Check out the results fast – here are our review winners

Whether your curls are damaged, looking a little limp and lifeless, or just in need of some love and care, the best hair masks for curly hair can restore your once limp curls to bouncy, defined, and full of life. Sounds pretty good, right?

Well, you’re at the right place!

Maintaining a good deep conditioning routine is key to bouncy and defined curls. It gives them the hydration kick they need as it penetrates much more deeply into the hair strand than your regular conditioner or co-wash can. 

However, finding a deep conditioning hair mask treatment for curly hair is no easy task; we need to be savvy with what ingredients to avoid, and even after that, it’s not guaranteed that the hair mask will work with your hair type. 

But don’t let that put you off.

It’s fairly simple to work out what to look for based on your hair type; you need to know your hair porosity and curl type, which should narrow down the search for you sufficiently. 

To make things easier for you, I have hunted down the very best hair masks for curly hair, including one for every curl type, so all you need to do is work out your hair porosity and curl type, and you’re good to go– don’t worry I have a full guide for each. 

Let’s jump in; you won’t want to miss my top 3 picks. 

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the best hair mask for curly hair

1.

Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate Shea Butter Hair Mask

best hair mask for dry curly hair

Coming in at number one is a brilliant and affordable natural hair mask for Maui. It will deeply quench, nourish and soften dry, damaged curls and be revived with the brilliant blend of shea butter, coconut oil, and macadamia oil. 

This natural ingredients blend helps moisturize each strand and mend split ends; it leaves hair looking and feeling soft and hydrated. It even includes aloe vera juice which is brilliant at strengthening and protecting strands. 

But what makes this treatment so great for curly hair?

For starters, this mask uses all-natural ingredients such as shea butter which is frequently found in curly hair treatments because of its emolliating qualities. It softens and smoothes the cuticle to lock in moisture and deeply nourish curls.

Coconut oil is another brilliant ingredient that is seriously beneficial for curly hair. It can help moisturize and provide a protective coating to seal the hair.

It also helps seal split ends and strengthens hair to prevent breakage. The high vitamins and essential fatty acids penetrate deep into the hair strands to moisturize the hair.

But wait, here’s more. 

This treatment even includes aloe vera, which is a brilliant humectant. It has many active ingredients that work to strengthen your strands. It can even promote hair growth by stimulating the scalp and strengthening the ends.

So all these beneficial hydrating and nourishing ingredients and Maui’s Hair Mask are also free of nasty chemicals like silicones, sulfates, and parabens. All ingredients are natural and even vegan!

This is the treatment if you have high porosity and thick and coarse curls; it will nourish your curls and seal in moisture without weighing your curls down. 

Pros
  • All-natural derived ingredients
  • It contains shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera
  • Free of harsh chemicals and vegan
  • Ideal for tight curls and coils 
Cons
  • None

Latest deal: Maui Moisture Heal & Hydrate Hair Mask

2.

Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Hair Mask

best hydrating hair mask for curly hair

 

If you’ve read any of my other guides, you’ll know that I am a personal fan of Moroccanoil; In contrast, their products are slightly more expensive than others I have reviewed; you are definitely paying for high-quality, professional products.

This treatment was formulated for medium to thick, dry hair. Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask is a rich and creamy deep conditioner that moisturizes and improves texture. It nourishes curls and gives them a little bounce they need. 

It is formulated with argan oil which prevents dry, brittle hair. It nourishes curls by providing a water-oil barrier which is brilliant for locking in moisture. Water-based moisture cannot pass through an oil barrier, so argan oil acts as a barrier to seal in moisture.

As if that was enough…

This Intense Hydrating Hair Mask also contains linseed extract, which helps prevent breakage and frizz and providing a seal over the cuticle. These nourishing ingredients not only hydrate curls but also strengthen curls to protect them from damage. 

It is brilliant for extremely thick curly hair that needs a little TLC; it will provide that moisture kick that your hair needs. It leaves curls feeling soft and less frizzy, which is a huge bonus for my curlies and coilies. 

The cherry on top of the cake is that this brand is sustainably produced, making it another winning product on my list. 

Pros
  • Rich and creamy 
  • Moisturizes and improves the texture of curls
  • Formulated with argan oil and linseed extract
  • Helps smooth frizz
Cons
  • May not work for fine curls

Latest deal: Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Hair Mask

3.

SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Hair Mask

best hair mask for low porosity hair 

SheaMoisture is another brilliant, affordable, and natural brand like Maui that offers top-quality products for curls. This Intensive Hydration Hair Masque infuses hair with a powerful dose of moisture and works to soak in moisture to the cuticle.

If you have low porosity hair, then this hair mask is for you.

You can pair this hair mask with a heated hair cap or hair steamer to help open the cuticle so the treatment can penetrate deeply rather than sit on top. Once the moisture is in, then brilliant, your curls will feel refreshed for days to come!

This deep conditioning hair mask smooths and fortifies the cuticle for stronger, healthier, frizz-free curly hair. It is infused with Manuka Honey, Mafura Oil, and Fig Extract that has some serious benefits for curly hair.

Manuka honey is known for sealing in moisture, resulting in shine, volume, and softness. It is also known to tame frizz and define curls, adding bounce to once lifeless curls. It even reduces breakage in the hair too. 

Mafura oil is a brilliant emollient, ideal for parched, dry hair. It offers remarkable conditioning capabilities and works to moisturize all hair strands and lock in moisture. 

Figs are rich in vitamin C and E, which help fight hairloss. Fig extracts are also high in vitamin K, which helps maintain healthy hair, plus the calcium in figs helps the formation of collagen, making hair more elastic and less prone to breakage. 

Some pretty awesome qualities, right?

Well, to top it all off, this intensive hydration hair mask is formulated with no sulfates, no parabens, no phthalates, no mineral oil, no animal testing, and no petrolatum. It is sustainably made and profits go back into local communities to combat poverty. 

SheaMoisture is constantly winning!

Pros
  • Smooths and fortifies the cuticle
  • Strengthens and hydrates hair
  • Infused with manuka honey, mafura oil, and fig extract
  • Sustainably produced and profits go back into local communities 
Cons
  • Odd smell but not noticeable

Latest deal: SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Hair Mask

4.

Carol’s Daughter Coco Creme Deep Moisture Hair Mask

Carol’s Daughter is another renowned brand in the curly girl community; their products are designed for the loosest of waves to the coiliest of curls. If you have curly hair, then Carol’s Daughter has you covered.

This extreme moisture gives a buttery dose of replenishing hydration, offering extreme moisture and leaving hair feeling stronger, shinier, and touchably softer after each treatment with curls or coils looking defined. 

Formulated with Mango Seed Butter, Coconut Milk, Coconut Oil, and Murumuru Butter work together to nourish and hydrate very dry curly to coily hair deeply. It works best for 3c to 4c hair but can be used on all curls. 

Mango Seed Butter has deep moisturizing and regenerative effects on both the strands and scalp. It works to fortify strands inside out, soften dry hair, reduce split ends, and smooth split ends. 

Coconut oil has deep moisturizing ingredients. It also helps seal split ends and strengthens hair to prevent breakage. The high vitamins and essential fatty acids penetrate deep into the hair strands to moisturize the hair.

But that’s not all…

Coconut milk has a high-fat content, high protein content and is packed with vitamin C, E, and B vitamins to nourish hair from roots to ends. Coconut milk is brilliant for restoring thinning hair, split ends, and dry, damaged hair.

Murumuru Butter has a high lauric acid content, a fatty acid known to penetrate the hair shaft; it also allows for efficient moisture retention by sealing the cuticle. It can even protect against UV and heat damage. 

This is a brilliant blend of ingredients that will be the hair savior for your quenched curls. 

Pros
  • Formulated with mango butter, coconut milk, oil, and murumuru butter
  • High-fat content, high protein and packed with vitamins
  • Strengthens and nourishes hair strands
  • Ideal for 3b-4c curls
Cons
  • None

Latest deal: Carol’s Daughter Coco Creme Hair Mask

5.

Arvazallia Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask

It’s time to fall in love with your curls again with this brilliant hydrating hair mask by Arvazallia. It leaves hair feeling soft, silky, and manageable. Whether your curls are dry and damaged or just in need of a hydration kick, Arvazallia is here to help. 

This Deep Conditioning Argan Oil hair mask will reinvigorate and revitalize your hair, leaving it soft, silky, and easier to manage. It also revives dull, dry, and limp curls, leaving them looking defined and restored with shine. 

Infused with high-quality argan oil and essential vitamins and nutrients will leave your hair feeling nourished. Argan oil is brilliant for preventing dry, brittle hair and nourishes curls by providing a water-oil barrier to lock in moisture. 

But that’s not even the best bit!

The nutrients used in this deep conditioning mask also protect and shield hair from damage caused by heat styling; it not only acts as a nourishing mask but also as a heat protectant. 

To top it all off, it can be used on all hair types, including permed, natural, and curly hair. It is sulfate-free and paraben-free, making it the perfect product to use on your precious curls.

With over 30K glowing reviews, you can’t go wrong!

Pros
  • Argan oil, essential nutrients and vitamins
  • Hydration kick
  • Deep conditioning and nourishing
  • Water-oil barrier to lock in moisture
Cons
  • Doesn’t work for all curly hair

Latest deal: Arvazallia Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask

6.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

Whether you have frizzy, unruly curls or extreme coils, you may need a nourishing deep conditioning hair mask designed for smoothing and taming the frizz. 

When your hair is dry and damaged, it is more prone to frizz, so by restoring and retaining moisture using a deep conditioning mask, you’ll notice your curly looks look more defined, nourished, and frizz-free. 

Briogeo is an intensive weekly treatment for dry, damaged, chemically treated, or lifeless hair. It works within minutes to restore essential hydration within minutes. 

It is free from silicones, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and artificial dyes, making it perfect for those doing the Curly Girl Method as it is a gentle treatment that will nourish curls. 

But wait, get this:

This treatment is packed with b-vitamins, including biotin, which works to fortify and restore health to the hair damaged by heat or chemical treatments. It gives the ends of your hair that little boost it needs. 

It even contains rosehip oil, essential fatty acids that balance hair hydration and control frizz, while the almond oil enhances the shine, luster, and moisture of dry and weak hair. Plus the argan oil is a great moisturizing ingredient too. 

To top it all off, the ingredients are 98% naturally reived, cruelty-free, and specially formulated, not to include all the nasty chemicals that are a no-no for curly hair. I’m proud to say Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair is a winner for nourishing curls. 

Pros
  • Packed with b-vitamins including biotin
  • Free of all the nasty ingredients like silicones, parabens, and sulfates
  • Ideal for dry curls
  • Helps tame frizz 
Cons
  • None

Latest deal: Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! 

7.

Coco & Eve Like a Virgin Hair Masque

Cue the social media sensation curly girl hair mask. The winner of 13 beauty awards is the hair mask that everyone is talking about. It hydrates, conditions, improves hair texture, adds shine, and tames frizz in an easy application hair mask. 

So let’s talk about this 5-in-1 mask in more detail. 

The first benefit is that it revives dry, damaged, and brittle hair caused by heat damage, chemical treating, or the environment. It then restores hair to its pure state, so it’s “virgin” again. 

It will thirdly repair hair from the inside out, leaving curls feeling healthy and lustrous. It then works to tame frizz and split ends, leaving curls feeling more manageable and stronger. Finally, it conditions from root to tip to hydrate every strand.

Say bye-bye to bad hair!

 It is a mane changer; unlike cheap hair products with lots of harsh chemicals and nasties, Coco & Eve only includes goodness with zero nasties. It is cruelty-free, PETA-approved, 100% vegan, and made without sulfates, parabens, or phthalates. 

It contains raw virgin coconuts to strengthen and nourish ends, fig, and shea butter to moisturize and detangle, linseed to improve texture and gloss, and argan oil to tame frizz ad leave hair feeling more manageable. 

This natural blend of ingredients. It is the key to healthy curls; I couldn’t think of a better blend. Humidity is not a girl’s best friend, and this treatment even helps tame frizz and dryness caused by a humid climate. 

This treatment even includes a detangling wet brush that can be used when the treatment is on to detangle knots and prevent snagging or pulling on curls. A good detangling brush is every curly girl’s best friend. 

Pros
  • Free of nasty chemicals, vegan and cruelty-free
  • Nourishing natural ingredients
  • Tames frizz and helps tackle humidity 
  • Repairs hair inside and out
Cons
  • Pricey

Latest deal: Coco & Eve Like a Virgin Hair Masque

Best Hair Mask For Curly Hair-- A Buyer’s Guide:

Anyone with curly hair knows the struggle of keeping curls hydrated and moisturized. Sadly curly hair is the driest hair type because the natural oils have a hard time reaching from the scalp to the ends; keeping up a deep conditioning routine is key to luscious curls.

Hair masks that are specific to curly hair provide the nourishment and hydration needed. To revive curls. They also have active ingredients which can actually define and shape the curl– not to mention the detangling properties. 

When looking for a hair mask, there are some ingredients you need to avoid and specific ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil, shea butter, etc., to look for as these are key hydrating ingredients. 

I’m here to go through everything you need to know when buying a hair mask for curly, along with how long you should deep condition your curls. Let’s jump in with all the nitty-gritty details! 

What Does Deep Conditioner Do?

So we know that a deep conditioner is a hair mask we leave on for a few minutes to half an hour and then wash off, but what exactly does it do for curly hair, and is it worth including in your hair care routine?

Deep conditioning hair masks have some serious benefits for all hair types but especially curly hair. Since curly hair is the driest hair type, all hair masks rejuvenate curls and give them the hydration kick they need.

Deep conditioners are an intense hair mask or hair treatment formulated with key conditioning agents designed to restore your hair’s moisture levels, reduce hair breakage, and improve hair elasticity.

That last two benefits are crucial, especially for curly hair, as curly hair can only be brushed while wet, so it will tend to lose elasticity and can cause a storm of breakage if you brush your curls the wrong way. Learning to brush your curls and using the right products will make a world of difference for your curls.

Deep conditioners contain humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Humectants draw in moisture to the hair shaft while also retaining moisture and prevent loss of moisture. Emollients help soften and smooth the cuticle, which forms a film over the hair. Occlusives can also provide a barrier over the cuticle to prevent loss of water.

If these three work together, they provide the most hydration, protection, and moisture retention possible for your hair.

How To Use Deep Conditioner For Curly Hair

So fast forward to hair washing day; this is the day I would recommend you do your deep condition. If you have dehydrated hair, I recommend you should deep condition weekly on wash day, but if not, every other week will be fine. 

The first thing you’ll want to do is wash your hair, I would recommend you do this on the days you use your sulfate-free shampoo or low-poo shampoo, but you can still do it when you co-wash your hair. 

Once you’ve washed your hair twice and massaged your scalp for a good minute or two, you should apply a generous amount of your conditioning treatment mask. You can apply to the root of your scalp is dry but mainly focus on the mid-lengths and ends. 

This is where your curls are driest and need the most hydration. 

Starting at the tips of your hair, grab yourself a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush and start combing through your hair; this will help the hair mask penetrate more deeply and ensures even coverage. Then scrunch the ends, so the moisture enters the cuticle. 

If you have some time on your hands, you can wrap your hair up in a microfibre towel or cotton t-shirt and leave the treatment on your hair for 30 minutes; this will help the goodness penetrate your hair. 

If you have low porosity hair, you can also use a heated cap to help open the cuticle, so as much moisture is absorbed as possible and none is left sitting on the surface.

For high porosity hair, you should rinse with cool water to help seal the cuticle and retain moisture. Once you’ve rinsed, apply your leave-in conditioner and sealing styling products, this should help retain moisture. 

Ingredients That Are Deeply Nourishing For Curly Hair

When looking for deep conditioning treatment maks, some ingredients are really nourishing for your hair if they’re naturally derived. If not, you can make your own DIY hair mask using these ingredients here.

Here are the top ingredients for hydrating, nourishing, repairing, and strengthening curls.

Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil has some brilliant benefits as a hair mask or leave-in treatment. It can help moisturize and provide a protective coating to seal the hair.

It also helps seal split ends and strengthens hair to prevent breakage. The high vitamins and essential fatty acids penetrate deep into the hair strands to moisturize the hair.

When applied to curly hair, coconut oil helps heal protein loss, add moisture and strengthen the hair strands over time. Using this treatment regularly can also help increase shine, softness, manageability, and help reduce frizz. 

It is found in most curly girl products because of its major emollient qualities; it can help smooths and soften the cuticle creating a barrier to seal in moisture and protect curls from damage.

Coconut milk:

Coconut milk has a high-fat content, high protein content and is packed with vitamin C, E, and B vitamins to nourish hair from roots to ends. Coconut milk is brilliant for restoring thinning hair, split ends, and dry, damaged hair.

Coconut milk can also work as a conditioner and detangler while promoting hair growth. Coconut milk is even high in lauric acid, which penetrates the hair deeply and helps to strengthen the cuticle.

This makes it another brilliant ingredient for deep conditioning your hair as it penetrates the hair deeply and restores and nourishes the cuticle.

Jojoba Oil:

Jojoba oil can moisturize the scalp and can be used as a dandruff remedy. Jojoba oil is rich in vitamins and minerals which nourish hair. These vitamins include vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, and zinc.

It provides a protective coating over each strand which helps reduce frizz, lock in moisture and leave hair feeling soft, shiny, and tangle-free. It promotes curly elasticity, allowing curls to bounce back and prevent breakage during wet brushing.

It also promotes hair growth by stimulating the scalp; it is a natural emollient known the smooth the cuticle and strengthen hair strands, which helps promote healthy hair growth.

Jamaican black castor oil:

Jamaican black castor oil has some serious benefits on curly hair; it can promote hair growth, moisturize dry hair and strengthen thin hair. This prevents hair breakage and helps heal split ends. 

It is mainly used to help thinning curls as it helps strengthen the hair strand and promote healthy hair growth, so curls look thicker and much more defined. It even has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties making it ideal for problematic scalps. 

Honey:

Honey is another brilliant ingredient to look out for, especially for curly hair. Honey has both emollient and humectant properties, making it an excellent hair moisturizer.

Emollients help smooth the hair follicle and add shine to full hair, while humectants bond with water to add moisture and seal in moisture. Honey helps replenish moisture and helps fuse vitamins and minerals into our hair strands.

It also improves natural hair conditions by softening the hair cuticle, reducing frizz, and promoting the natural curl shape.

Aloe Vera Gel:

Aloe vera is especially beneficial for curly hair as it helps strengthen and protect the hair strand. Aloe vera is a natural humectant that works with the environment to draw moisture and keep hair hydrated.

It is known as the plant with many surprises.

Aloe vera has many active ingredients that work to strengthen your strands. It can even promote hair growth by stimulating the scalp and strengthening the ends. It penetrates deep into the hand strand to nourish and moisturize the cuticle.

It can also protect your hair from UV damage; aloe vera gel forms a seal over the cuticle, which can help protect it from UV and heat damage.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How often should you deep condition your hair?

How often you should deep condition your hair is really down to you and your hair type. If you have particularly dry, brittle, and damaged hair, you should try to deep condition once a week.

If you have quite normal hair and it is in fairly good condition, maybe a little dry at times (as expected with curls) but all in all in good condition, you can then get away with using a deep conditioning hair mask every 2 weeks. 

What ingredients should you avoid in a hair mask for curly hair?

When it comes to caring for curls, we all know by now that there are some ingredients that we should definitely avoid as they can damage the natural curl shape and texture along with being very stripping for the hair or not coming out with co-wash. 

Here are the top ingredients you should avoid:

  • Sulfates
  • Silicones
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Mineral oil
  • Waxes
  • Harsh chemicals 

What is the difference between a hair mask and a deep conditioner?

Your regular conditioner is typically done in the shower with a thinner conditioning shampoo; it tends to soften the cuticle and has some benefits for hydrating your hair.

On the other hand, deep conditioners penetrate more deeply and offer more hydrating qualities and benefits for your hair. They can help provide a seal over your hair to protect and strengthen hair. They can even promote hair growth. 

Deep conditioners are often applied for a longer period, too. Rather than just being washed off straight away, they act as a mask over your hair and can repair damaged and brittle hair. 

Can you make your own deep conditioning hair mask?

Absolutely! It’s quite straightforward too, all you need is a couple of ingredients from your local store and a glass jar to mix them all in. It allows you complete control of the ingredients you put in and the benefits.

Check out the full guide of my top DIY hair mask recipes here.

Summary

Keeping up a regular deep conditioning routine will TRANSFORM your curls; if you have slightly dry, lifeless, or damaged curls, then something as simple as a regular deep conditioning routine will make a world of difference for your curls. 

Whether you choose one of the deep conditioning masks I have selected for you off this list or if you decide to use one of my recipes, make sure you choose one that works for your curl type and hair porosity. 

This will seriously up your curl game.

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Jess Rowley

Cheif Editor & Nail Technician Expert

ABOUT

Jess Rowley, a veteran nail tech, has been studying beauty over the last 11 years and has completed the nail technology program in California. Watching the latest trends in beauty, Jess searches for the highest quality products that make your nails feel loved.