Your Guide to Healthy Hair: Easy DIY Treatments to Try

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Written by Annie Walton-Doyle

Updated: March 19, 2024

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Your hair can be put through a lot—bleaching, coloring, heat treatments, and just the wear and tear of everyday life. So it’s no wonder that, from time to time, hair needs an extra bit of TLC to help it to get back on the right track.

However, sometimes, you don’t have the right products on hand to treat your hair’s problems. And in such times of need, it’s great to have some DIY methods on hand.

Many common kitchen ingredients can help restore your hair to its best self in a quick (and, importantly) affordable way. So, if you’re looking for natural, DIY remedies to common hair problems, read on…

The Problem: Weak, Brittle Hair

The Solution: An Egg Mask

Eggs are packed full of protein, which can help strengthen the structures of our very hair strands. This can help enhance hair elasticity and strength, plus give the appearance of fuller and thicker hair. Eggs can also help hair to grow over time, per NCBI.

This treatment is extremely easy – just take an egg (or two, if your hair is long) and whisk them until they’re fully combined. You can add a drop of an essential oil like peppermint if you want to minimize the slightly sulfuric fragrance. Apply the mixture over dry hair, wait for it to sink in, then rinse and wash as normal.

The Problem: Dull Hair

The Solution: Hot Oil Treatment

Warm oils can be the best way to add softness and shine to dry and dull hair types, and there are tons of different oils you can try. Curly or coily hair can benefit from thicker options like castor oil and coconut oil, while finer hair may wish to go for something lighter like grape seed or jojoba oil. The NCBI draws attention to a wide variety of different oils that offer haircare benefits.

To do a hot oil treatment at home, apply your oil of choice through the lengths of your hair, then pil your hair on top of your head and cover it with a shower cap. You can then use a hair dryer to warm the oil, allowing it to better penetrate your hair. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing out, then washing and styling hair as normal. 

The Problem: Hair Breakage

The Solution: Rice Water

Rice water has been used for centuries in Asian communities to help with hair growth, minimizing hair greying and thinning and giving a strong, smooth, and healthy look. The trend has made its way over to social media, too, with many influencers extolling the benefits of a rice water rinse. Medical News Today further points to some anecdotal evidence for the benefits of rice water on brittle and breaking hair.

To make rice water at home, you need just two ingredients – rice, and water. You can either soak or boil the rice to infuse the water with the amino acids that are so beneficial to hair.

Once you’ve created your rice water, store it in a spray bottle. To use, first shampoo your hair, then towel dry and apply your rice water through the lengths and ends. Leave it to soak in, then rinse with warm water and style as normal.

The Problem: Dry Hair

The Solution: Avocado Mask

Avocados aren’t just a superfood for your body – they’re also packed with nutrients that can help out your hair, too. It’s filled with natural, healthy fats, plus B vitamins that can be otherwise lacking in your locks.

If you know how to make avocado toast, you also know how to make an avocado hair mask, as the process is remarkably similar. Simply mash a ripe avocado and apply all over your dry hair in the place of conditioner. Avocado also makes an excellent base mask to add extra ingredients (like essential oils) to to tailor your DIY mask to your specific needs.

The Problem: Combination Hair

The Solution: Yogurt Hair Mask

If you find your hair is getting lank and greasy at the roots, but dry and frizzy at the ends, yogurt can be a great DIY hair mask choice. The lactic acid cleanses gently, while milk fats add moisture. An NCBI study references the use of yoghurt to treat hair damage, split ends, and dandruff.

Yogurt can be applied to the hair in the place of a commercial hair mask. Make sure you give it time to penetrate before rinsing out and styling as normal.

When choosing the yogurt for your hair treatment, make sure to opt for something with a higher fat content (as this adds more moisture and nourishment) and without any additives or flavor. 

The Problem: Split Ends

The Solution: Mashed Banana Mask

A mashed banana hair mask is a classic workhorse from the teen magazines of our youth – but if you try it out again today, you’ll be surprised by how effective it truly is. This NCBI study cites bananas as a key ingredient in traditional Saudi Arabian haircare to treat hair loss, damage, and, in particular, to take care of split ends. 

Bananas are again rich in amino acids, which are prevalent in many DIY haircare treatments. Amino acids help repair the hair’s individual strand structures, giving a stronger and healthier appearance to your mane. You can apply a mashed, ripe banana to your hair neat, or combine it with a hair oil or even your regular conditioner to add an extra dose of nourishment.

The Problem: Scalp Buildup

The Solution: Rosemary Oil

The use of rosemary oil to help cleanse and stimulate the scalp for hair growth has been well-documented by science. One study even claims that: “Application of rosemary oil was as effective as 2% minoxidil ointment. In addition, there was better treatment adherence in the rosemary group compared to the minoxidil group.”

Rosemary oil can be too potent to be applied neat to the hair, so it’s best combined with a neutral carrier oil for maximum efficacy. Jojoba and avocado oils are both great options for this. You can use rosemary oil in your hot oil treatment, like a conventional hair mask, or apply a far smaller amount as a leave-in treatment, too.

The Problem: Lackluster Color

The Solution: Tea Rinse

If your hair is looking a little drab and dull in between trips to the salon, but you don’t feel confident reaching for an at-home dye, a tea rinse can help to enhance your hair’s tones and give a shinier, just-dyed appearance at home.

You need to choose a tea that complements your hair’s shade. Camomile tea is perfect for blondes, while darker hairs can go for darker brews, like black tea. Simply brew your tea as normal, allow it to cool to avoid burning yourself, and then rise over your hair at the end of your hair wash routine. 

The Problem: Flaky Scalp

The Solution: Lemon Juice Scrub

A flaky or itchy scalp isn’t just unsightly – it can also be super uncomfortable and generally annoying. Dandruff is amongst the most common complaints combated by DIY haircare treatments, per NCBI

Lemon can have anti-inflammatory properties that can calm irritation in the scalp and prevent future flaking, while its citric acid content can help gently cleanse and exfoliate the scalp. For a super flaky scalp, or to target lots of product buildup, you can add baking soda to your lemon juice to make a foamy, exfoliating scrub that’ll leave the scalp feeling extra clean.

The Problem: Damaged Hair

The Solution: Honey Mask

Honey is an amazing all-rounder when it comes to adding nourishment and moisture back into damaged and dry hair types. It’s a natural humectant, meaning it can help draw moisture into the hair, plus, it has natural anti-inflammatory benefits to treat scalp irritation and help with overall holistic hair and scalp health.

Honey is another ingredient that can be applied neat to the hair in place of a conventional hair mask. It’s also a great base to mix with other ingredients, like rosemary oil or lemon juice, to target multiple hair problems at the same time.

The Problem: Frizzy Hair

The Solution: Apple Cider Vinegar

Per Medical News Today, the natural acidity of apple cider vinegar can help smooth the outer cuticle of your hair’s strands, giving a detangled and defrizzed appearance. A smoother hair cuticle can also better reflect light, giving hair a glossier, shinier look, too.

To use apple cider vinegar in your hair, you must make a diluted solution with water – around one part ACV per eight parts water. Apply your rinse at the end of your hair-washing routine, pouring the mixture through your locks. Try to keep it out of your eyes, though, as the low pH can sting!

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