Behind the Masque: Intensive Hair Treatments
Hair care is a big business, and there are countless products and procedures available to help you get whatever type of hair you want, and to deal with nearly every hair problem.
It can get confusing without a little guidance. For instance, we’ve all heard of hair masques (hair masks), and deep conditioners, but probably only a few of us really understand what the differences are. Trust me, there are differences,
and let’s take a look at them.
All of the services and products available for the hair that aren’t designed to actually chemically change the texture or color of the hair or aren’t specifically used to style the hair
will generally fall under the category of “hair treatments”.
Hair treatments can take different forms depending on the purpose they are intended to serve. You have deep conditioners which are pretty much what they sound like: treatments designed to
penetrate deep into the hair shaft and rehydrate and moisturize the hair to combat dryness and leave the hair soft and silky-feeling.
You can also have hair masques, which generally are intended to repair specific types of hair damage or combat specific problems. Common hair masques are designed to smooth the cuticle layer
of the hair or tighten it and seal the hair against porosity to help retain shine, strength and even color.
Types of Treatments / Masques
Here are some of the most common types of hair treatments and masques that are used, what you are likely to find in them, what they are meant to do and how often you should use them:
Protein Packs (hair masque)
Protein packs are pretty much what they sound like: treatments that contain high concentrations of vegetable and/or animal protein. Common ingredients are things like banana, gelatin,
animal placenta, and lately keratin.
The purpose is to infuse the hair and help restore strength and structural integrity that can be lost as a result of repeated heat styling and chemical services like bleaching. Protein
packs are generally intended for use every 8 to 12 shampoos (or once a month for daily shampooers) as overuse can result in the hair becoming brittle and hard.
Thickening / Volumizing (hair masque)
These hair masques usually contain slightly elevated pH formulas that are intended to remove residues and gently swell the hair shaft to give the hair the look and feel of being thicker
and more voluminous. Common ingredients include things like panthenol, acacia and aloe vera.
These masques are generally used by individuals with fine, thin hair or whose hair is normal in texture but seems limp and
lifeless. Volumizing hair masques should usually be used every week for daily shampooers or every 5-6 shampoos for those who don’t shampoo every day.