Say Goodbye To Dry, Brittle Hair: 15 Easy DIY Hair Masks That Will Transform Your Look

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Written by Annie Walton-Doyle

Updated: April 5, 2024

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One of the most common hair complaints is dryness. Life can be rather harsh on our locks, drying out our mane and even causing damage – and from time to time, hair just needs some extra TLC.

One of the best ways to add hydration to your hair strands is by using a nourishing and moisturizing hair mask, and there are many great options on the market to suit all budgets. However, many of us may not realize that the key to soft and silky hair may just lie in your kitchen.

That’s right – there are many household ingredients that can also double up as fantastic DIY hair masks for dry hair. So if you’re looking for a quick fix for dried-out and brittle-feeling locks, it’s well worth considering a trip to your kitchen, rather than a beauty supply store…

#1. Coconut Oil Mask

The NCBI draws attention to a wide variety of different oils that offer haircare benefits, and coconut oil is top of the pile for many. The fact that the oil is a solid at room temperature makes it easy to apply, plus the tropical scent is difficult to resist.

Per the NCBI’s studies, coconut oil can form a coating over the hair shaft, sealing the cuticle and trapping moisture inside. It’s also demonstrated to provide increased slip in between the hair strands, detangling the hair, smoothing and flattening the cuticle surface.

Plus, due to its low molecular weight, coconut oil is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft, so prevents the loss of protein from the hair.

#2. Olive Oil Mask

Olive oil is another great choice for a dry hair treatment. The NCBI claims it has an emollient function by sealing the cuticle and trapping the moisture inside the strand for a nourished and hydrated effect.

Olive oil also offers an antifungal effect, which can help treat scalp conditions like dandruff, plus offers some low-level UV protection to the hair.

#3. Castor Oil Mask

Castor oil has a thick and unctuous texture that feels supremely hydrating to the hair – and that’s also backed up by science. Per The NCBI, ricinoleic acid and its derivatives present in the oil have a moisturizing quality to the hair.

On top of this, the fatty acids in castor oil are proven to have very good penetrability, which can provide deep nourishment to the hair follicle when used as a mask.

#4. Almond Oil Mask

The NCBI also draws attention to the benefits of almond oil as a hair mask. It has emollient properties, and studies have proven it can be used to soften and moisturize dry hair.

Almond oil also contains fatty acids that are shown to protect against UV radiation-induced structural damage. The oil feels more lightweight, which can make it a better choice for fine hair that gets weighed down easily by products. 

#5. Egg Mask

Eggs are packed full of protein, which can help strengthen the structures of our individual 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.

#6. Mayonnaise Mask

Mayonnaise is essentially a blend of egg yolks and oils, so it offers the benefits of both when used as a mask for dry hair. The NCBI draws attention to mayonnaise’s use in treating hair damage and even repairing split ends.

To make it even more appealing, it essentially already has the texture of a hair mask, making the application foolproof. And if you’re concerned about the scent, don’t worry – it rinses clean and doesn’t leave any odd, vinegary aroma.

#7. Rice Water Rinse

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Using rice water on your hair has long been a practice in Asian cultures. Many believe it’s the secret to long and strong locks. Medical News Today further points to some anecdotal evidence for the benefits of rice water on brittle and breaking hair.

To make your own, simply soak rice in clean, filtered water, then pour it into a spray bottle. After you’ve washed your hair, apply the rice water through your locks, allow it some time to soak in, and then rinse clean. 

#8. Aloe Vera Mask

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The benefits of aloe vera to skin healing have been used for centuries as a natural remedy. So it only makes sense that these similar healing and hydrating benefits can be applied to the hair, too.

Per the NCBI, aloe vera can increase collagen production, and even contains a hormone that can stimulate hair growth. Aloe vera is packed with enzymes, fatty acids, nourishing vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties that are excellent for dry hair.

You can either use the gel from the inside of an aloe vera succulent or purchase 100% pure aloe vera gel from a health food store.

#9. Avocado Mask

Avocado isn’t just a delicious breakfast – it’s almost as good mashed on your hair as it is mashed on toast. It’s filled with natural, healthy fats, including a high concentration of moisturising and nourishing avocado oil. The fruit also contains high concentrations of B vitamins that can be otherwise lacking in your locks.

#10. Yogurt Mask

An NCBI study references the use of yogurt to treat hair damage, split ends, and dandruff. It combines lactic acid with the fats contained in milk, meaning it can help to deeply cleanse and add nourishment at the same time.

This makes a yogurt hair mask a perfect choice for anyone with dry hair ends, but greasier roots that are prone to product buildup. Just make sure you opt for a full-fat and unflavored yogurt to achieve the maximum haircare benefits.

#11. Green Tea Rinse

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The health benefits of ingesting green tea are well documented, but its use as a cosmetic ingredient is also backed by science. The benefits of applying green tea to the hair include the ability to inhibit roughness and to minimize dandruff. 

When used as a rinse, green tea moisturizes and smooths hair, giving it a nourished and shiny appearance. Simply brew a mug of green tea as normal, give it some time to cool, and then use it as the final step in your hair-wash routine.

#12. Mashed Banana Mask

This NCBI study cites bananas as a key ingredient in traditional Saudi Arabian haircare to treat hair loss and damage, and, in particular, to take care of split ends. This can give dry hair a more moisturized, healthy, and happy look.

Mashed banana also has a perfect texture for application as a hair mask, as it’s thick enough to coat the hair but lightweight enough to rinse clean at the end of your treatment.

#13. Honey Mask

Per the NCBI: “Honey has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant activities and has high nutrient value,” making it a wonderful choice for a mask for dry hair.

Opt for a more high-quality product, like an organic local honey or a manuka honey, to get the maximum benefits for your dry hair.

#14. Oatmeal Mask

Oatmeal is protein-rich and anti-inflammatory, so it can help to soothe an irritated scalp while nourishing your hair’s individual strands. One NCBI study claims that “oatmeal possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and its administration is effective” in treating a range of dermatological conditions, too.

You can prepare your oatmeal hair mask in much the same way you would prepare your oatmeal, then apply it to the hair, allow it time to penetrate, and then rinse clean.

#15. Any Of The Above

Once you have a few of the above DIY hair mask ingredients in your arsenal, you can start to really allow your inner product formulator to flourish. Any of the aforementioned hair mask options make great ingredients when mixed together for your perfect DIY mask for dry hair!

For example, mixing any of the oils with honey can help to create a thicker and more substantial texture for your mask, while offering the haircare benefits of both ingredients. You can mix and match depending on your haircare needs (or even just what’s in your kitchen at the time) to help revive and moisturize dry hair, restoring softness, smoothness, and shine.

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