Pexels / Vlada Karpovich
When you're in the process of growing your locks out, patience is key. It can take a good amount of time to reach your goal length — but that's not to say you can't incorporate healthy hair products into your routine to move the needle. A hair-strengthening mask can help minimize breakage, so that you can grow long and strong strands, and it doesn't have to come at a steep cost, either. Case in point: Marc Anthony's Grow Long Hair Mask (Buy It, $11, amazon.com) has more than 4,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, and it costs less than you might spend on a ticket to the movies.
The budget-friendly hair mask is formulated both to encourage hair growth and to ensure that your tresses stay nice and strong — so they're less likely to break, resulting in flat, thin, damaged-looking hair. The treatment includes keratin — the protein that hair is made out of, which has been shown to improve strength and smoothness when applied topically — as well as caffeine, an ingredient that can be effective against hair loss. (Plus, caffeine helps to energize the scalp to give extreme volume, Colleen Camp, BosleyMD global director of education, previously told Shape.) The hair mask also features ginseng extract, which studies have pinpointed as an ingredient that can be beneficial for hair growth, and biotin, an essential vitamin for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Although clinical research on biotin is limited, some studies show that ingesting the ingredient can improve hair growth in people who are deficient in the vitamin, Howard Sobel, M.D., a New York-based cosmetic dermatologic surgeon and director of Sobel Skin, previously explained to Shape. The jury is still out on how effective biotin is for hair growth when applied topically, but, as long as you're healthy, there is no downside to using hair-care products with the vitamin, Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City previously told Shape. (Related: The Best Hair Growth Serums If You're Thinning Out or Shedding a Worrisome Amount)
Amazon shoppers have discovered that the Marc Anthony hair mask is especially beneficial for strengthening weak, damaged locks. "[My daughter and I] use this as a hair mask and our results are better than anything we've gotten from treatments at salons or from other products," said one reviewer. "After several uses we could brush our hair and not see bits of it on the floor after, and, when we straighten our hair, it feels like soft silk! Bye bye straw hair! Seriously, it made our hair stronger, smoother and more manageable."
Another customer said that their strands were "noticeably longer" after a month of using the treatment, and others have noticed an improvement in the texture of their hair in as little as a week of use. Reviewers recommend using the strengthening hair mask 2-3 times a week after washing and conditioning hair as normal for the best results, though some say that even using it once a week makes a big difference. Most people keep the mask on for at least 5-10 minutes before rinsing it out. (Related: 10 Products That'll Make Your Thinning Hair Look Thick AF)
For such a low price, this strengthening hair mask delivers results that have left users "thoroughly impressed." If you're trying to grow your hair long (or just want to make it smoother and stronger), this product is well worth a try.