Looking after curly hair requires passion, dedication and the careful choice of the best products to improve its shape and add volume without weighing it down.

All too often we mistakenly believe that one generic curly hair product is the same as the next, but this isn’t the case.

With over twenty years of experience in taking care of curly hair, we have also developed a specific line of cosmetic products to enhance every type of curl.

These products are distinctive for their actions and for the hair texture they are designed for, and are the same ones used by our Curly Hair Experts in the I Love Riccio Salons.

In this post we want to tell you about 2 different treatments that are equally important for the beauty of your hair: hair masks and conditioner.

People often confuse them and think they are the same thing but keep reading this post and you will discover:

  • what hair masks are for;
  • when to use them;
  • when to use them;
  • which one to choose.
I Love Riccio Curl Switch® Nourishing Mask

A nourishing and moisturising mask ideal for curls with medium to coarse texture.

I Love Riccio Balby Cream® Super Moisturising Mask

Highly moisturizing and nourishing mask indicated for curls with coarse texture.

I Love Riccio Delight Milk® Protein Hydrating Mask

Protein and nourishing mask specifically for curls with medium to fine texture.

Hair conditioner: what are they for?

Hair masks are used to improve the combability of your hair, detangle knots and, in general, provide your hair with added protection.

Originating as straightforward detangling products without any particular nourishing or healing properties, the advancement of modern formulas has turned them into high-performance products with excellent hydrating and nourishing properties.

They take the form of a thick cream which is applied to washed hair and left to act for a few minutes and, once rinsed off, will make it easier to manage your hair when drying and styling.

Masks also provide protection, for example from the heat of the hair dryer and air bound pollutants to which our hair is constantly subjected.

A rich product which must be thoroughly rinsed off to prevent it from weighing down the hair too much.

Conditioner: what is it for?

Hair conditioner is a key product in our haircare routine, particularly if we have curly or wavy hair.

Its function is to close the cuticles and scales of the hair after shampooing, nourishing and repairing the bulbs.

In fact, thanks also to the action of the steam that forms with hot water, during shampooing the hair tends to open up and become “electric”.

Conditioner prevents this frizz effect and, thanks to the particular properties of each formula, acts on specific aspects of your hair.

Forgetting it means having to deal with very frizzy and hard to manage hair and this is why we recommend always keeping it at close hand together with its matching shampoo.

When should they be used?

Conditioner is applied straight after shampooing. Unlike the cleansing product, it is not used on the scalp because you run the risk of weighing it down and compromising the volumizing effect of the washed hair.

It is better to focus only on the lengths with a delicate massage that does excessively rub the hair.

It should be left in for the recommended time and completely rinsed out.

It is a product designed to be used every time you wash your hair.

Hair masks can be applied after conditioner, if your hair is particularly dry or dehydrated, or can be used as a special treatment at regular intervals to give your hair an extra boost of nourishment and hydration.

In the case of particularly dry or dehydrated hair, which tends to knot and break more easily, it can also be used in place of conditioner as an intensive nourishing treatment to repair more damaged hair.

Which one to choose?

The choice of conditioner depends greatly on the needs of your hair because it is a product designed to act on a specific characteristic or problem.

In any case, we recommend avoiding “2 in 1” products, for example those that combine shampoo and conditioner, because these treatments are much more effective on the hair when used individually.

Hair masks must have special restorative properties.

We have already said that they are no longer simple hair detangling products. Having worked with curly and wavy hair for over 20 years, we have developed masks suitable for enhancing all types of curly hair, without weighing it down and eliminating its volume and natural definition.

Balby Cream, for example, is an I Love Riccio mask formulated for very thick or voluminous hair.

A concentration of incredible ingredients, such as coconut oil, maize, horse chestnut and dog rose, which make it an elixir of beauty and deep hydration for your hair.

The particular feature of this product is that its conditioning action can be adjusted to the level of hydration of your hair.

Leave in for 5 to 15 minutes and evaluate how long to rinse under running water on the basis of the results you want to achieve.

Curl Switch is the most used mask in I Love Riccio Salons!

An authentic nourishing mask that looks after your curly hair, hydrating it and leaving it looking soft and shiny.

Like with the Balby Cream, you can adapt the application and rinsing times according to the initial condition of your curls.

A mask product that aims to avoid weighing down the hair, making it much easier to manage during drying and styling.

Conditioners and hair masks can profoundly change the appearance of your curly hair: choose the best product for your hair and treat your locks to a new beauty experience with I Love Riccio.

Carlotta Stacchini

Hi! My name is Carlotta Stacchini and for over 10 years I have been working with words to turn my beauty experience into useful tips for those who read my articles!
I am a professional beauty blogger and I am also very curly, so my work focuses a lot on hair care!
I love to bring all my experience together to create guides that can help women experience an enjoyable and satisfying daily beauty routine.
I firmly believe that personal care and cosmetics can change, one day at a time, every woman’s perception of herself.
Because feeling cared for has incredible positive power over one’s self-esteem!

Read more articles by Carlotta Stacchini