This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Best hair mask for curly hair

If your curls are dull, dry or frizzy, they may need a deep conditioning mask that will provide hydration to strengthen hair and prevent further damage. Some hair products and treatments can be drying with the addition of harsh chemicals, so it’s always important to read the label to be sure the product won’t damage your hair.

If you are looking for one that is best for perfectly moisturized curls, the Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Deep Hydrating Mask is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a hair mask for curly hair

Shampoo hair before applying

A hair mask for curly hair should be applied to clean, damp hair. Many treatments can be applied in the shower and left on for just a few minutes, while others are recommended to stay on for up to a half-hour. Applying to clean hair free from oil, dirt and product buildup will help the mask penetrate the hair’s shaft for the best hydration and protection.

Leave on overnight

For a deep conditioning treatment, you can apply your mask and leave it on all night. Wrap your hair in a towel or shower cap to keep the product in place while you sleep, and be sure to rinse it out thoroughly in the morning.

Leave-in conditioner

Most hair masks for curly hair need to be rinsed off after use, but some contain natural ingredients that can be left in to protect tighter coils. 

What to look for in a quality hair mask for curly hair


A hair mask for curly hair is designed to moisturize and condition your hair while also strengthening and repairing it. Masks are typically made with hydrating materials such as plant oils, butters and fatty acids designed to smooth the cuticle and improve shine. The addition of keratin and other protein helps strengthen curls and enhance their elasticity. Amino acids work to condition the scalp to promote hair growth, while the lipids used help protect the hair shaft.

Frequency of use

Most masks for curly hair are designed to be used once a week to avoid any product buildup on your scalp. If your hair is very dry and damaged, you may want to use it more frequently.

Conditioning time

A mask for curly hair contains a high concentration of nourishing ingredients that can provide enhanced moisture to your hair in just 10 to 30 minutes. If you have very dry or brittle hair, you may prefer an overnight treatment to provide intensive moisture.

How much you can expect to spend on a hair mask for curly hair

You can find an inexpensive hair mask for curly hair for under $5, but check the ingredients to be sure they won’t dry or further damage your hair. Midrange hair masks for curly hair cost $15-$30 and are free from synthetic dyes and fragrances, while high-end products can cost from $30-$60 for one made with natural ingredients to deliver hydrating results.

Hair mask for curly hair FAQ

How do you apply a hair mask for curly hair?

A. Start by applying your hair mask at your scalp and work your way down from the roots to the ends of your hair. Be sure to check the instructions to see how long you should leave it on before rinsing. When the time is up, be sure to rinse your hair thoroughly to avoid product buildup on your scalp.

Can I use a regular conditioner and a hair mask?

A. On the days you use a hair mask for curly hair, you should skip using your regular conditioner. While it’s safe to use both, avoiding dual conditioning treatments lets you minimize product buildup and not weigh down your hair.

What’s the best hair mask for curly hair to buy?

Top hair mask for curly hair

Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Deep Hydrating Mask 10-Ounce Tub, Deep Hydration Treatment for Curly Hair

Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Deep Hydrating Mask

What you need to know: Designed to moisturize even the driest of curls, this mask contains quality ingredients and is available at an affordable price.

What you’ll love: Its vitamin E, shea butter and avocado oil provide extra conditioning for dry hair. It also does not contain sulfates and helps maintain your scalp’s natural oils. Many users have mentioned that it works great for people with mixed-race hair.

What you should consider: Some reviewers had mixed feelings about the scent and found it a little heavy.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top hair mask for curly hair for the money

amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask

Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask

What you need to know: The luxurious texture of this highly hydrating mask is designed for all curly hair types and comes at a good price.

What you’ll love: The mask has a rich, creamy consistency and is loaded with nutrients and fatty acids, leaving your hair soft and manageable. It does not contain parabens or sulfates and has a lovely scent.

What you should consider: While most users were thrilled with the results, some rare reviewers were unhappy with them.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Sephora

Worth checking out

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

What you need to know: This fan favorite is a top-selling mask that delivers notable results pampering your curls from waves to coils.

What you’ll love: Made with plant-based ingredients such as hydrating argan oil, this nourishing mask smooths frizz and locks in moisture. The ingredients are 95% natural and are free of synthetic dyes and silicone.

What you should consider: Some consumers have reported that overuse of this mask can weigh down thin hair.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Kellie Speed writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.