Hair creams (1) and hair masks (2) are top-rated products used for hydrating and nourishing hair. Hair creams allow easy styling and maintenance of the hair, (3) whereas hair masks treat and revive the hair. (2)
The main difference between a hair cream and a hair mask is that a hair cream is a leave-in product and is used for styling; this means it typically has a lighter consistency than a hair mask. A hair mask has a thick consistency and is used for hair rejuvenation; it is applied for 10–15 minutes and then washed off.
The good news is both can be used as per your needs, choice, and as per your suitability for getting beautiful, healthy, gorgeous, and groomed hair.
Continue reading to learn more about the differences between a hair cream and a hair mask and how you can make your own hair mask and cream at home.
Differences Between Hair Creams and Hair Masks
The following are the differences between a hair cream and a hair mask.
Hair cream is a styling product. It can hold your hair in place, shape it, and add texture and shine. (3) Hair creams, commonly called styling creams, add natural shine to rough hair. They are used to achieve a casual and natural hair finish while giving nourishment.
A hair mask gives your hair a deep-conditioning treatment; it repairs damage and provides hydration and nourishment to the hair, making it soft, smooth, and moisturized. (2)
Hair creams contain polymers, distilled water, oils, silicones, wax, and other ingredients that offer shine, hold, and hair protection. (1)
Hair masks contain natural oils and ingredients such as avocado, brahmi, tulsi, bhringraj, banana, hibiscus, neem, shikakai, and amla. They restore the hair’s hydration and provide nourishment. (2)
Hair creams are applied to wet, slightly damp, or dry hair before styling. Rub the cream between your palms and distribute it evenly on your hair. It does not require washing off.
Hair masks are applied to wet hair after shampooing and before conditioning. (2)
Massage the mask on your scalp and then comb your hair to spread the mask evenly. Leave it on for 15–20 minutes and then rinse it off.
Hair creams can be applied every day or whenever you want to style your hair. When used in moderation, it has no adverse effects.
A hair mask must be applied once or twice a week based on the condition of your hair. Using it regularly can improve the appearance and health of your hair. (2)
Hair creams allow you to achieve the desired shape, style, and hold of your hair. They also protect the hair from environmental damage and add texture and shine. (3)
Hair creams form a greasy film that makes the hair easy to shape and comb. They have high elasticity, are non-greasy, and can help remove dandruff, relieve itching, and stop hair loss. (1)
A hair mask can penetrate the scalp and hair shaft due to its rich, thick, paste-like consistency. (2) If not washed off properly, your hair may become oily or heavy.
Hair creams are suitable for all hair types, from healthy, straight, and curly hair to dry or broken hair.
Hair masks are also suitable for all hair types but they are best suited for impaired, dry, frizzy, dull, or chemically treated and damaged hair. (2)
How to Use a Hair Cream
Follow these steps to apply a hair cream.
- Take a pea-sized amount of cream in your hand.
- Apply it to your hair and roots using your fingertips.
- Massage the cream gently for at least 2 minutes.
- Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Wash it off with water.
How to Use a Hair Mask
Follow these steps to apply a hair mask.
- Wash your hair thoroughly using a mild shampoo.
- Part your hair in sections, and apply the hair mask one section at a time.
- Let it sit for 3–5 minutes.
- Wash it off thoroughly with water.
- Style your hair as usual.
Equal distribution of a hair mask is crucial. You can use a wide-toothed comb to evenly spread the mask.
How to Make a Natural Hair Cream and Hair Mask at Home?
You can make a natural hair cream and mask in the following ways.
Natural hair cream
With the goodness of vitamin A, shea butter is an excellent ingredient for the hair. It beautifies it, prevents brittleness, eliminates dandruff, and makes the scalp soft. Shea butter treats damaged, dull hair from sun exposure, wind, or heating devices. (4)
Argan oil moisturizes hair. Coconut oil protects the hair from UV damage and fungal infections and moisturizes it. (5)
Aloe vera is an excellent ingredient for the scalp and hair as it fights dandruff and hair loss. (6) Rosemary has anti-inflammatory, antidandruff, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties and is used to stimulate hair growth medicinally. (7)
Using a night cream containing all these ingredients can nourish the hair and promote hair health.
How to use:
- Put a double boiler over simmering water.
- Put 3 tbsp of coconut oil, ¼ cup of shea butter, and 1 tbsp of argan oil in the top pan. Stir for at least 5 minutes or until they melt.
- Take the mixture off the heat and let it cool down for at least 5 minutes, ensuring it does not turn solid.
- Put this mixture in a blender or food processor. Blend until its texture turns smooth.
- Add 2 tbsp of aloe vera juice to the blender, and blend slowly for 3–5 minutes until the mixture turns creamy.
- Add 3–4 capsules of vitamin E oil and 7 drops of rosemary oil. Blend well.
- Your homemade hair cream is ready for use. Apply it to your hair.
Natural hair mask
According to researchers, multani mitti can cleanse the scalp effectively, improve blood circulation, and smoothen and condition the hair.
Fenugreek seeds stop premature graying, treat scalp issues and follicular problems, strengthen the hair from the roots, and add shine.
How to use:
- Mix 1 tbsp of fenugreek seed powder, 2 tbsp of multani mitti, and 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a bowl. Stir until a paste forms.
- Apply it to your hair.
- Let it sit for 15–20 minutes.
- Wash it off with water.
Can I apply a hair mask to the hair roots?
Yes, you can apply a very light layer of hair mask to the hair roots. Do not overwhelm your pores with heavy mask application.
What are the different types of hair masks?
There are four types of hair masks: natural hair masks, Ayurvedic hair masks, organic hair masks, and herbal hair masks. (2)
How much hair cream to use?
Use a dime-sized amount or just 1–2 pumps of the product for fine hair. For medium and thick hair, use 3–4 pumps.
Can hair cream and oil be mixed?
Yes, you can apply hair cream mixed with a rich oil if your hair is super dry and has damaged ends. When used in combination, these products serve as powerful moisturizers and go smoothly on hair.
If you want to improve your hair’s health, manageability, and appearance, try hair masks and creams, although their formulation, purpose, and application methods are different.
Hair creams are a light, versatile product that can smooth, moisturize, and style your hair. On the other hand, a hair mask is an intensively thick product that hydrates, repairs, and strengthens your hair.
Choose what product is best for your hair depending on your goal, hair condition, and hair type. You can also use both if they suit your hair.
- CN104434710A – hair cream. Google Patents. https://patents.google.com/patent/CN104434710A/en.
- Narayanamoorthy S, Brainy JV, Manirathinam T, Kalaiselvan S, Kureethara JV, Kang D. An adoptable multi-criteria decision-making analysis to select a best hair mask product-extended weighted aggregated sum product assessment method – International Journal of Computational Intelligence Systems. SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s44196-021-00007-y. Published September 20, 2021.
- EP1792640A1 – hair styling cream. Google Patents. https://patents.google.com/patent/EP1792640A1/en.
- Valorization of Vitellaria paradoxa butter in cosmetics and agrifood in … https://www.researchgate.net/publication/358200869/.
- Mysore V, Arghya A. Hair oils: Indigenous knowledge revisited. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9231528/. Published 2022.
- Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. https://www.jocpr.com/articles/aloe-vera–a-potential-herb-and-its-medicinal-importance.pdf.
- An evidence-based systematic review of Rosemary ( rosmarinus … https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221876211/.
- Formulation of herbal hair mask – ijprajournal.com. https://ijprajournal.com/issue_dcp/Formulation%20of%20Herbal%20Hair%20Mask.pdf.