How Often Should Women Over 50 Use a Hair Mask?

By on May 18, 2021
hair mask

A hair mask has the same primary purpose as your everyday conditioner. Hair masks deliver moisture and improve your hair strands’ condition. Knowing how to, and how often, to use a hair mask is essential for achieving optimal results. 

Generally, your hair mask should be used once or twice per week in place of your regular conditioner for women over 50. The ideal frequency will depend on the current condition and type of your hair. If your hair is dry or damaged, you will likely need this deep-conditioning treatment more frequently. Healthy or oily hair can get by with less frequent applications.

Hair Mask Benefits

During perimenopause, many women discover their hair thinning. With the fluctuating hormones, women’s hair weakens and becomes more easily damaged than before. When used at the frequency suited for your hair type, hair masks can significantly improve your hair’s health and appearance. A hair mask counteracts the common concerns of women over 50 and gives you hair that is:

  • Shinier
  • Softer
  • Stronger
  • Smoother
  • Less prone to damage

Can I Use a Deep Conditioner Every Day?

Hair masks include more potent concentrations of fatty acids and other hydrating ingredients than standard conditioners that assist in hair growth and thickness. If a little hydration helps, it stands to reason that more must be better, especially if your hair is dry and brittle. With hair masks, this is not the case. 

When you deep condition too often, you run the risk of over-moisturizing your hair and causing issues with your scalp’s natural biome. This is because your hair can only absorb a limited amount of your mask’s extra oils and conditioners. After reaching your hair’s maximum saturation point, you may experience a condition called hygral fatigue. You run the risk of developing hygral fatigue by deep conditioning too often, especially if you have high porosity hair.

Symptoms of hygral fatigue include:

  • A gummy texture when wet
  • Dullness
  • Tangling
  • Frizziness

If your hair begins feeling limp, lifeless, or mushy, reduce your hair mask usage frequency.

Hair Mask Frequency by Hair Type

How often you deep condition your hair will depend on its moisture requirements. There are several variables at work here; therefore, it’s best to focus on your hair’s unique response to the hair mask and adjust the frequency as needed. A good rule of thumb is to start using once per week and then try using your hair mask more or less frequently, depending on what works best for your hair type. 

Dry Hair

Hair masks are designed to deliver ample amounts of hydration to your hair strands. The porous fibers act like a sponge, and a deep condition may be necessary if you have dry hair. Apply a greater amount of product (usually about a quarter-sized) onto your hair twice a week to start. Use it more or less often as needed.

Split Ends and Damaged Hair

Though hair masks cannot restore the broken molecular bonds of damaged hair, they can support up your strands to defend against damage. If your hair has experienced damage, begin by trimming off the broken segments and split ends. Then, deep condition using your hydrating mask two times per week to start.

Frizzy Hair

The cuticle, or surface layer of each hair shaft, is made up of tiny overlapping shingle-like cells. These cells may open or close in response to temperature changes and pH fluctuations. When your cuticles are sealed shut, you’ll have smoother hair that can retain moisture more efficiently. However, when the hair cuticle is open, your hair strands will appear frizzy. Open cuticles also make them more vulnerable to damage due to dryness or humidity. To smooth your cuticles and safeguard your cortex, use your hair mask once or twice per week.

Fine or Oily Hair

As we get older, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels cause our follicles to contract, leading to skinnier strands and thinning hair. For some women, this means less hair to absorb excess sebum. The ultra-hydrating formula of hair masks can overwhelm thin, fine hair if used too frequently. Concentrate your mask application to the very ends of your strands. Limit your mask treatments to a dime-sized amount once a week or every other week — especially if you have an oily scalp and hair.

Curly Hair

Your thick, curly hair will typically benefit from more hair mask applications. This hair type is made up of multiple spirals, making it difficult for sebum oil to evenly spread over each strand. This leaves it vulnerable to frizzing and dryness. To work effectively, you may need to use your hair mask up to twice per week. Your curls will be more defined, bouncier, and less likely to frizz.

What Hair Mask Should I Choose?

Look for hair masks that contain plant-based butter, including macadamia, murumuru, mango, avocado, cupuaçu, plus other nourishing ingredients to ease inflammation related to dryness and itchiness without clogging your pores. Masks were explicitly designed to address the unique hair and scalp challenges that come with age. Here are our top picks:

Use a hair mask after shampooing in place of your conditioner—as often as needed for your hair type. Spread a small (dime- or quarter-sized) amount through your hair. Massage from root to tip for one to three minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with cool water. Once you determine how your hair responds to deep conditioning, incorporate our hair mask as a regular part of your total hair-care routine. 

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How Often Should Women Over 50 Use a Hair Mask?