not a professional. just crazy.

This Travel Mask Keeps My Vacation Hair From Looking Like a Broom

Photo: Rio Viera-Newton

If you have dry, damaged, or color-treated locks, hair masks should be part of your beauty routine. On the whole, masks are formulated with double the reparative ingredients — butters and oils — than your average hair conditioner, and are typically comprised of smaller particles that are able to penetrate deeper down in your hair. For my own dry, damaged, and color-treated hair, I’ve long used the Nounou mask from Italian brand Davines. Since I bleached my hair, I’ve used it once a week in order to ensure my frizzy, platinum hair stays glossy, shiny, and soft. The only problem I had with the Nounou mask is its size — it comes in a large jar that’s far from travel friendly. I looked for a travel-friendly alternative, but my search fell flat. I bought Ouai’s Hair Mask Travel Pack, which came in incredibly convenient, small packets, and brought it on a trip to Florida, but found it just didn’t have enough product in it — I ended up using both the packs I bought in a single shower session. So ultimately, whenever I’ve gone out of town the past year or two, I’ve been forced to decant my beloved Nounou into smaller jars. The process is time consuming, wasteful, and irritating.

So I was pleased when, a couple of weeks back, I stumbled upon Davines’ “The Circle Chronicles” line of travel-friendly masks in convenient packets that contain enough product for multiple uses. I had a trip coming up to visit my family in Los Angeles, so I ordered a few to take on the road with me. The Purity Circle wasn’t hydrating enough and the Wake Up Circle made my hair a bit puffy, but the Renaissance Circle is ultimately the one that captured my heart. I loved everything about it: its spicy scent (masks are often either too chemically or fruity smelling ), the way it leaves my hair feeling soft and flowy, and how easily the product slips into my toiletry bag (extremely easily). It’s infused with babassu butter, which leaves damaged hair feeling soft and silky, as well as iron-rich yellow clay which helps make hair less susceptible to breakage. My hair tends to hate California water (it looks like a broom every time I go), but after I used this mask in L.A., my hair dried looking smooth and silky, with no annoying frizzies or fly aways. I was pleased (and honestly a little shocked) to discover that this hair mask does just as good a job nourishing and revitalizing my high-maintenance locks as my holy grail Nounou mask.

While I love the formula of the product, its packaging is equally compelling. The container is capped, so you never have to waste product you don’t use, and there’s enough in each for about three uses. I was initially a little skeptical about the price — $10 felt a little on the high side — but since I typically only mask my hair once or twice a week, my last packet actually lasted two separate week-long trips.

If packing carry on-friendly toiletries has historically been a source of stress for you, this mask is here to take the edge off. It’s become one of my all-time favorite beauty travel companions, and saves my hair everywhere I go, no matter what the water quality or humidity is like. At home, I’ve continued to use my hefty jars of the Nounou mask and Christophe Robine Copper Mask (for toning), but the Renaissance Circle mask is now my official go-to for ensuring my hair stays healthy and shiny whenever I’m away.

Davines The Renaissance Circle

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

This Travel Mask Keeps My Hair From Looking Like A Broom