Curly hair can run the gamut between frizzy and greasy, with different curl patterns and styling habits giving different results.
The best thing you can do for your hair is to avoid overwashing and heat styling where possible, but failing that a mask should replenish your tresses.
Rather than scouring the high street, you can also make your own hair mask from items in your cupboards and fridge.
Not only does this give you the ability to tailor the treatment to your own concerns, but it’s also cheaper and helps you combat food waste.
Here are eight easy DIY hair mask recipes, as well as the hair types they’ll suit.
Banana and honey
Best for: Dry hair
Banana has a high silica content, while honey is packed with antioxidants and has humectant and emollient properties, making this mask a must for curly hair.
The nourishing ingredients should feed your hair while the honey adds unparalleled shine.
To make, mash a banana with a tablespoon of honey in a bowl. Once mixed, apply from roots to tips and leave for around 15 minutes before rinsing well.
This can be left on longer to boost the mask’s effects.
Best for: Weak hair
Yoghurt has been used for centuries for hair and skin concerns, with proponents claiming the lactic acid and protein in the dairy product strengthens hair and keeps it hydrated.
Take a cup and fill with natural yoghurt, using a hand blender or whisk to whip it to a thick, mask-like consistency.
Then put it all over your hair and cover with a shower cap. Leave this on for half an hour or more, then rinse out. You should find your hair feels strong and soft.
Coconut oil and sugar
Best for: Dandruff
Coconut oil is a favourite for hair masks, and when combined with sugar it can be a wonderful topical product for itchy or flaky scalps – something curly-haired folks can be more prone to.
If you struggle with frizz, you’ll love how the coconut oil reduces flyaways, as well as how its antimicrobial properties help you avoid dandruff.
Make a mask of two tablespoons of coconut oil, four teaspoons of brown sugar, and a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil.
Mix thoroughly (you may need to warm the coconut oil before you start) then place on your hair, focusing on the scalp. Massage this in, using the abrasive qualities of the sugar to slough away dead skin.
After leaving on for around 20 minutes, you’re good to wash it off.
Green tea and apple cider vinegar
Best for: Product build-up
Build-up on curly hair types is no joke, and can turn your strands dull and heavy.
If you prefer a less creamy leave-in treatment for the hair – and one that’ll boost shine and clarify – opt for this rinse.
Let a cup of green tea cool, before adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and two drops of peppermint oil (optional).
Pour over your hair and leave it to sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing off with cold water.
There are loads of benefits to this liquid mask, with calming green tea soothing itchy scalps and apple cider vinegar removing any build-up.
Best for: Itchy scalps
The reason we reach for aloe vera when we’re sunburned is how packed with nutrients it is, from vitamins C, E, and B-12, as well as folic acid and choline.
If you have an aloe vera plant, you can cut the leaves open and scoop out the flesh for this. If not, pure aloe vera gel can be bought from health and beauty shops across the country.
Aloe vera gel can be used on its own as a mask, left on for around half an hour, then rinsed off. For those who want an added hair health boost, try mixing a teaspoon of castor oil in and using the same way.
Avocado, egg, and olive oil
Best for: Frizzy hair
Curly and wavy hair needs moisture to keep your coils looking defined and not frizzy.
Your hair will drink in the healthy fats in avocado and olive oil, while the egg is also filled with protein to strengthen it.
Take half an avocado (you want this to be very ripe) and mash it until it’s smooth. Add in an egg and a tablespoon of olive oil. You can also add a tablespoon of honey here too.
Leave on for as long as you want, but be sure you rinse with cool water so the egg doesn’t ‘cook’ in the shower.
Egg and lemon
Best for: Dull hair
Back on the egg train, with a mask that’s designed to promote growth and add shine.
The egg’s amino acids will make your curls more manageable, and lemon will remove build-up and add shine. Do be aware, though, that the citrus fruit’s astringent properties mean this mask isn’t suitable for dyed hair.
To make, separate an egg, putting the white into a mixing bowl. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and combine until smooth.
Cover your head and leave on for 30 minutes to an hour, again ensuring you use cool water to rinse.
Best for: All hair types
Did we mention eggs are good for your hair? A dollop of mayo might seem better suited to a bag of chips, but think of the ingredients in the condiment and it does make sense that it’d be great on hair.
Mayonnaise is made of vinegar, oil, and egg, all of which are in the mask recipes above, and as a hair mask it’s reportedly a favourite of Blake Lively.
There’s no real trick to this, just go straight from the jar, using around the same amount of mayo as you normally would shampoo.
Coat the hair from root to tip then cover and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Give it a really good wash with cool water to get rid of any residue, and you should notice healthier hair in no time.
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