We’ve compiled the best DIY hair masks for all of your biggest woes, from an irritated scalp, to dull hair to damage and dryness. Shiny, lustrous hair is only a hair mask away — and you never even have to leave the house.
1. Castor oil hair mask
The issue: Frizz and flyaways. Frizz can be caused by damage, the environment or both — and some types of hair are inherently more prone to it. Keep fuzz at bay by laying down and sealing hair’s cuticle, or outer layer, with an emollient ingredient like castor oil, which “acts as a protectant and can help fortify strands,” White says. Derived from the castor plant’s seeds and “comprised mainly of the fatty acid ricinoleic acid, it coasts and conditions to improve smoothness,” explains GH Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek.
Ingredients: Castor oil.
Directions: Rub a dab of castor oil between hands and glide a very thin layer over frizz-prone areas on dry hair.
2. Oats, almond oil and milk hair mask
The issue: Flat hair. Give lifeless strands an energizing boost with a protein-rich oatmeal, milk and almond oil hair treatment. Apply to damp (not soaking wet) hair for the best results, Brown advises.
Ingredients: Half a cup of oats, 2 tablespoons of almond oil, half a cup of milk.
Directions: Mix ingredients well. Smooth the mask all over hair and leave it on for 20 to 40 minutes, then shampoo.
3. Egg white and lemon hair mask
The issue: Grease. If you are prone to greasy hair, an egg mask can work wonders, says Saltzman. Stick with just the whites, which have protein enzymes that help remove excess oil.
Ingredients: 1 egg white, juice from half a lemon.
Directions: Smooth over hair from roots to ends and leave on for 30 minutes to an hour — longer is better. Rinse with lukewarm water, not hot!
4. Banana, honey, egg and olive oil hair mask
The issue: Thinning hair. A protein treatment can help plump strands, whether they are naturally fine or losing fullness. Make a “banana protein smoothie” for hair with amino-acid rich bananas and eggs to enhance elasticity, strengthen and add thickness, Davis-Sivasothy says. “Results are immediate and will last until your next shampoo,” she adds.
Ingredients: 2 egg yolks, 2 peeled ripe bananas, 2-3 tablespoons of honey, half a cup of condition, 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Directions: Blend all ingredients until pureed. Fully coat hair with the treatment, leave on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse with cool water.
5. Avocado, honey and olive oil hair mask
The issue: Damage. Various factors can cause strand damage: styling tool overuse, haircolor, chemical treatments and more. Help counteract it with an avocado and olive oil hair mask, suggests Zingarino. “Packed with omega-3 fatty acids this treatment helps strengthen hair and add shine,” she says. The benefits don’t stop with strands: An avocado-based mask also “helps to rejuvenate and moisturize the scalp,” says Joel Warren of The Salon Project salons in Florida, Pennsylvania and New York.
Ingredients: Half an avocado, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey and 3 drops essential oil of choice.
Directions: Stir ingredients together until fully combined, then apply to wet hair with your fingertips, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Warren suggests wrapping your hair into a bun and covering with a shower cap. To help activate the ingredients, blow dry your shower cap-covered hair for 10 minutes. Let it sit for another 20 minutes, then shampoo.
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