Like a seal trained to wave my flipper in exchange for a quick hit of mackerel, I have learned to not only love instant gratification but also expect it. I’m surrounded by things designed to facilitate it–microwaves, Netflix, refined sugar, social media–which is why most beauty products feel slightly disappointing, even if they work. Most tend to show results over time, or dispense their impact via subtle micro-improvements. Few provide the reality TV show-worthy “before and after” oh-my-goodness-can-you-believe-I-lived-without-this-for-so-many years balloon cue moments that I crave. That’s why the ones that do feel like something akin to witchcraft.
Such was the case with a new hair mask I tried for the first time in February–the Offline 3-Minute Hydration Hair Mask from IGK. I’ll admit–I was already predisposed to want to like it because of the whole “3-Minute” thing. I’m not a big masker in general–hair or otherwise–because I don’t have the patience to wait the requisite amount of time recommended before washing it off. But three minutes? That sounded doable, so do it I did.
I’m a big fan of IGK products in general, but I always set my expectations low when trying anything new in my hair (because of my hair texture, I’m very particular about what I use), and I honestly wasn’t sure what could really be accomplished in the time in takes me to listen to 80% of a hit Justin Bieber single. Needless to say, expectations were more than exceeded by the time my hair dried a few hours later. It looked like my curls had been dipped in shine juice after receiving a diploma from the international school of bounce. They were the perfect amount of plump and defined without being overly crisp. It felt too good to be true–a strange fluke of the hair gods–so I tried the mask again the following week, and was surprised and delighted to confirm it was not.
The mask has since become a permanent part of my hair care routine. I use it in place of conditioner a couple times a month, and it has saved my hair from winter dryness and summer sun damage to equally satisfying effect. Also, a little goes a long way, which is much appreciated as someone who typically goes through conditioner at an alarming rate (when the instructions on the back recommend a “nickel-sized dollop,” they’re definitely not talking to me). Do you have a favorite game-changer hair mask? Drop it in the comments below so I can try it for my next seal trick.