11 DIY Hair Masks That Will Actually Work

Hair mask recipes for growth, repair, frizz, dandruff, and more.

We all run into hair issues, whether it’s damage, dryness, flakes, frizz, or fading. The change in seasons, indoor heat, outdoor elements, and hot hair tools are only some of the culprits that can cause these changes. Luckily, you don’t have to hit the store or add yet another beauty product to your Amazon cart: You can head straight to your kitchen for everyday ingredients that you can whip into a DIY hair mask to fix your mane. Treat yourself to an at-home spa day using a few simple pantry staples. You can whip up solutions for everything from scalp to strands!

Below, we’ve compiled the best DIY hair masks for all 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.

Baking soda hair mask

high angle view of baking soda in bowl on wooden table

The issue: Product buildup. Between haircare and styling products, it’s easy to accumulate layers of residue. Buildup can lead to strands that look and feel greasy along with flatness and even dandruff-like flakes. Cut through excess oil and buildup with this “baking soda power cleanse” from Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, a trichologist (hair specialist) in Houston and the author of Hair Care Rehab: The Ultimate Hair Repair and Reconditioning Manual.

Ingredients: Half a cup of shampoo, 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda

Directions: Combine shampoo with baking soda, stir well and pour over wet hair. Gently massage the mixture into the scalp and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Coconut oil hair mask

raw coconut meat with whole coconuts for hair mask

The issue: Dryness. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize — which will also help prevent split ends, frizz, and breakage. if your regular conditioner isn’t cutting it, opt for intensive overnight treatment with coconut oil. “It can penetrate the hair shaft” to repair hair, says Kyle White, a colorist at Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City.

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.

Directions: Before bed, warm coconut oil in the microwave, then massage into damp hair, avoiding the roots (Tie strands into a bun and cover with a shower cap or hair wrap if desired.) Shampoo in the morning.

Coconut oil, sugar, and essential oil hair mask

DIY hair masks

The issue: Flakes. If flakes start to appear on your scalp when the temperature drops, it may be because the heat in your home is higher and is drying out your skin, says Paul Cucinello, celebrity stylist and owner of Cucinello Studio NYC. Your scalp is no exception. This exfoliating treatment helps remove and reduce flakes and (bonus!) doubles as a great facial scrub.

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons of raw, unrefined coconut oil, four teaspoons of natural sugar, five drops of peppermint oil, and two drops of tea tree oil.

Directions: In a small bowl, mix ingredients. Using your fingers or a hair color brush, apply the mixture to two-inch sections of clean, damp hair in the shower. Once evenly applied, gently massage for 1-3 minutes and then clip your hair up and let it sit for the duration of your shower.

The sugar in this DIY scrub breaks down to glycolic acid, which dissolves dead skin cells, says Cucinello. Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory benefits, peppermint oil helps promote circulation to the scalp, and tea tree oil is antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial.

Avocado, honey, and olive oil hair mask

DIY hair masks

The issue: Damage. Various factors can cause strand damage: styling tool overuse, hair color, 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, one tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of honey, and three drops of essential oil of choice.

Directions: Stir ingredients together until thoroughly 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 it with a shower cap. Blow-dry your shower cap-covered hair to help activate the ingredients for 10 minutes. Let it sit for another 20 minutes, then shampoo.

Banana, honey, egg, and olive oil hair mask

banana's for hair mask

The issue: Thinning hair. A protein treatment can help plump strands, whether naturally pleasing 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, and two tablespoons of olive oil.

Directions: Blend all ingredients until pureed. Thoroughly coat hair with the treatment, leave on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

Honey, ACV, and coconut oil hair mask

DIY hair masks

The issue: Dullness. Keeping hair moisturized and healthy always makes your hair look better, says Stephanie Brown, master colorist at IGK Hair Salon in New York City. When strands lose their luster, apply a treatment made with apple cider vinegar, which clarifies and smooths hair’s outer layer to boost shine.

Ingredients: Equal parts raw honey with apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. (Adjust based on hair thickness and length.)

Directions: Work the blend through damp hair and leave on for at least 20 minutes, then shampoo it out. It’s great for all hair types and helps lock in color.

Cinnamon and coconut oil hair mask

DIY hair masks

The issue: Hair that won’t grow. Try a cinnamon-based mask — the antimicrobial spice is known to stimulate blood circulation and promote hair growth and strength, says Liana Zingarino, a hairstylist at Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in New York City.

Ingredients: Equal parts cinnamon and coconut oil.

Directions: Blend ingredients well. Apply the mask onto your roots and part, and massage it into your scalp. Let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes and rinse. Aim to do this mask at least once a week.

Green tea and apple cider vinegar hair rinse

DIY hair masks

The issue: Irritated scalp. While green tea has a laundry list of health benefits, you can add “scalp soother” to the list, says Sadah Saltzman, a hairstylist at Salon AKS in New York City. A tonic that combines antioxidant green tea and anti-inflammatory, hydrating peppermint oil can help soothe dry, irritated scalp skin.

Ingredients: 1 cup of green tea, two drops of peppermint oil, and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

Directions: Mix well, massage into scalp, and let sit for at least five minutes before rinsing.

Egg white and lemon hair mask

DIY hair masks

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 for 30 minutes to an hour — longer is better. Rinse with lukewarm water, not hot!

Oats, almond oil, and milk hair mask

vegan oat milk in glass

The issue: Flat hair. Give lifeless strands an energizing boost with a protein-rich oatmeal, milk, and almond oil hair treatment. Brown advises to apply to damp (not soaking wet) coat for the best results.

Ingredients: Half a cup of oats, two tablespoons of almond oil, and half a cup of milk.

Directions: Mix ingredients well. Smooth the mask all over the hair and leave it on for 20 to 40 minutes, then shampoo.

Castor oil hair mask

castor oil

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. The castor plant’s seeds are derived and “comprised mainly of the fatty acid ricinoleic acid, its 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 thin layer over frizz-prone areas on dry hair.

Source: 11 DIY Hair Masks – Recipes for At-Home Hair Masks (goodhousekeeping.com)

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