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11 best overnight hair masks for dry or damaged strands




You don’t have to wait until your next salon appointment to get your hair back into peak condition – you can also play your own part by treating strands to an overnight hair mask.

Dry, dehydrated and even damaged hair can be transformed with a root-to-tip reparative conditioning mask. Overnight formulations work while you sleep, nourishing dry locks and frazzled ends, smoothing frizz, and promoting shine. In the same way your skin needs a good moisturiser, your hair will appreciate one too.

Sleep-in masks are a brilliant way to multi-task, as other hair masks can be a chore to use if you’re short on time, leaving you dawdling in the shower whilst you wait the recommended number of minutes. But efficiency isn’t the only benefit of overnight hair masks – they actually work harder as well. “The longer you leave a hair mask on, the better the results will be,” says Harriet Muldoon, colourist at Larry King for Redken and Pureology.

This type of mask is really simple to use – just comb the product through before bed (if your hair is long you may find it easier to plait once you’ve applied). If you’re worried about staining your bedsheets, lie down on a towel or use a hair turban. Then wash out in the morning, no need for conditioner.

We put the latest overnight hair masks to the test, as well as some standard formulas that are said to work just as well when left in too. Our winners not only boosted hydration but were marked on how strong, smooth and soft they left our hair. You’ll have your healthiest hair yet if you turn to one of our favourites.

Read more:

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You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Bumble and bumble while you sleep overnight hair mask For an intensive repair, turn to this super nourishing formula. Whether you have overdone the DIY home colouring in lockdown, or you’re tempted to turn to the scissors yourself as the wait is too long for your liking, this ultra-rich treatment will revive the most damaged strands and split ends. The standout ingredients are antioxidant and vitamin-rich camellia oil (a Japanese beauty secret loved by Coco Chanel) and evening primrose. Together they transformed our hair in just one use. Stressed out strands felt stronger, softer and looked smooth and glossy with ongoing improvements with continued use. A true hair saviour! {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Living Proof perfect hair day night cap overnight perfector Reach for this formula if you’re looking to improve the manageability of your hair, smooth frizz and promote gloss. This was the most effortless hair mask to apply before bed, as it’s formulated with a lightweight texture that makes it easy to comb through. It uses a dose of repairing and strengthening amino acids with time-releasing conditioners that we found helped to strengthen hair when used twice a week. The most impressive thing is the results last between uses, even after shampooing. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Percy and Reed wonder overnight recovery mask This London salon has some hardworking formulas in its haircare collection, including this mask, which has had a little 2021 makeover and is now recyclable. The formula is still brilliant at transforming dry, damaged strands while you sleep. It’s easy to use, with a light texture that soaks in instantly, so there’s no waiting time before you get under the duvet. Infused with vitamin B5 and a natural pea protein to nourish and strengthen strands, we found this worked wonders on dehydrated straw-like strands. Hair felt stronger after just one use and oozed shine. It works a treat used just on ends that are desperate for a trim too. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Philip Kingsley elasticizer deep-conditioning treatment We turn back to this cult famous hair mask, originally formulated for Audrey Hepburn, time and time again when our hair needs an ultra-moisturising pick-me-up. Designed to be used pre-shampoo, so there’s no pointless time-wasting in the shower, we’ve walked around the house in this mask regularly. Moving it to our bedtime routine made so much sense we don’t know why we haven’t thought of it before. We saw the same great results, but with a new time-saving way of using it. It’s always a winning formula. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Pureology hydrate soft treatment Formulated for colour-treated hair, this mask makes such a difference to dry, brittle hair when left on for just five minutes in the shower, but leave it on while you get your beauty sleep and the results are intensified even further. A mix of hair-strengthening almond oil and nourishing shea butter transforms locks into silky soft, strong and glossy strands. With continued use, we noticed less breakage too. It also doesn’t look greasy in hair, so you’d get away with leaving it and tying your hair up for an all-day working-from-home treat. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Michael Van Clarke 3 more inches lifesaver pre-wash treatment From the renowned London hairdresser, this pre-shampoo or overnight mask transforms dry, brittle strands into a soft, manageable and frizz-free mane after just one use. Formulated with cashmere proteins identical to those found in our hair, continued use also strengthened hair, with noticeably less brush fallout. It’s silicone-free, so you know there’s no chance of product build-up and that it really works, rather than creating an illusion that just wash out. You can apply just before bed, and it doesn’t leave hair greasy so you can even go about your morning before having to wash it out. A handy option if you have to get the kids off to school. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Sol de Janeiro triple Brazilian butter hair repair treatment Fans of the cult favourite bum bum cream are going to love the brands recently launched hair mask, with the same iconic pistachio and salted caramel fragrance. The treatment is a Brazilian blend of cupuaçu, murumuru and tucumã butters, rich in essential fatty acids for hair nourishment. As well as, plant-based keratin that restores damage, bonding split ends together. We trialled it both as a standard ten-minute treatment and overnight, and while we loved using it both ways, ultimately we felt giving it longer to work its magic is the way to go. Dead dry ends looked as healthy as they can without a cut, and dehydrated strands felt well moisturised and soft to the touch. This also controls frizz well and boosts shine, all without weighing hair down. However, a word of warning: do use a turban if you have light sheets, as it is yellow in colour. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Coco and Eve super nourishing coconut and fig hair masque Often a favourite on social media, we can confirm you can believe the hype when it comes to this hair-reviving mask: a blend of raw virgin coconut, fig essence, argan oil and shea butter combine to make an exotic fragrance and a moisture-boosting powerhouse. It’s another standard mask recommended to leave on for ten minutes, but we found its results are boosted when left on. It’s not designed to sleep in, so you do have to leave it to dry around an hour before bed. but after one use, strands are noticeably in better condition, looking frizz-free and nourished. Continued use will see moisturised strands looking smooth and split-ends look much healthier. Plus, it comes with its own tangle tamer brush to help with application. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Moo Hair miracle mask Looking for an ethical, natural and vegan option? Look no further. Moo Hair is a family-run business from Edinburgh with a small selection of hair products, including this impressive hair transforming mask. Responsibly sourced marula oil and Icelandic moss are the star ingredients behind this treatment’s ability to repair frayed and frazzled hair. You’ll see benefits after one use, but after two or three overnight uses it revives locks to a stronger, healthier state. We also love the Instagram-worthy, but most importantly recyclable, glass jar. They also plant a tree with every online order. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} The Hair Lab by Mark Hill hydrating treatment Our favourite purse-friendly pick feels anything but budget. This mask is enriched with Moroccan argan oil, the age-old beauty elixir rich in hair-loving vitamins and antioxidants, as well as wheat protein and vitamin B5 to boost strength and elasticity. Use as a regular mask after shampooing, but if you really want to reap the nourishing benefits it’s also fine to pop it on overnight. Its balmy texture takes a little longer to dry, so apply an hour before bed unless you’re sleeping in a turban. We found the ylang ylang scent (great for stress and anxiety) promoted calm making it a brilliant sleep aid. After just one use, we noticed the moisture hit – dry, brittle strands looked smoother and felt softer. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}} Kérastase blond absolu cica nuit serum Blondes, especially those with bleached or highlighted colour, should reach for this hair serum. It works just like an intensive repair overnight mask as you apply just two to three pumps to hair at bedtime, but you don’t need to wash it out in the morning. The star ingredient is skincare-favourite hyaluronic acid to pack strands with a real moisture punch that blonde hair so often needs. After one use, hair felt soft and bouncy with reduced frizz, but with continued use strands felt strengthened with signs of less breakage. The spring-in-a-bottle floral fragrance is also a winner. {{#hasItems}} Price comparison {{/hasItems}} {{#items}} {{ merchant }} £{{ price }} Buy now {{/items}} {{#hasItems}} {{/hasItems}}

The verdict: Overnight hair masks For hair that’s seriously frazzled and frayed on the ends, turn to Bumble and Bumble while you sleep overnight hair mask to revive strands. For weekly maintenance, the huge bottle from Michael Van Clarke 3 more inches lifesaver pre-wash treatment will see you through. Help fix your locks from the inside out with the 11 best hair vitamins for stronger, healthier and glossier locks

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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