I've tried a number of natural hair masks, some with varied results, and the below are my top choices for best masks you can make at home!
Natural Home Remedies for Healthy Hair
While a trip to the salon may be a great way to create a new look or address some common hair issues, there are those who prefer to use more natural ingredients for beauty treatments. If you'd like to try a few natural methods to improve your hair in lieu of harsh and sometimes damaging chemicals, some of these at-home hair masks may be right for you. And as all of these products can be found on your local grocery store shelves (or already in your pantry!) for far less than a salon appointment, why not give them a try?
Egg Yolks – Restores Moisture to Dry Hair
Egg yolks are a common household staple which can greatly improve your hair from the inside, or out. The yolks, or the yellow/orange inner portion of an egg, contain high amounts of the proteins and vitamins which are essential to hair health, such as biotin, folic acid, and vitamins A and D. These nutrients are naturally found in healthy hair strands, and hair masks containing egg yolk can help replenish these nutrients your hair might be lacking. These egg proteins will especially help with dry or over-processed hair, due to it's restorative properties which can help bring health and shine. The yolks work best when combined with any of the other hair-nourishing natural ingredients found on this list as well as yogurt, honey, oils, or curry leaves.
For best results, combine 1-2 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, mix well, and massage into scalp thoroughly. Leave in for no less than 20 minutes and up to 1 hour. Wash out thoroughly with shampoo. This mask is great for all hair types, and is gentle enough that it can be used several times a week as well.
Curry Leaves for Strengthening Hair and Reducing Grays
Curry leaves can aid natural hair growth topically or from being ingested. They are rich in antioxidants and amino acids, which are necessary for the body's production of protein, and specifically, keratin. About 88% of your hair is made up of the protein keratin. The antioxidants in these leaves can also help fight off free radicals from natural oil, dandruff, pollution, or product build-up on your scalp which can clog hair follicles, impeding hair growth.
Curry leaves may also aid in preventing premature graying or reducing the appearance of existing gray hair. The B vitamins, zinc, and iron in the leaves can help naturally enrich and strengthen the hair follicles which helps prevent the strands from lightening. These nutrients also can help to restore melanin to the strands, allowing it to retain its natural color longer.
To create a nutrient-rich hair mask, start by blending a handful of curry leaves into a thick paste using a blender or food processor. Mix the paste with:
- coconut oil - thick or coarse hair
- avocado oil - fine or brittle hair
- plain yogurt - all hair types.
Leave the hair mask on for about 30 minutes and wash normally with shampoo. Use about 1-2 times a week for best results.
NOTE: Be sure to test a small amount on your skin before creating a mask to check your skin's sensitivity.
Coconut Oil - Moisturizes, Strengthens Damaged Hair, Revitalizes the Scalp, and Helps Reduce Dandruff
Coconut oil has long been used as a restorative hair treatment, and it's popularity has grown enormously in recent years. It is one of the highest natural sources of medium chain fatty acids, which have phenomenal antibacterial and antimicrobial properties without any of the negative effects of similar oils. These properties allow the oil to cleanse the hair and scalp of damaging build-up from hair products, chemicals, and pollution, while simultaneously restoring the hair's natural nutrients. It is also very high in lauric acid, which can help prevent protein loss in hair.
Coconut oils can usually just be warmed by rubbing small amounts into your palms, and applying evenly to the hair while especially concentrating on the roots. Coconut oil works best on the actual scalp, so be sure to gently massage at the base of your hair and in particular areas showing some damage, or sections that may be thinning. Be careful not to overdo it though, as using too much can sometimes leave hair feeling a little oily, even after shampooing.
After working the oil through your hair and scalp, put on a shower cap, head wrap, or, in a pinch, tie a plastic bag with a hair tie covering the hair line. This allows the natural heat of your body warm the oils, allowing them to further penetrate into your scalp and strands. To add some heat, you can even wear a nice warm hat or towel fresh out of the dryer over your hair covering. Leave on for at least 1-2 hours, although some frequent users have posited that the best results occur by leaving it in overnight.
When the appropriate amount of time has passed, wash hair with shampoo as normal - you may have to rinse and repeat more than once. (Personally, I skip conditioner after this treatment, as I've found it tends to weigh my hair down - for reference, I have naturally fine hair, so the extra moisture can make it look slightly limp, but experiment with what's right for you!). Dry your hair naturally, if you're able to do so, and relish in your nourished, healthy hair!
Limit this mask to only about once a week to prevent hair from becoming too oily.
Castor Oil – Strengthens And Lengthens Hair, Great For Thinning Hair
Castor Oil is renowned in the health and beauty industry as being a super-effective yet inexpensive way to help reduce hair loss, and strengthen thinning hair. It's very common in today's society for people to experience hair loss due to over-processing, repeated use of dyes, heat styling, stress, hormonal imbalance, and any number of issues. Hair treatments with castor oil are often reported to improve hair's thickness, reduce shedding, and improve the overall quality of hair health in a vast number of beauty and health publications.
I should note, however, this evidence is primarily anecdotal, and scientific studies on the subject to date have been inconclusive. That being said, there are those that swear by it due to it's high concentration of hair-healthy nutrients, and it's often the primary ingredient in a number of natural hair-growth products. And at a average cost of only about $15 for a 12 oz bottle, it may be worth a try.
As castor oil is often thick, feel free to add small amounts of other hair-loving oils such as coconut, rosemary or almond oil before application - just be sure the ratio is primarily castor, and lesser of the filler oils. Gently rub the oil combination into the scalp for several seconds, making sure to focus primarily on the roots and hairline. For best results, put on a shower cap or hair wrap and leave in overnight. Wash out thoroughly in the morning; you may have to shampoo twice to ensure all residue is out of your hair.
Like the coconut oil, limit this treatment to once a week at most to prevent hair from becoming too oily.
BONUS TIP: For an additional hair-growth treatment, add a small amount of castor oil and a few drops of coconut or rosemary oil to an empty mascara tube, and apply to lashes or eyebrows before bed. You may be amazed at the results!
The Right One For You
Give Your Feedback!
If you've tried any of the above masks, or have recommendations for other natural masks, please share and comment below!