When you want to give your hair a smoothing boost, try a hair mask. Masks can help remove oil and dirt from your hair and give it a shot of moisture, making it shinier and more manageable. They also serve as a deepconditioner and can work in tandem with everyday conditioners that wash out with shampoo. While healing damaged hair is impossible, hair masks can help create the illusion of hair repair while the damage is growing out. You can use a hair mask as often as once a week, although for many people once a month is enough.
It’s easy to make your own masks at home, and when you mix your own you can control the ingredients, modifying the mask for your hair’s needs and ensuring your mask doesn’t contain any unwanted chemicals. Masks are great choices for gently counteracting the damaging effects of hair coloring, perming and relaxing.
DIY Hair Masks: Once you’ve applied these masks to your hair, wrap your head in plastic wrap or wear a shower cap for the recommended time — your body’s heat will help the mask work. After the time is up, rinse out the mask and wash your hair with a gentle shampoo.
Coconut mask: Massage coconut cream (sold in cans at grocery stores) into your hair and leave on for an hour.
Egg mask: Mix one egg with one tablespoon of water and work through your hair. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes.
Banana mask: Blend one banana, one egg, three tablespoons honey, three tablespoons milk, and five tablespoons olive oil. Spread the mixture through your hair and leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes. Or try a banana mixed with a half-teaspoon of almond oil.
Avocado mask: Mix one avocado, one tablespoon honey, and two tablespoons olive oil. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse and shampoo. For a variation, blend the avocado with one tablespoon each of lemon juice and aloe gel, and one teaspoon sea salt.
Olive oil mask: Blend two tablespoons olive oil with one egg. Leave on for 15 to 30 minutes. For a variation, try replacing the egg with a tablespoon of honey.Some of these masks, such as the banana and avocado masks, make a large amount, and with their food content they won’t keep for long. Invite a friend or two over to share, or pass along the extra right away.
Packaged Hair Masks: If mixing up your own mask isn’t for you, you’ll find lots of hair masks in drugstores and salons geared towards different hair types. Prices start around $5 and can approach $50. If you’re not sure what to try, talk to your stylist. He or she can recommend a mask for your hair type and condition, taking into consideration how much you’d like to spend.
Whatever mask you choose, homemade or store-bought, a good mask treatment can help make your hair smooth, shiny, soft, and manageable.