Steam hair masks are the clever Korean beauty trend you need to know about

Posted by
Jacqueline Kilikita
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The humble hair mask has been given a seriously savvy overhaul, and we’re all for it…

If your hair falls into the dry, damaged or coloured camp, you no doubt slather on a hair mask every time you give it a wash, hoping that once you rinse it off, your hair will look less like a haystack and more like that of a shampoo-ad model.

But it might be time to sideline your current staple product, because a slew of hair masks are making waves in Korean beauty circles and they are nothing like those lining your bathroom shelf.

Enter the steam hair mask.

What is a steam hair mask and how does it work?

A steam hair mask comes in an ingredient-preserving sachet, instead of a tub or bottle.

Complete with a steam cap (pretty similar to a shower cap) it works much harder to revitalise parched ends and moisturise roots prone to frizzing. 

When fastened onto your head, the cap retains both the heat and moisture of your just-washed hair to really lock in the ingredients that make hair soft, glossy and manageable, such as argan oil, coconut oil and keratin, to name but a few. Think of it as a souped-up version of a deep, nourishing conditioner. 

Our verdict? So impressive. Hello, lustrous lengths. 

Stylist rounds up the steam hair masks no haircare routine is complete without.

Starskin Nourishing Coconut Hot Oil Hair Mask

Parched ends and frizzy roots? Reach for this. Pop the sachet of product in the microwave for 20 seconds, slather it onto dry hair from root to tip, cover with the cap for 20 minutes and rinse twice. Our hair has never felt silkier thanks to a team of baobab seed, starflower, sacha inchi and sea buckthorn fruit oils.


Kocostar Long Hair Pack 

Kocostar’s Long Hair Pack takes coarse, dry and damaged hair and makes it sleek and elastic thanks to ingredients such as shea butter and royal jelly, which shuttle moisture into thirsty strands. Goodbye, split ends.


Oh K! Hair Mask

Natural extracts in Oh K!’s sweet-smelling mask penetrate the hair shaft to nourish and smooth from the inside out. Unlike some other deep conditioners, it doesn’t make hair feel weighty or look greasy.


Etude House Silk Scarf Double Care Hair Mask

OK, it might look extra-kitsch, but this Korean steam hair mask boasts fans all over the globe, and for good reason. It consists of a two-part system: an unctuous cream, which needs to be applied to wet hair, and the essence cap. Once both are on, massage with your fingertips and let them work their magic for 10-15 minutes. The result? Super-soft, manageable hair free from frizzy bits or static.


Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Cap System

This ultra-creamy mask harnesses argan oil to smooth out frazzled strands and 2018’s buzziest haircare ingredient, algae extract, to hydrate and provide a glass-like shine.


Main Image: Element 5