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Forget your face, here's why hair masks are the new frontier

by Aly Walansky and Kristin Booker /

When it comes to celebrity hair heroes, Jennifer Aniston ranks at the top of our list. Her silky strands always look radiant, smooth and just plain healthy. But without her budget or favorite hairstylist Chris McMillan by our side, how could we commoners ever compete?

 Jennifer Aniston at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 22. David Livingston / Getty Images Contributor

Now, she claims that we can. Living Proof, the hair care line partially owned by Aniston and developed by MIT scientists, has an overnight hair mask called "Night Cap." It's just one of many versions of this trendy beauty treatment, which experts confirm works to repair damaged hair.

TODAY has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by TODAY. All prices are subject to change and items could sell out based on the merchant’s inventory.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector, $28, Sephora

 

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector, $28, Sephora

“Hair masks are intense conditioners that have more fatty acids and lipids in them which can return moisture to the hair and help protect it,” said James Corbett, celebrity hairstylist of James Corbett Studio in New York City and color director for Clairol. “When the hair is healthy, the cuticle stays closed, which means less frizz and your color looks better because light reflects off your hair. Masks can help repair what styling and the environment takes out.”

But which should you buy? For that, we turned to Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé’s “mane” woman Rita Hazan, celebrity hair colorist and owner of Rita Hazan Salon in New York. “It costs more to use good ingredients, so the difference between luxury and mass market products will be the amount of ingredients within the formula,” Hazan said. “One percent Argan oil is cheaper than a high concentration, so spend a little more for maximum benefit.”

Ready to mask away? Here are some favorite hair masks to fit every conceivable hair type, problem and budget:

Hair Food Moisture Hair Mask, $11, Amazon

  Target

Hair Food Moisture Hair Mask, $11, Amazon

How it works: If you’re trying to eat for better overall health, why not consider a mask packed with nutrients that can hydrate and strengthen you strands from the inside out? Infused with honey and apricot fragrance, it will lock in moisture and restore manageability in no time flat.

Marula Pure Beauty Deep Moisture Hair Mask, $36, Amazon

 

Marula Pure Beauty Deep Moisture Hair Mask, $36, Amazon

How it works: An intense conditioning treatment that will help rebalance your scalp and strengthen and improve hair elasticity, all while restoring essential moisture. This hair mask is SUPER hydrating with its key ingredient as you guessed it, Marula Oil.

Briogeo Don’t Despair Deep Conditioning Mask, $36, Sephora

 

Briogeo Don’t Despair Deep Conditioning Mask, $36, Sephora

How it works: This intensive weekly treatment will work to restore hydration and protect hair against future damage.

Bumble and bumble Bb. While You Sleep Overnight Damage Repair Masque, $49, Sephora

 

Bumble and bumble Bb. While You Sleep Overnight Damage Repair Masque, $49, Sephora

How it works: An overnight mask, this is ideal for damaged hair. The evening primose is a great fortifier, both to repair past damage and protect for the future.

Sephora Collection Hair Sleeping Mask, $5, Sephora

 

Sephora Collection Hair Sleeping Mask, $5, Sephora

How it works: These hair sleeping masks are brilliant, and designed to be applied to dry hair, each one designed for a specific hair concern.. Just apply to hair, cover with the included cap, and go to bed. Brings new meaning to sleeping beauty!

Aussie Three-Minute Miracle Conditioning Treatments, $5, Jet

  Aussie

Aussie Three-Minute Miracle Conditioning Treatments, $5, Jet

How it works: What started as a cult favorite lifesaver for immediate nourishment has turned into a complete line of speedy recovery for a whole host of hair problems. From moisture to color conditioning to smoothing, strengthening and shine, these fast hair healers have you covered.

Kevin Murphy Hydrate-me.masque, $45, Amazon

 

Kevin Murphy Hydrate-me.masque, $45, Amazon

How it works: Massage into freshly washed hair and let sit for 5-10 minutes, it’ll leave your hair smoother and shinier. A repairing and smoothing masque infused with Rose Hip & Evening Primrose Oil. Contains Kakadu Plum, Seaweed and vitamin charged treatment capsules that explode on contact to deliver hydration and moisture.

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Masque, $45, Sephora

  Ulta.com

Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Masque, $45, Sephora

How it works: The effects of decades of hairstyles and hair color are dry, dull, lifeless hair. This is like time travel in a jar. Packed with nourishing and sun protecting ingredients, it will revitalize over-processed hair and leave it silky and bouncy as if flat irons were never invented.

John Frieda Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery Deep Conditioner, $9, Jet

  Walmart.com

John Frieda Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery Deep Conditioner, $9, Jet

How it works: If your hair poufs up like a basketball at the very thought of humidity, this repairing hair mask (from the people who brought you other essential frizz-fighting products) will become your new best friend. Packed with essential nutrients and their Amino Repair Complex, it reconstructs the fatty structure of the hair, leaving it feeling and looking healthier than ever.

Want to do more to keep your hair healthy and vibrant? Read about these healthy hair products stylists swear by and check out these flat irons designed to do less damage to your locks.

This article was originally published in April 2015 on Today.com.

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