Cold weather, chemical and heat straightening, hair colouring, exposure to sun are just some of the ways your hair can get damaged. Not only this, some of us have naturally dry and unruly hair. All these factors can make hair appear dull, promote breakage and feel like a straw. I’ll be sharing some of the tried and tested hair masks that can bring your hair back to life. But if you are unsure whether your hair is damaged or not, try this test first.
To check if your hair is damaged or not, pluck a strand from your scalp and put it in a bowl of water. If your hair is healthy, it will float. If it sinks, it is damaged. The sinking occurs because your hair become porous when certain damaging products are applied on them. The porous hair absorb water and sinks.
1. Avocado and Egg Yolk Mask
If your hair is dry or damaged or both, then avocados are the miracle you’ve been waiting for. With a high amount of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and fatty acids, they help strengthen and soften dry damaged hair. The oil in avocado is one of the few oils that can actually penetrate the hair and nourish it from within. When used in conjugation with egg yolk, this mask helps tame unruly hair, strengthen and nourish them, heal damaged ends and impart them softness and shine. It also works wonderfully in enhancing hair growth!
Apply the mixture of 1/2 Avocado with 1-2 egg yolks (depending upon length of your hair) and keep it for 20-30 minutes. Wash off with a mild shampoo and condition lightly.
2. Warm olive oil and hot towel for steam
This one is my personal favourite. Use your favourite oil or a concoction of oils. My favourite is mixing almond and coconut oil in a 1:2 ratio. Warm the oils(s) and apply it to slightly damp hair. Then take a hot towel (towel immersed in hot water and wrung out ) and wrap it around your hair in a turban form and let it sit for 5-7 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times. The hot towel provides steam to open the pores and allows the oil to penetrate inside the scalp and hair. Take care to wring out all the hot water from the towel before using it. If you find the hot towel process too cumbersome, a similar effect can be achieved by using a shower cap and blasting it with hot air from a dryer.
3. Egg and Yoghurt Mask
Eggs are packed with nutrients and when combined with yogurt, this mask helps to nourish, smoothen and treat dry or damaged hair. It provides incredible shine and also helps regulate the imbalance in sebum production in oily scalps. If your hair does not need intense moisturization, this is the perfect mask for you.
Mix 1 full egg with 1/4th cup of yoghurt. Apply and leave it on your hair for an hour. Wash off with a mild shampoo.
4. Banana and Olive Oil Mask
Bananas are my favourite when it comes to getting a quick fix for my dry hair. Or dry patches on my combination skin too for that matter! They work wonderfully to provide intense hydration and shine to the hair. And make it so soft and managable. Filled with potassium and vitamins, it improves elasticity if the hair and repair damaged/split ends. Because it provides intense hydration, it works well for flaky, itchy scalp. Just remember to mash the banana in a blender. When mashed manually, more often than not, lumps remain which can keep sticking to your hair even after a wash.
Mash 1 banana in a blender and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in it. Coat all your strands one by one with this mixture. Keep for 30-40 minutes and wash off.
5. Mayonnaise Mask
The good old mayonnaise is the answer to your hair woes if your goal is to get shinier and softer hair. It provides intense shine and moisturization to dry or damaged hair, which some people say to be at par to expensive salon treatments.
Apply the regular/ classic mayonnaise on damp hair. Tie your hair into a bun and wear plastic shower cap over it. Wash off after 30 mins. It may make your hair greasy so remember not to overdo it!
1. Wash your hair less frequently and use a mild shampoo. If your scalp is greasy and you have to wash your hair frequently, try concentrating the shampoo to the first 2-3 inches on your roots, since that is where most of the sebum is accumulated. Avoid subjecting the rest of your hair to unnecessary shampoo.
2. When applying a deep conditioner, try blasting your hair with some heat from the hair dryer or better yet, use a hot towel. It will make the effect of your deep conditioner more pronounced.
3. Once to of the shower, use a cotton shirt in place of a towel to absorb excess water. It is much kinder to hair.
4. Always use a leave-in serum to detangle the damaged ends.
5. Get your hair trimmed especially if you have split ends. That will make the whole damage-repairing process faster.
6. Your hair needs healthy fats to repair itself. So eat plenty of avocados, salmon, and olive oil.
7. Be consistent with hair treatments. Consistency is very important if you want to see results.