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Dry, damaged or undernourished hair can react very well to specially formulated hair masks, filled with moisturising ingredients, vitamins and oils. There are a whole raft of professional products out there in the shops, from hair masks for hair growth, hair masks for curly hair and even a range of overnight hair mask treatments. However, there is no need to break the bank trying to find the perfect commercial product for you and your hair. It is possible to create all kinds of homemade hair mask using ingredients you most likely already have in your store cupboards.
Here are ten DIY hair mask ideas to help you restore your hair’s natural shine.
Coconut oil hair masks can be especially effective if you suffer from dandruff or a flaky scalp. This can often be caused by dry skin and having higher temperatures in the house that dehydrate skin and hair. Coconut oil hair masks can help exfoliate the scalp and add moisture back to keep the hair looking and feeling glossy and flake-free. Mix two tablespoons of raw coconut oil with four teaspoons of raw sugar (to help dissolve dead skin cells) and a few drops of peppermint (to boost your circulation) or tea tree oil (for its anti-bacterial properties). Rub into clean, damp hair with your fingers so that it is evenly applied. Massage for up to three minutes and leave in while showering. Rinse.
Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can give damaged hair a boost as it repairs itself. They also add strength and shine, making your tresses look terrific. An avocado hair mask can help mitigate against damage from heated styling tools and harsh chemicals. The anti-oxidants avocados contain also help fight off free radicals that can damage cells, protein and DNA. Crush half an avocado and mix with one egg, one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey. Start at the tips of your hair and work up to the roots, massaging the mixture in. Blow dry your hair for ten minutes to activate the ingredients and then leave in for 20 minutes.
Aloe vera is well known to promote healing and to add nourishing vitamins to the skin and hair. An aloe vera hair mask can help counteract dandruff and flaking, as well as reduce scalp irritation and redness after being out in the sun for too long, for example. Mix two tablespoons of aloe vera gel with one tablespoon of warm oil – coconut or olive both work well. Apply to the hair, cover and leave on for at least 30 minutes (up to an hour). Rinse.
A key ingredient of bananas is silica, which is a mineral that helps the body to synthesise collagen – a building block of supple skin and soft, glossy hair. Bananas also have anti-microbial properties to help boost your hair’s health and condition. They can help prevent excess frizz in curly hair and also play a part in warding off dandruff. Mash two ripe bananas and combine with one beaten egg. Apply to the hair, paying careful attention to the scalp and any split ends. Leave in for ten to 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
Yoghurt has long been known to help soften hair, as well as boost the repair of any damaged follicles and strands. Proteins in the yoghurt help strengthen the hair shaft to prevent split ends, while the lactic acid helps to hydrate the whole scalp and hair. Use half a cup of unflavoured, natural yoghurt and mix with a quarter of a cup of honey for additional gloss and shine. Mix well, apply and leave to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing off. Repeat this process twice a month for strong, glowing hair.
Cinnamon is an anti-microbial spice that can help reverse the effects of hair loss and promote healthy growth. So it is ideal to add to a hair mask for hair growth and replenishment. It stimulates blood circulation too, helping your scalp stay healthy. Blend equal parts of cinnamon and coconut oil and apply the mixture to the scalp, roots and parting. Let the mask sit for 40 minutes and then rinse well. This mask can be done once a week for optimal results.
Honey is rich in antioxidants which help ward off free radicals and other nasties that can affect the condition of your hair. It is also an excellent emollient, making it highly effective for adding moisture back and locking it into dehydrated locks to help restore shine. If possible, use Manuka honey for the best results and combine half a cup of it with a quarter of a cup of olive oil. Stir well and massage into the hair. Cover to help seal in the moisture and leave to do its work for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo as normal to ensure you have removed the whole honey hair mask.
Egg whites can really help if you are prone to greasy hair, as it has protein enzymes in it that can remove the excess oil. For an effective protein hair mask, mix one egg white with the juice from half a lemon, smooth onto the hair and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water, not hot, or the egg white will start to cook! The acidic lemon juice helps the egg white cut through the grease, as well as leaving a pleasant, citrusy smell.
Olive oil is great for emolliating dry hair, due to its moisturising properties and ability to boost condition and elasticity. It can also restore shine to dull, lifeless hair. Choose the best quality extra virgin olive oil that you can find and warm it very gently. Massage it into dry hair, going section by section until you cover the whole length of the hair from scalp to the very ends. Leave on for at least 15 minutes , but no longer than 30 minutes. You may need to shampoo more than once to achieve total rinse out. Do this every couple of weeks to keep your hair moisturised and soft to the touch.
Apple cider is a great rehydrating ingredient, so a very effective addition to a hair mask for dry hair. It adds a glossy shine without weighing down the hair and helps to keep its colour looking vibrant and fresh. Combine one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a teaspoon of honey (for its antioxidant effects) and one egg to bind it all together. Massage into damp hair and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing. This hair mask works on all types of hair.