I have personal experience
People that know me, know that I have very long hair and have had long hair most of my entire life. I was blessed with very thick, course semi wavy hair that tends to have a mind of it’s own. I am also not very good with making visits to the salon to get trims. I used to keep my hair bleached blonde but have not dyed my hair in about 6 years now. Even though it has not been chemically altered my hair still has issues. I use heat on my hair which is bad and leave it in a bun a lot which causes my ends to fray and split. I use a hair mask once each month focusing on the ends and shaft. My scalp is naturally oily so I don’t have a need to use it there but we’re all different, so you may need to. Here is what I have learned:
The Science of Hair
Hair strands are made up of layers. Most people have two layers and some people have three. The Cuticle is the outermost layer of hair and protects the strand like shingles on a roof. It is translucent and provides protection. The Cortex is the inner layer that gives hair its color and is made of protein. The protein is like a rope, keeping the structure.
Split ends are:
Split ends are where the cuticle had been worn away by harsh treatment, and environmental or chemical factors. The protection is missing and with the cortex being like a rope pieces will start to fray and stuck out. There is NO way to repair the cuticle but you can add things that help to nourish the cortex and semi protect it.
How to build your own Hair Mask.
First lets explain a few key ideas:
Acidic components like Lemon or Apple Cider Vinegar will cause the cuticle to shrink and harden. This doesn’t let things in and is best for environmental protection.
Alkaline components like baking soda, certain oils and water will cause the cuticle to swell up and soften. This is most hair masks. This is good for getting hydration into your hair but you must rinse with an acid to close the cuticle afterwards.
Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and are required to nourish your hair. We do get this naturally from our diets but it helps to strengthen the hair shaft when added.
The Basics: Oil-Base-Protein
Every basic DIY Recipe will need an oil, a base, and a protein. You can mix and match to find the best for you.
Thicker oils work best on hair especially near the ends.
- Heavy oils with Oleic Acid – castor or coconut oil. Work better to penetrate hair.
- Light oils with Linoleic Acid- grapeseed oil- can still be used and is easier to wash out.
The base is what makes the mask masky. It holds everything together in a mask consistency. Some bases double as proteins.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe vera has fatty acids and amino acids and is rich in vitamins A, B12, C, and E. Use store bought get or buy an aloe leaf from the store and spoon out the interior.
- Avocado- Avocados are loaded with potassium and protein. Just mash an avocado like you are making guac.
- Mayo-Mayo has an amino acid called L-cysteine. This due to addition of lemon juice and vinegar. It also has eggs for protein. Just use a scoop or two from the jar.
Like I said earlier some proteins can double as bases. That makes mixing and making even easier. Protein is necessary for hair repair masks.
- Collagen Powder- add to any mask for added protein
- Yogurt- Can also be used as a base and has all 9 essential amino acids
- Eggs- Crack one in for some protein.
Recipes for DIY Hair Mask for damage repair
Yogurt and Egg mask
1 c Yogurt
1 tbsp Castor oil
1 tbsp Coconut oil
Mix and add to hair. Leave on 20 minute minimum.
Avocado and Honey mask
1/2 of an avocado
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tbsp hemp seed oil
1 tsp honey
You can substitute oils if you do not have these on hand. A good substitute for hemp seed oil is grapeseed oil. Mix all together and apply. Let sit for 10 minutes minimum.
Mayo and Banana mask
1 c mayo
1 tsp hemp seed oil
1tbsp avocado oil
Mix and add to hair. Leave on for at least 10 minutes.
After the mask
After you rinse the mask out with cool water. Rinse your hair in apple cider vinegar or lemon juice before washing with shampoo to keep all the nutrients from being washed out.
Let me know which mask you picked and how it worked for you! Hope you enjoy the DIY Hair mask to Repair Damaged Hair.