Your hair is looking worse for wear. No matter. It's time to whip up a DIY hair mask full of healing, natural, non-toxic ingredients, many of which are plant-based. You can test various recipes and switch elements until you find a mask that works for you. Be sure to patch-test each ingredient on your arm if you're unsure whether you're allergic. These homemade hair masks are better for the environment, too. Go on and start experimenting.
Hair masks or deep conditioning treatments are more intense than your everyday conditioner. They also require more patience as you need to keep them on for longer for the ingredients to work their magic. You can use expensive high-end products or get similar results at a fraction of the price by making tailored masks with goodies from your pantry.
Making a DIY hair mask is a form of self-care. It's fun to toss odds and ends from your kitchen together, and you can spend the time between application and washing off relaxing. Play your favorite music, cook, or binge-watch your favorite TV shows while you wait. After your hair air dries, your luscious locks will be clean and hopefully one step closer to overcoming the specific issue you want to treat, such as frizz, dullness, or breakage.
Generally, with masks that aren't oil-based, hair should be damp during application.
Smear your concoction onto your tresses one section at a time. Unless otherwise specified, the mask should be applied from roots to ends, and a wide-toothed comb can help. Massage the mask onto the strands until you feel like you have an even application and the hair is saturated. Put a shower cap on and then wrap a towel around your head—the heat helps with absorption. Leave the mask on for the recommended time, at least 20 minutes, before rinsing thoroughly with lukewarm water and a gentle shampoo.
Hair oiling has long been popular among South Asian and Black communities, and thanks to TikTok, it's having something of a renaissance moment. So, should you use a hair mask or oil your hair before shampooing? The hair mask wins, hands down. It's tailored to your hair's needs and won't clog the pores on your scalp.
Shampoo removes sebum, which is why every hair wash has two steps—regular conditioner compensates for the loss of sebum. Deep conditioning once a week is a good idea for everyone except folks with oily hair. If you plan on going to the salon for a chemical treatment or often style your hair with heat, you're the ideal candidate for a deep conditioning treatment. Tighter curls also make sebum distribution more difficult, so regular hair masks also benefit curly girls and guys. Using a hair mask more often than once a week can lead to product buildup, so don't be tempted to increase the frequency if you notice good results.
Someone may tell you that avocadoes are the reason you can't afford a house. Make this mask and eat your avocado toast anyway—avocados contain biotin, which is famously great for hair growth. This fruit is full of "good" fats that nourish dry hair. For a hydrating avocado hair mask, you'll need:
Honey is a humectant, so it draws moisture from the air like a superhero, and your hair is the lucky recipient. Olive oil softens hair, and yogurt balances the scalp's pH and may minimize troublesome flakes.
Sticking with avocadoes and honey, make this mask to give your curls some much-needed TLC. Combine:
Coconut milk is a hydrating, detangling ingredient. Coconut oil is an easily absorbed ingredient that protects hair from damage and assists with defrizzing. After rinsing this mask off and applying shampoo and your regular conditioner, rinse again and use a leave-in conditioner.
Dandruff can really put a damper on your confidence. Fight those flakes with this exfoliating scrub, and you'll feel less self-conscious the next time you hit the town. It's gentle enough for your face too. You'll need:
Combine and apply to shampooed, damp hair, massaging for a couple of minutes. Rinse off at the end of your shower. Tea tree oil is antifungal and antibacterial, and peppermint oil improves blood flow to the scalp.
When dealing with excess oil and product buildup, you need astringents to eliminate the greasiness and balance the scalp's pH to prevent further oiliness. Combine:
Aloe soothes the scalp, and lemon removes silicon, achieving a non-greasy shine. To make the apple cider vinegar solution, mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with five teaspoons of water. You can leave this hair mask on for up to an hour.
We hate to break it to you, but split ends can't be saved. Getting rid of split ends involves a quick trip to your hairstylist for a trim. But preventing them in the first place? Now that we can help with. You'll need:
Mash the banana before adding the oil for a frothy mask. You can apply this mask when you get in the shower—it only takes 15 minutes to get to work. The banana is hydrating and strengthening.
Dealing with the fall out of damaged hair? Add more protein to the mix. You'll need:
The vitamins in egg whites strengthen hair. Lemon has well-established benefits for the hair and lessens the eggy scent that may put you off. Apply to dry hair and leave on for an hour before rinsing.
This mask requires less conventional ingredients, but it's worth a try for its growth-promoting and thickening effects. Mix:
Green tea slows the hair-shedding process. You could also just steep the tea leaves and spray the tea onto the hair before rinsing off at the end of your shower.