Hair Mask – DIY Home Remedies, Precautions & more

Hair masks help in keeping the hair healthy. A hair mask works as a moisturizing treatment that helps to keep your hair hydrated. The hair mask is made by mixing different beneficial ingredients in a paste-like texture. These ingredients vary depending on the condition and the type of hair one has.

Benefits of Hair Masks 

It is advisable to apply hair masks once every week or at least thrice a month. Hair masks have the following benefits – 

  • Hair masks add moisture to the hair and strengthen it. 
  • Hair masks can be applied for dry or rough hair as well as damaged hair as they help in keeping the hair hydrated. Hair masks also help in giving one’s hair a glossy look.
  • Hair masks also treat dandruff and help in eliminating split ends. 
  • Hair masks also help in improving the growth of hair. 

Homemade Hair Masks

Below are some easy to make homemade hair masks recipes:  

Coconut Oil Hair Mask – If one is suffering from dry or damaged hair, this hair mask will help to keep it moisturized and soft. To make this hair mask, you will need:

  • One tablespoon of coconut oil, &
  • One tablespoon of honey.

Directions

  1. Mix the coconut oil with the honey in a bowl. 
  2. Now, heat up the bowl until the mixture has been melted. 
  3. Once it is warm, apply it to your hair thoroughly – coating your hair with the mixture from the roots till the ends. 
  4. You can also cover your hair with a shower cap once you’re done applying. 
  5. Keep this mask on for at least 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse it off with cool water with a shampoo followed by a conditioner.

Egg Yolk Hair Mask This is another hair mask that can be used for damaged hair. It helps in hair growth. For this hair mask, you will need:

  • 1 egg yolk,
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, and 
  • 1 tablespoon honey. 

Directions: 

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender or whisk it until it forms a paste-like texture.
  2. Apply the mask on damp hair (wet hair) throughout the scalp and the damaged ends. 
  3. Cover the hair with either a shower cap or a towel. 
  4. Let the mask sit for 30 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly with a shampoo and a conditioner. You can rinse this mask off with either cool or warm water.

Mayo and Egg Hair Mask This hair mask works best for curly hair. For this mask, you will need:

  • 1 egg yolk, 
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and
  • 1 tablespoon honey. 

Directions: 

  1. Blend or whisk all the ingredients until it forms a paste-like texture. 
  2. Apply the mask on damp hair. 
  3. Cover your hair with a shower cap or a towel. 
  4. Keep this mask on for 25 to 30 minutes and then rinse it with cool water with a shampoo and a conditioner.

Banana Hair Mask – If you have dry hair, this mask will help to make your hair shiny and silky. You will need:

  • 2 ripe bananas, and
  • 1 tablespoon of honey if you have short hair, or 2 tablespoons of honey if you have long hair.

Directions: 

  1. Mash the bananas in a bowl. 
  2. Now, add honey into the bowl and mix it with the banana paste. 
  3. Apply this mixture to dry or slightly damp hair.
  4. Cover your hair with a shower cap or a towel or you can leave your hair open as well. 
  5. Keep this mask on for around 30 to 35 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly with cool water with a shampoo followed by a conditioner.

Lemon and Egg White Hair Mask – This hair mask works best for oily hair. Oily hair results from the overproduction of sebum, a waxy type of substance that is produced by one’s body. Egg whites help in controlling the sebum production in the scalp by tightening the hair follicles (glands). Egg whites also contain bacteria which will help to keep the hair soft and glossy. For this hair mask, you will need:

  • 1 egg white,
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt, and
  • Juice of 1 lemon. (If you have thin hair or short hair use only half tablespoon of sea salt and juice of half a lemon.)

Directions: 

  1. Blend or whisk the egg white until its form is stiff, and then add salt and lemon. 
  2. Combine the mixture thoroughly and apply it to your hair. 
  3. After 15 to 20 minutes, rinse the mask with shampoo followed by a conditioner. You can rinse the mask with either cool or lukewarm water. 

Olive oil Hair Mask – Olive oil contains Vitamin E which nourishes damaged and dry hair. For this hair mask, the ingredients are:

  • 1 egg yolk, and 
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Directions: 

  1. Whisk the yolk in a bowl until it is smooth. 
  2. Add the olive oil into it and mix it well together. 
  3. Apply this mixture all over your hair and keep it for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse off the mask with cool water with a shampoo followed by a conditioner.

Basic Hair Mask – If you don’t have oily, dry or damaged hair, it is still beneficial to apply a hair mask twice a month. This helps to maintain the health of one’s hair. For this basic hair mask, you will need:

  • 1 egg yolk, and 
  • 6 tablespoons of yogurt.

Directions: 

  1. Whisk the yolk in a bowl until it forms a paste-like texture.
  2. Add the yogurt to the bowl and mix it well. 
  3. Apply this mixture to your hair and leave it on for 20 minutes. 
  4. Rinse your hair with cool water with shampoo. There is no need to apply a conditioner when rinsing off this mask as yogurt works in a similar way as a conditioner.

Mayo-Avocado Hair Mask – This is another hair mask that can be applied to healthy hair. The ingredients include:

  • half an avocado, 
  • quarter cup mayonnaise, 
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and 
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey.

Directions: 

  1. Blend all the ingredients together and mix them well. 
  2. Apply it on damp hair and leave it on for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner.

Lemon Hair Mask – Lemon is good for oily hair as it helps in reducing oil production. For this mask, you need:

  • A quarter cup of apple cider vinegar, 
  • Juice of 1 lemon. (If you have short hair, a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and juice of half a lemon will suffice. )

Directions: 

  1. Combine the lemon juice in a bowl with apple cider vinegar and mix it well. 
  2. Apply this mixture onto your hair, coating the scalp and the ends of the hair completely. 
  3. Rinse with warm water after 20 minutes. Use a shampoo and a conditioner for rinsing off the hair mask. 

Brown Sugar Hair Mask – This hair mask is especially for an itchy scalp. Brown sugar exfoliates dead cells from the scalp which cause itchiness. You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Directions: 

  1. Blend the brown sugar and the olive oil completely. 
  2. You must apply this mask after washing your hair with shampoo. This is because after the hair has been washed, the pores in your head are still open. 
  3. Apply the mask only on your scalp thoroughly. Wash it with warm water after 20 minutes. You can use a conditioner after rinsing off the mask.

Ginger Hair Mask – Ginger is a natural antiseptic that helps fight dandruff and itchiness. You will need: 

  • 2 tablespoons of ginger juice, and 
  • 1 tablespoon of castor oil. 

Directions: 

  1. You can easily extract the juice of the ginger by blending it in a blender.
  2. Mix the ginger juice with the castor oil and apply it to your scalp and give your scalp a massage for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help in increasing the blood flow. 
  3. You can rinse this hair mask after 15 minutes with a shampoo followed by a conditioner. Rinse it off with cool water.
  4. You can also keep this mixture on overnight and rinse it thoroughly the next day with cool water using a shampoo and a conditioner.

Aloe Vera Treatment Hair Mask – This hair mask works best for stimulating hair growth. You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of ginger juice, 
  • 3 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, and 
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.

Directions: 

  1. Mix aloe vera gel and coconut oil with the ginger juice properly. 
  2. Apply this mixture on your scalp or the roots of your hair
  3. Keep it on for 20 to 30 minutes and rinse the hair mask with lukewarm water using a shampoo followed by a conditioner.

Lemon-yogurt Hair Mask – This hair mask can be used as a treatment for dandruff. The ingredients you will need to make this hair mask are:

  • 2 tablespoons of ginger juice, 
  • 3 tablespoons of yogurt, and 
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.

Directions: 

  1. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly. 
  2. Apply the mask on the scalp of your hair and cover your hair with a shower cap or a towel. 
  3. After 20 to 30 minutes, rinse the hair mask with cool water using a shampoo and condition your hair later. Use this mask once a week every month for better results.

Baking Soda Detox Mask – Baking soda also helps in fighting dandruff and works well as an exfoliant. For this hair mask, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of ginger juice, 
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and 
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey.  

Directions: 

  1. Mix the ginger juice and honey with baking soda until well combined. 
  2. Now, apply the mixture onto the scalp and give your scalp a massage for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Keep this mixture on your scalp for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse the hair mask with cool water using a shampoo and condition your hair later.

Bananayogurt Hair Mask – This hair mask is for people who have frizzy hair. Banana and yogurt help in balancing frizzy hair and smoothen it. The ingredients include:

  • 1 sliced banana,
  • 2 tablespoons of yogurt, and
  • 1 tablespoon of honey.

Directions: 

  1. Blend or mash the banana and then mix the yogurt and honey into the mashed banana.
  2. Apply the mixture thoroughly to your damp hair. 
  3. If you have long hair, you can tie it up. 
  4. Keep the mask on for 30 minutes and then rinse it with cool water using a shampoo. You can use a conditioner later as well.
  5. Apply this mask once a week for best results. 

Honey and Olive Oil Hair Mask – This hair mask works on dry hair like honey and olive oil help to keep the hair moisturized. All you need is:

  • 4 teaspoons of honey, and 
  • 6 teaspoons of olive oil.

Directions: 

  1. Mix honey and olive oil together and apply them to your hair. 
  2. Keep it on your hair for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  3. Wash your hair after 20 minutes with shampoo. Use cool water to rinse the hair mask. You can also use a conditioner later.

Raw Milk Hair Mask – This hair mask is beneficial for brittle hair. For this basic hair mask, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of honey, and
  • half a cup of raw milk at room temperature. 

Directions: 

  1. Mix the honey with raw milk thoroughly and apply it to your hair.
  2. Keep this mask on for at least an hour and then rinse the mask with cool water using a shampoo and a conditioner.

Oats Hair Mask – This mask works best for oily hair and dandruff. You will need:

  • Half a cup of milk, 
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil, and
  • A quarter cup of oats. 
  • Use half amounts of each ingredient if you have short hair.

Directions:

  1. Blend milk, oats and almond oil in a blender. 
  2. Apply this mixture on your hair, from the roots to the ends.
  3. Keep it on 15 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly with cool water using a shampoo and condition your hair later. 

Papaya Hair Mask – Papaya helps in reducing split-ends. For this mask, you will need: 

  • half a papaya and half a cup of yogurt. (Use half of the ingredients if you have short hair.)

Directions: 

  1. Blend the papaya and the yogurt until you get a smooth texture. 
  2. Apply the mixture on your hair by coating your entire scalp and the ends of your hair. 
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly with cool water using a shampoo followed by a conditioner.
  4. Use this mask thrice a month for the best results.

Honey Hair Mask – Honey is helpful in treating dry and damaged hair. This hair mask helps in reducing split ends as well. All you need is 

  • 2 tablespoons of honey and a glass of warm water.

Directions: 

  1. Mix two tablespoons of honey in a glass of warm water and apply it after shampooing. 
  2. Keep the mixture for 20 minutes and then rinse the mixture with cool water. You can use a conditioner after rinsing the mixture.

Aloe-Olive Hair Mask – Aloe vera gel and olive oil help in moisturizing dry and damaged hair. For this mask, you will need:

  • 3 tablespoons of aloe gel, and 
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

Directions: 

  1. Combine the aloe vera gel with olive oil and massage it on your head. 
  2. Leave it on for around an hour. 
  3. Then, rinse it off with shampoo and a conditioner. Use cool water to rinse the mixture.

Coconut Milk Hair Mask – Coconut contains protein in it and is thus beneficial for hair growth. For this hair mask, you will need:

  • A quarter cup of coconut milk, and 
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel. 
  • If you don’t have access to coconut milk, you can also use a quarter cup of coconut flesh.

Directions: 

  1. Combine the aloe vera gel with coconut milk and gently apply it thoroughly to your hair.
  2. If you’re using coconut flesh, blend the flesh along with the aloe vera gel until you get a smooth paste-like texture. Apply it on your hair and cover your hair with a shower cap or a towel. 
  3. Keep this mask on for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner. Use cool water to rinse the mixture.

Yogurt Olive Oil Hair Mask – This hair mask works best for curly hair. For this hair mask, you will need:

  • 1 cup of yogurt, 
  • Half tablespoon of honey, and 
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil. 
  • Again, use half the amount if you have short hair.

Directions: 

  1. Blend the yogurt, honey, and olive oil till you get a smooth mixture. 
  2. Apply this mask thoroughly, covering all your hair. 
  3. Apply the mask for 15 minutes and then rinse the mask with cool water using a shampoo and a conditioner.

Precautions to Take While Applying Hair Masks

It is important for one to consider the following precautions while applying a hair mask:

  • Before applying a hair mask, it is important to make sure that your hair is clean. If your hair is not clean, your scalp will not absorb the nutrients from the mask due to build-up.
  • Before making a hair mask, always make sure that they are suitable for your hair. If you have dry hair and use a mask that is recommended for oily hair, it can cause your hair more harm than good.
  • Always untangle your hair with a brush or a comb before applying the hair mask. This makes sure that one’s hair is not damaged in any way while rinsing the hair mask.
  • If your hair is wet, it is important to remove excess water from the hair before applying the hair mask. This will lead to the least amount of wastage of the hair mask.
  • It is important to gently massage your scalp while applying the hair mask as it will lead to more blood flow and an increase in the absorption of nutrients by the scalp. 
  • Use generous and concentrated amounts of the mask on the scalp as well as the ends of the hair as these areas need the most nutrients. However, if you have oily hair, refrain from applying too much amount of the mask on the scalp.
  • After washing your hair, it is important to let the hair air dry. Do not use a hairdryer to dry your hair as it can absorb the nutrients that were just provided to the hair.
  • Applying hair masks more than once a week can lead to greasy hair. Thus, it is advisable to apply it only once a week.
  • Egg white hair masks are needed to be applied for a short duration. So, don’t leave it on for more than 20 minutes.
  • When you’re rinsing off the hair mask, it is advisable to first lather your hair with cool water and then rinse it off with shampoo.

Side Effects of Hair Masks 

Generally, homemade hair masks are safe to use. However, if you have thin or damaged hair, it is important to consider the following side effects that may occur: 

  • If you have thin hair or a highly sensitive scalp, it is advisable to not use hair masks that contain mayonnaise. This is because some mayonnaise products may contain ingredients that can harm people who have sensitive scalp.
  • Before using an egg hair mask, it is important to consult your doctor first. Sometimes, eggs can lead to allergic reactions on the scalp.
  • If you don’t have jet black or dark hair, using lemon on your hair is not advisable. Lemon has bleaching effects, so it can bleach light hair. 
  • Lemon should also be avoided on dry or brittle hair because it helps in reducing oil production. 
  • Honey is healthy for hair smoothening and making hair strong. However, it too can have bleaching effects.

Myths and Facts About Hair Masks 

This section aims to bust certain myths about Hair Masks:

Myth: If you use the same hair mask for a long period of time, it will stop working. 

Fact: This is an erroneous belief. Using the same hair mask for a long period of time will not stop working on your hair. Its effects will be the same no matter how many times you use it. 

Myth: Hair masks can completely repair split ends. 

Fact: Once your hair starts splitting, it cannot be repaired with a hair mask. However, it will smoothen your hair and give it volume. The only way you can really tackle splint ends is by getting a haircut. However, hair masks can be used to prevent any further damage that can be caused by split ends.

Myth: Hair masks tend to make one’s hair greasy and oily.

Fact: This is not true as hair masks help in reducing the oil production in the scalp and thus make the hair look more shiny and glossy. However, it is important to use hair masks that are suitable for your hair type. If you have oily hair and use a hair mask that is suitable for dry hair, you won’t be happy with the results.

Myth: One can use hair masks every time they wash their hair.

Fact: No, it is advisable to use hair masks only once a week. If you use it every time you wash your hair, your hair can turn dry due to the high proportion of protein in some masks. Therefore, it is important that you use a hair mask only once a week. 

Myth: Store-bought (readymade) hair masks are better than homemade hair masks.

Facts: Some readymade store-bought hair masks contain chemicals that can harm one’s hair and must be avoided. If you are looking for a readymade hair mask, choose the ones that are herbal and natural. Homemade hair masks are usually better and safe to use.

Pros and Cons of Hair Masks

Hair masks are made from different ingredients that can nourish one’s hair and make it shinier. 

However, hair masks are not free from cons. Some pros and cons of hair masks (both readymade and homemade masks) are:

Pros of Hair Masks – 

  • Hair masks prevent hair dyes from fading. They protect the colour of the dye and treat the damage caused by hair colouring.
  • Hair masks help to fight dandruff. If one is constantly troubled by itchy, dry scalp and dandruff, using a moisturizing hair mask can help in fixing this problem. 
  • Hair masks provide deep conditioning to the hair and help stimulate hair growth. 
  • Hair masks are efficient in treating damaged hair. Long hair is difficult to manage and tend to be damaged at the ends. For a regular and consistent treatment of long hair, hair masks should be used once every week.
  • One can apply hair masks on either dry hair or damp hair.

Cons of Hair Masks – 

  • If one applies more than the recommended amounts of hair mask, their hair can get greasy or oily. Thus, it is better to not over-apply a hair mask.
  • Hair masks cannot treat split ends, however, if you use hair masks after getting a haircut, they can prevent it.
  • If you’re using a readymade store-bought hair mask that contains silicone, it can be harmful to your hair and cause dryness and itchiness.
  • Hair masks that contain egg yolks or coconut milk tend to be high on proteins. Sometimes, protein hair treatments can lead to the hair feeling stiff and hard. Many times, they can lead to extreme dryness as well. Hence, it is always advisable to use the recommended amount of these ingredients.

OTC Hair Mask Products

OTC refers to over-the-counter products which are safe and appropriate for use. The following products are safe for one to use:

  • L’Oréal Total Repair 5 Masque: This mask claims to nourish the hair from dryness, hair fall, roughness and dullness. This mask is best for those who have dry hair.
  • Dove Nourishing Oil Care Mask: This mask helps in making the hair glossier and less greasy. It helps in nourishing the roots of the hair and smoothens the hair texture.
  • Schwarzkopf Bonacure Repair Rescue Treatment Hair Mask: This mask is to be used once a week. It fights the dullness and roughness of one’s hair and makes one’s hair shiny.
  • The Body Shop’s Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter: All the products from The Body Shop claim to be made from natural ingredients and have no side effects. This hair butter untangles and deep conditions the hair. It also leaves behind shiny hair.
  • Wella Enrich Moisturizing Treatment Mask for Dry and Damaged Hair: This hair mask works best for brittle and frizzy hair. It improves one’s hair texture and fights frizz. 
  • Matrix Biolage Deep Smoothing Masque: This mask works as a detox from pollution. It helps to moisturize one’s hair and improves its texture. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Hair Masks: 

Q: How to find out if a hair mask suits you? 

A: You must always choose a hair mask that is suitable for your hair type. If a hair mask is suiting your hair, you will notice that your hair has an improved texture and looks hydrated. A good hair mask always helps the hair look moisturized, glossy and healthy. 

Q: Can hair masks make your hair grow faster? 

A: Yes, some hair masks can stimulate hair growth. An average person’s hair grows a quarter inch every month. If you apply a hair mask that stimulates hair growth, you won’t see any dramatic effects in just a month. However, if you use the hair mask consistently for a long period of time, you will see the results.

Q: How are hair masks different from conditioners? 

A: Hair conditioners and hair masks are both hair care products. However, a hair conditioner only works to add more moisture to the hair to make it look more shiny and soft. Hair masks, on the other hand, can be used as hair treatments. There are different hair masks for treating problems such as dandruff, oily hair, damaged and dry hair and brittle hair. 

Q: Can one use a conditioner after applying a hair mask? 

A: Yes, one can use a conditioner after applying a hair mask. Once you have rinsed the hair mask with your shampoo, you can apply a conditioner to lock the moisture and shine.  

Q: Is it okay to apply a hair mask after shampoo? 

A: Hair masks are generally supposed to be applied before shampooing your hair. If you have difficultly applying a hair mask on dry hair, you can wash your hair with plain water and then apply the mask on damp hair. 

Note: If you are applying a hair mask on damp hair, it is important to cover your hair with a shower cap or a towel to avoid any sort of leakage.

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