While our changing skin’s needs often demand priority, our poor old hair too often takes a back seat, plodding valiantly along with the usual wash-rinse-repeat treatment, followed by a blast of taming (but far from enriching) hot air. But as we march into spring, we vow that this year we will do better by our neglected locks. And since we don’t have hours to spend in salons, effective (and cost-effective) at home masks are set to be our saviours.

Leaving no strand unturned, from the lush botanicals to the richest oils, we're serving up the ultimate line-up to quench our hair's thirst and give it the care it deserves. Whether you're battling frizz, breakage, or just craving some extra shine, it's time to treat your locks to some proper pampering.

A note: always apply to clean hair, ideally having first washed it twice so that your hair is free to allow the all-important active ingredients to work. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s the way forward for future healthy summer hair.

Coco & Eve

Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque, from £15

The reviews for this product are ecstatic – and with good reason. For a fraction of the cost of a trip to the salon, it smells divine and works wonders in just ten minutes. Featuring ra
w virgin coconut from Bali, fig essence, Argan oil and shea butter, it is sulphate- and paraben-free and leaves even the most dried-out of tresses silky and glossy. And not only that, it also comes with a free two-tiered tangle tamer to work through knots with minimal breakage too. Buy it.


3 Minute Miracle Reconstruct, £4.99
Aussie 3 Minute Miracles Repair 225ml  Copy

Like all Aussie products, its 3 Minute Miracle Reconstruct is vegan and cruelty-free. In addition to that, what we so love about it is that not only is it affordable, but it can be used in a variety of ways: as a daily-use deep conditioner, the titular three-minute hair repair or, when left on for longer, as an intensive and enriching mask. Made with macadamia nut oil, it smells heavenly too, plus the bottle is made from 40 per cent recycled plastic. Wins all round. Buy it.

Philip Kingsley

Elasticizer, £24.95 (Usually £36)
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Hair Treatment 150ml

Just as its creator was a demigod in the world of hair care, Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer is an icon amongst hair masks. Nutrient-rich, it has been around forever precisely because it works like a dream. As its name suggests, it promotes elasticity, alongside bounce and strength – and in large part that’s thanks to the castor oil that locks in moisture, the olive oil that moisturises and adds shine, and the hydrolysed elastin that gives strands promotes suppleness. Try it and you will not look back – and given that Kingsley originally made it for Audrey Hepburn, we surmise that it is good enough for us. Now to snip a Roman Holiday-style fringe. Buy it.


OUAI Fine – Medium Hair Treatment Masque, £34
OUAI Fine-Medium Hair Treatment Masque 236ml  Copy

For a start, we simply love the look of this pot, which is restrained, chic, elegant – and a lovely addition to our bathroom cabinet. Aesthetics aside, it does a grand job of hydrating hair too, restoring and softening damage by coating hair in a moisturising blanket courtesy of its excellent active ingredients: shea butter, panthenol and hydrolysed keratin. This formula is specifically for fine to medium hair, but the brand also makes one for thick hair too. Buy it.

Fable & Mane

HoliRoots Repairing Hair Mask, £32

Fable & Mane was set up by sisters Nikita and Akash Mehta whose founding mission was to infuse western hair care with the Indian wisdom they grew up with. This product harks back to the hair-oiling rituals of the sisters’ childhood and, into the bargain, leaves stressed-out tresses shiny, no matter their texture – and that’s all thanks to the softening effects of shea butter, sugarcane and coconut water. We can’t praise it enough. Buy it.


The Crown Boost Conditioning Treatment, £18
STRAAND The Crown Boost Anti-Dandruff Prebiotic Conditioning Treatment 220ml

Good hair health starts with good scalp health and that’s what STRAAND’s Crown Boost Conditioning Treatment is all about. Designed to soak into hair follicles to nourish and promote health, it contains jojoba and sweet almond oil for added shine, as well as a rosebay extract which is designed to support the scalp’s microbiome. Buy it.


No 3 Hair Perfector, £19.95
OLAPLEX Hair Perfector No.3 Repairing Treatment, 100ml

Olaplex’s No 3 Hair Perfector works as a bond builder, reducing breakages and visibly repairing hair. This one can be used as a 10-minute pre-shower mask at home, as opposed to many of the brand’s other products, which are designed for in-salon use only. The perfect, salon-approved remedy for bleach- or colour-damaged hair. Buy it.

By Nancy Alsop
March 2024