DIY Hair Mask for Hydration
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.
How do I know if my hair needs hydration?
Is your hair frizzy? Does it tangle easily? Maybe it looks dull? If your hair is Frizzy, tangles easily, is lacking shine or looks dull then you could use some hydration.
How to make a 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.
1. 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. Lighter oils are better for the scalp though- Jojoba is very similar to skin sebum and would work well for dry scalp.
- 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.
DIY Hair Mask Recipes for Hydration
A. Honey Oat and Yogurt
1. 1 tbsp Olive Oil
2. 1/2c Honey
3. 1c Yogurt
4. 1 tbsp of ground or colloidal oats – You can grind them in a blender
B. Rosemary Mayo
1. 1c Mayonnaise
2. 1 tsp Coconut Oil
3. 1 tbsp Rosemary Water or20 drops Rosemary EO- or both
C. Banana Soft
1. ½ banana – mashed
2. 1 tbsp Canola or Olive oil
3. 1 Egg
After the Mask:
Wrap your hair in a Warm towel while you have the mask on and leave for at least 20 minutes. Rinse your head in cool water to remove the mask then use shampoo still with cool water. Try to limit your washes to 2x per week or less and use a mask before each washing to help stop, soothe and prevent dryness.
To help dryness in between washes use a rosemary oil spray. Combine 1 part water and 1 part light oil (like grapeseed) then 20-30 drops of rosemary essential oil into a spray bottle. – Use within one month for freshness.