Want to fix problem hair? Whether it’s dry, oily, dull or damaged, there are things you can find in your kitchen to help restore its condition. As well as being cheaper and customizable to your needs, homemade hair masks contain no harsh chemicals. Best of all, you can tinker with the mask until it exactly matches your own hair’s needs.
- Decide what problems you are aiming to fix with your hair. Then you can decide on which ingredients will be right for you. Have a look at the list below to give you a general idea of what hair type category you fit into.
Dry: looks dull, has split ends, damages easily, breaks easily. This could be due to damage or just lack of oil production.
Oily: becomes greasy if not washed daily, looses its shine and “swish” throughout the day.
Combination: oily at the roots, but dry and damaged towards the ends. This is often due to over-styling and brushing.
Normal: doesn’t have many problems, usually looks shiny, not many split ends, easy to manage. This type may not need a hair mask.
2 .Make a selection of ingredients from the advice below and make your mask. Then, wash your hair as normal, but don’t apply conditioner, just stop after shampooing. Squeeze any excess moisture out of your hair and comb. Then, take your mask (make it in a bowl before going for your shower), and apply evenly through the hair. Leave for 10-20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Finish with a cool (but not cold) rinse to close the hair follicle. Follow these instructions unless indicated to do differently with any of the ingredients below.
Method 1 of 3: Dry or damaged hair
Use the following suggestions for dry/damaged hair. The ingredients mentioned in this section will aim to provide much needed oil and moisture to help protect against further damage. They give your hair some shine back. Mix and match depending on what you have available and what matches your specific needs.
- Avocado: avocado is one of nature’s greatest moisturizers, rich in vitamins such as E & B and nutrients. Its natural oils will give your hair the moisture it’s lacking. Use about half an avocado, mash it, use on it’s own or with other ingredients.
- Banana: rich in vitamins and oils, especially good for improving hair elasticity, therefore preventing split ends and breakage, and also good for dandruff. Mash about half a banana, use on its own or with other ingredients. Freezing and thawing the banana before use can help to reduce lumps, which are difficult to wash out of hair.
- Honey: honey is moisturizing and a humectant (has the ability to cling onto moisture) making it suitable for dry hair. Be aware that it also lightens the colour of your hair (bleaching effect). Use as much as necessary (not too much or you’ll be left with sticky hair), can be mixed into other ingredients such as the avocado or banana. Apply to damp hair.
- Mayonnaise: sounds disgusting, but mayonnaise is made of eggs, vinegar and oil, all three of which have been used for many years to give volume, shine and hydration to hair. For dry and damaged hair it’s best used mixed with avocado, although it can be used alone.
- Olive oil: try to use extra virgin olive oil for best results, this has been used for centuries for hair and skin moisturizing as it is nourishing and strengthening, perfect for dry and damaged hair! Can be mixed in with other ingredients such as avocado or banana, OR to use on its own; work it through warm, damp hair as needed (not too much or risk not being able to rinse it) from roots to tips. Wrap either a warm towel or a plastic bag over your hair and leave for 20 minutes, then rinse.
- Coconut Oil: not surprisingly, coconut oil is good for dry or damaged hair because it soaks into the hair shaft and coats the hair with it’s nutrients. Coconut oil is also good for all parts of your body, so while you leave it in (You can use it on it’s own, or as part of a hair mask), you can put some on your face or nails – or even your feet! – to help keep them soft and shiny. To use, you can wet your hair – but preferably leave it dry – then leave in for twenty minutes to an hour, after that, shampoo a few times – once or twice – to get all of the grease out of your hair (Or you can leave some on and sleep with it, and wash it out in the morning, for extra shine) and then, if you’d like to, condition as normal.
- Eggs: commonly used due to their high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, xanthophylls, immunoglobulins, vitamins and other micro-nutrients, eggs are good for strengthening the hair and hair follicles meaning that they are ideal for damaged hair. Can be used alone or mixed into other ingredients, in particular olive oil for a super moisturizing hair mask. If you do not like the smell of eggs in your hair, try a ready egg oil available in the market or online.
- Gelatin: If allowed to set on hair, unflavored gelatin can provide a protective protein coating to the hair. Combine with water, vinegar, and a humectant, and deep condition afterwards for best results.
- Glycerin: A strong humectant like honey, but without its bleaching properties. Always mix it with water before use.
Method 2 of 3: Oily hair
Note that this hair type will benefit from making homemade hair masks because you’ll be avoiding all of the heavy things like silicone, found in many shop-bought products, which tend to cause greasy hair. These ingredients will aim to leave your hair feeling refreshed, but without drying it out.
- Apple cider vinegar: Sounds a bit weird, but apple cider vinegar contains nutrients which make hair stronger, shinier and generally more healthy, and as well as that it removes any residue from cosmetic products which may be what’s causing your hair to feel heavy, so it’ll give your hair it’s bounce back! It also regulates the pH of the scalp so is good for those of you who get dandruff. To use, add 4 tablespoon (59.1 ml) to other ingredients of your choice, or it can be used alone as a rinse by diluting 1 part vinegar to 2/3 parts water.
- Strawberries: strawberries are good at regulating oil production in the scalp and rinsing off any oil from your hair, plus they are packed full of vitamin C, which is essential for hair health. Mash a few up and apply to hair either alone or with other ingredients of your choice. You may choose to mix with a lightly moisturizing ingredient such as mayonnaise to prevent over-drying. Leave on for just 10 minutes.
- Baking soda: this is an effective ingredient for removing build up of cosmetic products, grease and dirt from the hair. A tablespoon could be added to a moderately moisturizing ingredient, (eg. mayonnaise or yoghurt), or it can be mixed with water to make a paste and used in place of shampoo.
- Lemon juice: a well known astringent, it closes the pores on your scalp, reducing oil production. Be warned that lemon juice may lighten hair colour if used regularly, especially if you go in the sun with it still on your hair. Can use alone, diluted (juice of 1 lemon in 1 cup of water), to rinse hair, or can be added to a mask.
- These ingredients are mostly aiming to absorb or rinse away any oil and dirt. Unless your hair is extremely greasy, it’s best to only use these a maximum of once a month to avoid taking away too much oil which can cause the scalp to overproduce oil, (making it worse), otherwise try to use them with moisturizing things, either from the dry hair section, or combination hair section to ensure that the hair isn’t being over-dried.
Method 3 of 3: Combination hair
Use these suggestions if you have combination hair. For the purposes of this article, combination hair is defined as hair that has both oil and damage problems. Most of the suggestions below aim to give the best combination of ingredients mentioned in the previous two methods, seeking to fix both issues.
- Yogurt: probiotic, natural yogurt provides essential nutrients and moisture, including protein which is important as protein is the building-blocks of hair. It encourages hair growth and repair, but also helps to rinse away build up and grease making it ideal for combination hair. It’s easily combined with other ingredients such as avocado if you wanted extra moisture, or strawberries if you need more oil regulation.
- Mayonnaise and strawberries: mayonnaise provides moisture and nutrients to help moisturize and repair the dry areas of your hair, while the strawberries regulate oil production, and give a boost of vitamin C to the hair. Try using three mashed strawberries mixed into two or three tbsp mayonnaise.
- Eggs and apple cider vinegar: eggs provide protein which is essential for repairing any damaged areas of the hair, as well as giving the hair nutrients and moisture without being too heavy. The apple cider vinegar would get rid of any dullness, rinse away any build up of grease and cosmetic product residue while being kind to the scalp by regulating it’s pH and helping with dandruff. Try mixing 1 or 2 tablespoon (14.8 or 29.6 ml) apple cider vinegar into two beaten eggs.
- Baking soda and yogurt: baking soda loosens any dirt, grime, grease or build up from the hair and scalp, while the yogurt would ensure that the hair receives all the nutrients and moisture it needs. Try mixing a teaspoon of baking soda into two tablespoons of yogurt.