


  • There are Two Types of Hair masks:


2)Moisturising (a.k.a Deep Condtioners)

  • The order to Use Products in is:
  1. Shampoo
  2. Conditioner OR Deep Conditioner (depends on porosity)
  3. Hair Mask (Once a month or so)
  4. Leave-in conditioner
  • What Conditioners you use and how often you use them depends on your hair porosity

Thank you for reading!

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