Damaged hair? Dry hair? We uncover how to choose the best sleep-friendly treatments whatever your hair concern & how to get the most from them
We get it – you’re busy. That’s why fitting in a salon-quality treatment to leave hair feeling in peak condition when you have a wash-and-go routine might be tricky. Enter dry and damaged hair treatments that work while you sleep for hair that looks healthier and nourished when you wake.
Why consider an overnight hair mask or treatment?
But it’s not just about multitasking your eight hours with a sleep-in treatment – they also work harder too. "An overnight treatment allows hair follicles to have full penetration of the product and the full benefit of all the ingredients," Adam explains.
How to choose the best overnight treatment?
The right ingredients are key. "For dry hair, look for jojoba and baobab oil, as these are the best things for moisturising. For scalp health, aloe, shea butter and protein ingredients can strengthen. For really oily hair, surprisingly, oil can help as... it emulsifies the oil on the hair," advises Adam.
"If you don’t have a specific concern, a weekly exfoliating mask is great for general hair and scalp health," suggests Anabel Kingsley, brand president and trichologist at Philip Kingsley.
How should you use overnight hair treatments & products to get the most out of them?
"To get the most out of overnight hair treatments, it’s best to take a shower at night and shampoo your hair and then apply the overnight hair mask to wet or dry hair, combing it through so it spreads evenly," advises Hannah Gaboardi, trichologist and Viviscal brand ambassador. It’s worth having a good read of your label to ensure you’re using your product of choice to its full potential.
Concentrate on the ends of your hair, as this is the part which is most exposed to damage. Anabel suggests covering your treatment with a towel or shower cap to trap heat and enhance the absorption of the product into your strands. It will also protect it from getting on your pillowcase.
What can you use as an overnight hair treatment?
There's a range of choices available from hair oils to hair serums, rinse-offs to leave-ins, but what’s particularly exciting is the new wave of overnight hair products specifically created with your bedtime needs in mind.
You can also use a hair mask – but can you leave it on for too long? "If you leave a hair mask on for too long, it won’t negatively affect the hair," explains Hannah. Some like the luxuriousness of leaving one on overnight to lock in moisture, so while there’s no hard and fast rule, it’s important to take your hair type and the moisture level you're looking for into account. Hannah highlights that you may not get many added benefits from leaving a hair mask on overnight, as most are achieved within the recommended time frame on the product’s label.
"If you have a sensitive scalp, be mindful of how long you keep the product on your hair," Hannah adds. Try doing a patch test for added peace of mind.
Are there any products certain hair types should avoid using overnight?
"I’d avoid using a really intense mask overnight, but only because it will weigh the hair down," says Adam.
"A top tip for ensuring that you don't weigh your hair down with any treatment: when you go to wash your hair in the morning, apply your shampoo first and work into the hair, then add water. It's a 'dry-shampooing' method that ensures the shampoo is working extra hard at lifting any oil before you add water."
How frequently should you do an overnight mask?
"It’s recommended to use overnight treatments once or twice a week in place of using regular conditioners," says Hannah.
"It depends on the condition of your hair and the type of hair you have. If you have extremely damaged or dry hair, then you may want to increase the frequency of hair treatments or go for a more deeply conditioning treatment."
Similarly, if you have fine hair prone to greasiness, you may want to choose a lightweight product, avoid applying it near your roots and leave longer intervals between using it.
Best hair treatments & hair masks for dry and damaged hair
From hair masks to hair oils and more, here are 15 of Team Health & Beauty’s favourite hair treatments to give lengths a boost while you sleep, whatever your hair texture.
Best overnight hair treatment for bouncy hair
Try: Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Deep-Conditioning Treatment
• Size: 150ml
This cult-status treatment moisturises hair without weighing it down, reducing the likelihood of breakage, leaving locks looking shiny and silky. Apply in the gym to sweat your way to better hair or apply under a shower cap at night.
Best overnight hair treatment for oily hair
Try: Batiste Overnight Deep Cleanse Dry Shampoo
• Size: 200ml
Greasy roots? This breakthrough no-rinse formula features charcoal and baking soda to gently, yet effectively, refresh hair while you sleep. It works by absorbing excess oil and removes impurities that build up during the day so you wake up to fresh, clean-looking hair. What’s more, its delicate and soothing fragrance promotes an inner sense of relaxation to help you drift off.
Best overnight hair mask for dry hair
Try: Boots Ingredients Moisture Mask With Hyaluronic
• Size: 200ml
Comb through wet hair after shampooing and this quenching treatment mask. Featuring hyaluronic acid and cold pressed extra virgin chai seed oil, replenish lost moisture, reduce frizz and leave hair looking revitalised and healthy.
Best overnight hair treatment for damaged hair
Try: Pantene Pro-V Miracles 8H Active Serum Overnight Beauty Reset
• Size: 70ml
Just one to two pumps of this lightweight hair elixir applied from the roots, upwards, will weightlessly help nourish dry and damaged hair as you sleep. Combining the brand’s legendary Pro-Vitamin B5 formula, with biotin protein and baobab essence, its no-rinse formula leaves hair feeling quenched and fortified.
Best leave-in treatment for curly hair
Try: Pattern Leave-In Conditioner
• Size: 289.8ml
Quench locks’ thirst with this leave-in treat for curls and textured hair. Featuring a blend of natural oils and honey, apply evenly to soaking-wet, washed and conditioned strands to seal in moisture before putting hair into a protective style pre-sleep. The result? Waking up with the hydrated hair you've been dreaming about.
Best overnight hair mask to add shine
Try: Garnier Ultimate Blends Glowing Lengths Pineapple & Alma Hair Food 3-in-1 Hair Mask
• Size: 400ml
This pineapple and alma-infused mask helps lacklustre long hair to get its glow back. It can be used in three different ways: as a conditioner, rinse-out hair mask or leave-in conditioner, depending on what your schedule and sheet-laundry schedule allows!
Best overnight hair treatment to strengthen hair
Try: Fable & Mane HoliRoots Hair Oil
• Size: 55ml
This cult favourite root treatment oil includes ashwagandha root and castor oil as well as an aromatic blend of other active botanicals. Leave on from five minutes to overnight before shampooing for healthier-looking locks.
Best overnight hair treatment for self care & hair care
Try: John Frieda Overnight Miracles Repair & Renew Hair Mist
• Size: 100ml
Making haircare part of your self-care routine is the kind of multitasking that makes sense. This whisper-light spray absorbs quickly, leaving the scent of lavender and sandalwood to linger and help you relax. Meanwhile the treatment visibly smoothes, nourishes and softens. Consider it a sleep spray and hairstyling product in one.
Best overnight hair treatment for lasting hydration
Try: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
• Size: 60ml
This milky emulsion hydrates the scalp with a combination of ingredients that mimic the function of hyaluronic acid and natural, moisturising factors produced within the skin. What's more, the water rentention properties allow for long-lasting hydration, supporting the scalp's barrier and aiding healthy-looking hair growth,
Best overnight hair treatment for fine hair
Try: The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density
• Size: 60ml
Apply a few drops and massage into a clean, dry scalp and see this concentrated serum support the growth of healthy-looking hair. The brand’s patented ingredients and multiple-peptide complexes, alongside high-solubility caffeine, combine in a concentrated, ultra-lightweight, emollient base to help re-energise and strengthen hair.
Best overnight hair products
For nutritional support
Consider: Viviscal Women’s Maximum Strength Hair Growth Supplement
• Size: 30 tablets
Formulated with nutrients, biotin and zinc, this supplement helps maintain normal healthy hair growth from within, while its marine protein complex AminoMarC provides essential nutrients to help nourish.
Food supplements shouldn’t be used as a substitute for a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Not suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women.