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How To Determine Your Hair Type & The Right Masque For It
Masquing 101: Learn how to choose the right hair masque for your hair type and how to use it for maximum benefits.
With the recent release of our Rehab Hydrating Masque, you may be wondering which of our creamy, dreamy concoctions is right for your specific hair type.
Hair masques are an excellent addition to your hair care routine because they seal the hair’s cuticle, preventing damage from entering the innermost layers of the follicles.
Sealing the cuticle also adds a smooth, soft, shiny finish to your hair!
One of the biggest determining factors for choosing a masque should be by first understanding your hair type and its specific needs.
But don't worry, we will help you figure out what those are...
(We'll also go in depth about how to use hair masques, so keep reading!)
Identifying your hair type is simple and is based on a combination of: density, strand diameter, porosity, greasiness, elasticity and texture.
Let's break it down...
Density - refers to how much hair you have on your scalp. This is one of the most important factors in determining what type of hair masque, so we’ll start here.
You can determine the density of your hair by grabbing a handful and pulling to the side to reveal your scalp:
If your scalp is highly visible, then you have thin density hair.
If your scalp is only partially visible, then you have medium density hair.
If your scalp is hardly visible, then you have thick density hair.
Diameter - is the size of an individual strand of hair.
This can be determined by taking one strand between the pads of two fingers:
If you can barely feel it, your strands are thin/fine diameter.
If you can somewhat feel it, your strands are medium diameter.
If you can definitely feel it, your strands are thick diameter.
Porosity - is the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture (i.e. the products you use on it).
You can determine your hair’s porosity by placing one strand in a cup of water:
If the strand sinks, your hair has a high porosity, which means it’s more prone to damage and frizz.
If the strand balances somewhere between floating and sinking, you have normal or medium porosity. Your hair is generally less prone to damage and can hold its style better.
If the strand floats, you have low porosity. This means there are less holes or gaps in your cuticle, resulting in the hair being less absorptive and will often stay wet for hours after washing. Good news, your hair is pretty healthy!
Greasiness - this one’s pretty obvious, but it refers to the amount of oil production on your scalp.
The day after washing your hair, take a tissue and press it around your scalp:
If the tissue is saturated with oil, you have greasy hair.
If the tissue only has oil from specific areas on your scalp, you have combination hair.
If the tissue is oil-free, then you have dry hair and scalp.
Elasticity - is a great indicator of hair’s health. The more a strand of hair can stretch before returning to its original state (without breaking) refers to how elastic the strands are.
To determine this, pluck a wet strand of hair and stretch it as much as possible. (Think of it like stretching a rubber band.):
If it stretches a lot, your hair has high elasticity.
If it stretches a little bit before snapping, you have medium elasticity.
If it hardly stretches before snapping, you have low elasticity.
Texture - this you may be more familiar with. Determining your texture is as easy as looking in the mirror at your hair in its natural state. (This chart can help!)
Textures include straight, wavy, curly and coily (with many subcategories in each!).
Now that you’ve identified the different components of your hair type, let’s move on to hair masques!
L'ange Currently Offers Three Unique Hair Masques!
First, we have the heavy-duty Borago Borage Oil Deep Conditioning Mask.
Borago is my deep-conditioning hair masque designed to treat and repair dry, damaged, coarse, and hard-to-manage hair.
This masque is excellent for ladies with thick density, textured and curlier hair, with low elasticity, high porosity (whose hair will drink this masque right up!).
Borago star ingredients include:
Borage Seed Oil - Rich in amino acids, gamma-linolenic acid, and ceramides which make your hair feel softer, thicker and fuller, without adding any weight or greasiness.
Keratin - Keratin mends split ends, combats breakage, and enhances shine, thickness and manageability. It helps to smooth and seal the hair’s cuticle, resulting in sleek, frizz-free strands.
So if you have thick, coarse or textured hair that is dull, damaged or frizzy, Borago will treat your strands to an intense dose of strength and hydration.
Hair will be softer, sleeker, less frizzy and will have increased elasticity and shine!
Next up, is our brand-new Rehab Hydrating Masque!
This masque was designed for ladies with normal-to-medium density hair.
If you have medium elasticity, your hair isn’t overly dry or greasy and you have some damage, then Rehab is perfect for you.
Rehab is also great if you spend a lot of time outdoors, especially swimming and need a reset for your locks.
These are some of Rehab’s hero ingredients:
Keratin - Keratin helps to smooth and seal the hair’s cuticle, resulting in sleek, frizz-free strands. Keratin also mends split ends, combats breakage, and enhances shine, thickness and manageability.
Borage Oil - A hero ingredient that’s touted as one of the most potent omega fatty acids. Borage oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties, nourishes the scalp and eases irritations and circulation issues that disrupt your follicles.
Linseed Oil - Rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin E, linseed oil revives and conditions strands without adding any weight.
Rehab will help to strengthen and smooth your hair, as well as replenish lost moisture, elasticity and shine.
Lastly, we have Silk Vénom Keratin Treatment Masque!
This masque is perfect for fine or thin hair! It’s packed with keratin to help repair and rebuild damage from color treatments and heat-styling.
Silk Vénom is ultra-lightweight, so it won’t weigh you down your thin strands… making it ideal if your hair is on the greasier side.
It repairs elasticity and leaves your hair soft and lustrous.
And it contains healing ingredients like:
Keratin - This reparative protein helps fill in the gaps of hair’s cuticle to strengthen the hair and give it a smoother, sleeker, healthier look and feel.
Vitamin E - This antioxidant heals and hydrates the scalp and strands, helping to mend damage, split ends and encourage new growth.
Meadowfoam Seed Oil - One of the lightest, non-greasy oils available, meadowfoam is excellent at softening, adding shine and smoothing frizz.
Rosemary Leaf Extract - This revitalizing herb helps increase circulation to the scalp, cools on contact and combats dandruff.
So if your hair is fine/thin, with low elasticity and is dry or damaged, give Silk Vénom a try!
Now you know which masque to choose, here are some tips and tricks to maximize your masquing...
Tips For Using Hair Masques
Think about how often you shampoo your hair to determine how many times per week you should use a masque...
For example: If you wash your hair 2 - 3 times per week, using a masque once weekly will be most beneficial.
If you wash your hair daily, try applying a masque up to twice per week (making sure to spread out the days between uses).
When is the best time to apply a masque?
The best time to apply a masque is just after washing your hair. Shampoo as you normally would and instead of using conditioner, apply your hair masque of choice and leave it on for the duration of your shower.
Pay attention to your hair’s specific needs. If you have damaged ends, but your roots are greasy, only apply the masque to the mid-lengths and ends (avoid the scalp region!). On the contrary, if your hair is parched from root to tip, apply the masque all over.
Apply the masque in a downward motion so as not to expose or roughen up the cuticle. The idea is to seal it down, keeping your hair sleek and smooth.
Make sure to follow the directions and wash off after the recommended amount of time.
Also, try the Reversible Shower Cap, which is a masquing must-have! Flip it inside out so the terrycloth is on the outside. The nylon lining will insulate the masque and help it deeply penetrate your hair.
When the time is up, rinse the masque from your hair using cooler water (cold if you can stand it) to help seal the cuticle and lock in moisture and shine.
There is no need to shampoo at this point, as this will strip away the healing and hydrating benefits of the masque. Simply move on to drying or styling.
To Sum it Up...
I hope these tips help you to identify your hair type, the perfect masque for you and some tips and tricks to help you get the maximum benefits from your masque!
Do you have any additional tips and tricks you have for using hair masques? We’d love to hear them!
And if you still have any questions about choosing the right masque, please let us know!
-1- Pooja Karkala, “What Are The Different Hair Types?” How To Determine Your Hair Type?”, www.stylecaster.com, October 9, 2018, https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/how-to-determine-your-hair-type/#gref.
-2- Jenna Rosenstein, “How To Pick The Right Products For Your Hair Type”, www.allure.com, December 22, 2014, https://www.allure.com/gallery/best-products-for-your-hair-type.