What’s the Difference Between a Conditioner and Hair Mask?

Woman with conditioner and hair mask

The world of hair care products can sometimes seem a little confusing. This is especially the case when it comes to deciding between a conditioner and hair mask.

It’s common knowledge that both products can be extremely beneficial in enhancing the look and feel of a person’s hair. However, there’s no denying that, at first glance, they do also seem quite similar.

So, stick with us at Evalectric as we dive deeper into the details. What are the main differences between a conditioner and hair mask? And, most importantly, which one should you be using if you want to rock the glossiest mane possible? Read on – we have the answers!

What is a Conditioner & What Does it Do?

Woman using conditioner

A hair conditioner is a product that is used after hair has been shampooed. Although thicker than a shampoo, a conditioner is still a relatively lightweight yet creamy-feeling product.

The purpose of a conditioner is to rehydrate your strands after they have been shampooed. A good conditioner will leave your hair shafts feeling smooth and silky, which will also reduce the look of frizz.

What is a Hair Mask & What Does it Do?

A hair mask is a deep treatment for your locks. Usually thicker and richer than a conditioner, a hair mask will contain ingredients that will deeply enrich the feel of your hair.

Thanks to the high concentration of hair-loving ingredients in a hair mask, these products are great for those who have dry or damaged hair. They’ll leave your strands feeling strong and fortified while reducing the appearance of damage.

The Main Differences Between a Conditioner and Hair Mask

Woman using hair mask

Let’s take a closer look at the main differences between a conditioner and hair mask:

A Hair Mask is Thicker than a Conditioner

The most obvious difference between a conditioner and hair mask is in the consistency of each product.

As we mentioned earlier, hair masks are much thicker than conditioners. As a result, conditioners usually come in a bottle, whereas hair masks are often enclosed in a tub.

A Conditioner Can Be Used More Frequently Than a Hair Mask

Take a look at the usage guidelines on a hair mask and chances are that the recommended usage will be once a week. However, conditioners can be used much more frequently. If you wash your hair three times a week, then a conditioner can also be used three times a week.

Why the difference?

Because a hair mask is a much richer product. It usually contains more oils than a conditioner and, as we said, also boasts a high concentration of actives. While this makes for a great treatment when used occasionally, over-using a hair mask can leave your hair looking greasy. Even worse, all of that extra pampering could end up damaging the feel of your hair.

A Hair Mask Provides Longer-Lasting Improvements Than a Conditioner

The reason why a conditioner can be used several times a week is that its effects are usually quite temporary. While your hair will immediately look healthier after it has been conditioned, those improvements will only last for a couple of days – until your next hair wash day.

On the other hand, the results that you see from a hair mask are longer lasting. This is because a hair mask contains ingredients that are more potent and delve deeper into the hair. This is also why you don’t actually need to use a hair mask more than once a week.

Woman applying hair mask

A Hair Mask is Applied From Root to Tip, Whereas Conditioners Shouldn’t Touch the Scalp

Another big difference between a conditioner and hair mask is how each product is applied. We’ll explain how to use a conditioner and hair mask in more detail later on, but, basically, conditioners are best suited to the ends of your hair. On the other hand, a hair mask can be used all over.

If you apply a conditioner a conditioner to your scalp, you could end up with a head of grease. However, hair masks won’t leave your scalp feeling heavy, unless you naturally have oily hair.

Hair Masks Can Reduce the Look of a Dry Scalp

The reason why it’s safe to use a hair mask on the scalp is that a good hair mask will contain ingredients that will soften and strengthen the feel of your scalp. And, as you likely know, a happy scalp means healthy-looking hair.

This is particularly beneficial for people who suffer from a dry scalp. Regular use of a hair mask will diminish the appearance of flakiness while reducing the itchy sensation that often accompanies a dry scalp. Instead, your scalp will feel renewed and rejuvenated.

So, Should You Be Using a Conditioner or a Hair Mask?

Now that you know the main differences between a conditioner and hair mask, which one should you be using?

For most people, the answer is simple…

Both! Pick the right formulas and your conditioner and hair mask will beautifully complement each other, enhancing the look of your mane even further.

The only exception would be for those who naturally have quite an oily scalp. In this case, while a conditioner is a must to keep the ends of each hair hydrated, you may find that a hair mask leaves your locks feeling even greasier. Of course, this can be avoided by choosing a formula that isn’t too heavy. You could also apply your hair mask to just the ends of your hair, rather than your scalp. It will still provide a deeper treatment to dry ends than a conditioner would.

Choosing a Good Conditioner

Shampoo and conditioner

Throughout this article, we keep referring to “good” conditioners and hair masks. This is because, just like with any cosmetic product, there are both good and bad formulas out there.

Needless to say, your locks deserve the best of the best. This is why we recommend reaching for the Evalectric Moisturizing Conditioner.

Designed to provide an abundance of moisture while leaving your hair feeling protected against dehydration and breakages, this conditioner is truly exquisite. It will leave your hair structure feeling stronger, reduce the look of frizz and static, and restore shine to your mane. What more could you want?!

The key ingredient in the Evalectric conditioner is argan oil. A popular hair care ingredient, argan oil is a go-to for pampering the hair. It’s an incredibly moisturizing botanical oil that leaves the hair looking full, thick, and healthy.

Choosing a Good Hair Mask

Evalectric hair mask

When choosing a hair mask, you need a formula will intensely pamper your strands without leaving them feeling weighed down.

For this, the Evalectric Hair Mask reigns supreme. This moisturizing formula is perfect for hair that feels dry, damaged, or overly processed. It’ll restore the look of health, volume, and shine to your strands, leaving you with a fuller looking mane.

Although both the Evalectric conditioner and hair mask contain argan oil, there are other beneficial ingredients in the hair mask that ensure its efficacy. Panthenol, also known as vitamin B5, is one.

This vitamin is a popular ingredient in hair masks because of how hydrating it is. It leaves the hair feeling strong and supported. As an emollient, panthenol is superb for smoothing and softening the feel of rough hair. However, it also has humectant properties, meaning that it’s capable of binding moisture to your strands. This enables them to swell up and look fuller, with the appearance of frizz and dryness being greatly reduced.

To add to our hair mask’s hydrating capabilities, we’ve also infused this formula with glycerin. You’re probably familiar with glycerin from the skincare products that you use. It’s another humectant, meaning that it’s great for hydrating the skin and hair. Research shows that it’s actually the most effective humectant used in cosmetics, which is why it was a must for our mask.

How to Use a Conditioner

As we discussed earlier, one of the differences between a conditioner and hair mask is how each product is used. So, let’s begin by taking a look at the best way to use a conditioner…

To start with, you’ll need to wash your hair. Most brands produce matching shampoos and conditioners, and Evalectric is no exception. Our Moisturizing Conditioner will work even more effectively on your strands if you use it after shampooing your locks with the Evalectric Moisturizing Shampoo. Just like the conditioner, it’s enriched with argan oil, along with other plant proteins, to give your hair a deep cleanse without leaving it feeling stripped and dry.

Once you’re done shampooing your hair, apply a generous amount of conditioner to your strands. Concentrate the conditioner on the ends of your hair, rather than near the scalp. Then, leave the conditioner on your hair for a while before rinsing it off.

How long should you leave the conditioner in your hair for?

This depends on the state of your hair. For most people, a couple of minutes is all that’s needed. However, if your hair feels particularly dry or damaged, then leave it on for a bit longer if possible. 10-20 minutes should be enough to leave your hair looking deeply renewed!

How to Use a Hair Mask

Woman applying hair mask

Most people choose to use a hair mask in the shower, after washing their hair. When doing so, you can skip the conditioner for that wash, as your hair mask will do that job plus so much more.

That said, some prefer to apply a hair mask to dry hair. There’s nothing wrong with doing this, but it’s worth keeping in mind that damp or wet hair tends to be more porous. This means that it’ll soak up the ingredients in your hair mask to a greater extent than dry hair will.

Whichever you choose to do, scoop out a generous amount of the hair mask from the jar. Massage this into your hair from root to tip. Then, wait 5-8 minutes before rinsing the mask off. If your locks could do with some extra TLC, feel free to leave your hair mask on for longer – say around 20-30 minutes.


As you can see, both a conditioner and hair mask are deserving of a place in your hair care routine. While they may seem similar at first, there are key differences between the two products that clearly set them apart. If you want your hair to look beautifully healthy, glossy, and thick, then both of these products are definitely worth investing in.

Click here to browse more of Evalectric’s bestselling hair care and styling products.

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