After nearly 26 years as a true brunette, I decided to test out the theory that blondes have more fun. The jury is still out on that, but what I do know is unnatural blondes have way more hair damage. With my new colour came compromised hair health and a brand new routine rooted in rebuilding my hair's strength and moisture levels. That means lots and lots of deep-conditioning hair masks.
Combined with the right shampoo and less heat styling, hair masks have helped nurse my dry, brittle, broken hair back to health. In the full year since I've been a blonde, I've tested out more than I can remember, but these nine are the formulas that have made a lasting impression. Keep scrolling for my favorites at every budget.
Kerastase Masque Thérapiste, $66; at adorebeauty.com.au.
This hair mask is made with amino acids that actually cling to damaged areas of the hair. This helps make up for any loss of volume. Work the thick cream through your hair and let the formula sit for 10 minutes. After you rinse and let your hair dry, it'll feel immediately smoother and softer.
Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3, $50; at adorebeauty.com.au.
If you think you've heard the word "Olaplex" around your salon, you're not wrong. Your colourist is probably referring to a professional-grade hair treatment designed to relink the broken bonds that chemical treatments, like bleaching or dying your hair, cause. The brand formulated an at-home system with that very same active ingredient that saves your hair from damage. All you have to do is soak towel-dried hair in the formula for 10 minutes max and then rinse.
L'Oreal Paris Instant Miracle Mask, $5; at priceline.com.au.
For only $5, this rinse-out hair mask moisturizes; helps to repair split ends; and minimizes weakness, roughness, and dullness.
Garnier Nutrisse Avocado Enriched Mask, $14; at priceline.com.au.
Got 60 seconds? That's all the time you need for this avocado extract-rich hair mask to work its magic. It hydrates and calms your hair, ridding it of flyaways and frizz.
Bumble and bumble, $72; at mecca.com.au.
No one has time to let a hair mask sit for six hours during the day. But if you can sleep in it? Sure. This particular mask uses ingredients that restore hair health, but also protect against future damage. Work the formula through your hair, wrap it up in a bun, and head to bed. In the morning, rinse and style as usual.
TRESemmé Expert Selection Recovery Mask, Repair & Protect 7 Instant, $8; at priceline.com.au.
There isn't just one culprit behind hair damage, so TRESemmé made a mask that attacks every cause, like brushing, blow-drying, bleaching, coloring, curling, flat-ironing, and braiding, in a single use.
This article originally appeared on InStyle U.S.