Conditioners vs Masks

Conditioners and masks have an important role to play when it comes to keeping your hair in tip-top condition. But what’s the difference between the two? And why do we need both?


Put simply, a conditioner should be used every time you wash your hair while a hair mask is used just once or twice depending on your hair type & how often you wash your hair.


Hair conditioners…

Treat the hair surface, smoothing down cuticles that are raised by shampooing to make hair shinier and less tangled. They are rinsed out very quickly after being applied. Conditioner should be used every time you wash your hair.


Hair masks…

These are much richer and more nutritious. They are designed to penetrate and deep treat the hair and are left on for longer than conditioners. Because the hair absorbs the concentrated goodness in the mask, the results last longer. They will strengthen and nourish your hair, treat damage and make it softer, shinier and bouncier


Types of hair mask

There are different types of hair mask so it can be a bit confusing if you’re trying to choose the best one for your hair type so I suggest you chat with one of our expert stylists and ask for their recommendation.

Hair that is frequently coloured, bleached or styled with heated tools is more likely to need one of the richer masks like our very own 'Samuel Chapman Repair Mask'. This also goes for coarser hair, curly hair and afro hair that are more likely to become dehydrated.


On the other hand, fine hair, or hair that isn’t coloured or heat styled very often would benefit from a lighter mask treatment. I often suggest my clients try our Samuel Chapman leave-in cream serum.

But do ask our expert team for their recommendation at your next appointment or pop into the salon for some professional advice.


Getting the best from hair masks

Hair masks do take longer to work properly than conditioners, so plan to use one when you’re going to have a soak in the bath or watch your favourite TV programme. Make it a special treat – this is definitely not one for your pre-work early morning shower.


Always check the directions for use on each product as they do vary:

  1. Generally, apply non-oil-based masks to wet or damp hair which is porous meaning it absorbs the nutrients better. But don’t apply the mask to soaking wet hair as too much water will dilute it. Pat the excess water off with a towel then apply the mask. However, masks with oil in are best applied to dry hair (this is because water repels oil).

  2. Check if your mask should be applied before shampooing or afterwards. Then make sure you evenly coat your hair and apply enough product.

  3. Don’t guess how long to leave it on for – follow the instructions. Too short and the mask won’t work to its full potential. While too long can lead to hair that looks oily and limp.

  4. Rinse off with lukewarm water (unless the instructions say otherwise).

A hair mask is an intensive treatment so there is no need to use one every time you wash your hair. Weekly or less frequently might be good for you.

We’ve a wide range of conditioners and hair masks for every hair type so pop in for a consultation and we can advise on which ones will suit your hair and your lifestyle and how often to use them.


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