The Pioneer Woman January 13, 2021

The Pioneer Woman


10 DIY Hair Masks That Actually Work

Get a spa-like experience with ingredients you already have at home.

Living on a ranch in rural Oklahoma, Ree Drummond doesn't have the luxury of being able to quickly dash to the bank, grocery store...or salon. All hope for luscious, well-maintained locks is not lost, though. Whether you're far from a spa or salon like the Drummonds or your hair just needs a quick little pick-me-up, DIY hair masks can work in a pinch to make you feel relaxed and pampered—and they can even target your most frustrating hair concerns. Try making a day out of it and giving yourself a salon-worthy pedicure and manicure at home, too!

You probably have all of the ingredients for these homemade hair masks in your pantry already—avocado, olive oil and eggs are featured ingredients in most of these recipes. But, before you head to the kitchen to start whipping up a hair treatment, keep in mind that there's a difference between just gooping products into your hair and actually making a mix that'll do something. To find the most effective recipes, we consulted seven experts to learn about the DIY hair masks they make at home, and why the ingredients in them really work. Read below—your hair will thank you!

For Split Ends:

"While nothing can fix split ends except a trim, a mask will coat the split ends to make them look healthy in the meantime," says Amy Abramite, Creative Director, Salon Educator and Stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "Avocados have minerals that will seal the cuticle, as well as proteins and vitamins to nourish and soften the hair. A layer of olive oil will add extra shine and sleekness to gloss over the damaged hair."

½ an avocado
½ cup olive oil

Mash ingredients in a bowl with a fork and blend together. Apply to the split ends only. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.

For an Oily Scalp:

“Apple cider vinegar is good to add to a mask for someone who has an oily scalp,” Abramite says. “It can remove impurities and build up from the scalp and cleanse the hair.”

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

Combine apple cider vinegar with honey. The honey will act as a binding agent and to keep the moisture from being stripped from the hair and scalp. This blend will be a rinse so it will have to be put into a spray bottle and misted onto the hair. Leave in for 10 minutes, and rinse with warm water.

For Shine:

An olive oil and coconut oil mask is the best concoction for high gloss shine, Abramite says. Both are natural emollients that keep hydration in the hair so it can remain smooth, soft and shiny.

1/4 cup olive oil combined
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Combine olive oil and coconut oil. Heat for a few seconds in the microwave. The warmth of the oil will open the hair cuticle for deeper penetration of the hair structure for maximum benefits. Leave on the hair for 10 minutes in a shower cap then rinse with warm water.

For Dry Hair:

"Jojoba and coconut oils both have major moisture properties that help with weakened hair," says Matt Rez, celebrity colorist. According to Rez, coconut oil is rich with lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid that will penetrate the cuticle and strengthen hair from within. It's also great for the scalp as coconut oil removes buildup of sebum from hair follicle, a condition that can cause hair loss. Jojoba oil on the other hand will moisturize, strengthen hair to prevent breakage and also treat dandruff issues.

1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon jojoba oil

Warm up mixture in the microwave for up to 30 seconds to create a more runny consistency. Apply to clean hair from roots to ends, working into the scalp as well. Leave in for up to 20 minutes.

For Strength, Conditioning & Growth:

Beauty Vlogger Melissa Denise developed this food-based mask to help strengthen, condition and help grow long healthy hair. Surprisingly, the most important ingredient here is actually mayo, Denise says: "Mayonnaise is loaded with amino acids and protein. This helps promote healthy hair growth. In addition mayonnaise is a great way to add moisture back into your hair as well as stop frizz."

1 avocado
2 eggs
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp organic honey
2 cups organic mayo (Regular mayo is fine but organic is best)

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. If necessary use a hand mixer or blender. It is very important to eliminate all chucks because it will be a nightmare to wash out if you don’t. Once mixed, apply the mask to all sections of hair from root to tip. Cover hair with a plastic cap or bag for up to 3 hours. Rinse mask out, shampoo and condition like normal. When using a mask that contains food, it's good to shampoo more than once just to make sure everything is washed out. Recommend for use one to two times a month.

For Color Treated Hair:

Color treated hair is extra vulnerable to damage, and this mask from Anabel Kingsley, Brand President and Consultant Trichologist at Philip Kingsley, will target even the worst color-related breakage. It's made with eggs which contain protein, the building blocks of healthy hair.

2 eggs
1 tablespoon of any thick conditioner
1 oz castor oil
1 ripe avocado
1 oz full fat milk

Whisk together ingredients. Refrigerate overnight and apply to your hair in sections. Leave in for 20 minutes and then rinse out.

A Quick Fix for Dry Hair:

For dry locks, Kingsley recommends this quick mask which will freshen dry strands in just 10 minutes.

2 eggs
2 half eggshells of olive oil or other light vegetable oil
½ an avocado
2oz purified water

Whisk together ingredients. Work the mixture into your hair with your fingertips, leave for 10 minutes and then wash off.

For Healthy Hair and Scalp:

"This simple mix of organic carrier oils and essential oils can be massaged into your scalp and throughout your hair to promote blood flow, improve circulation and stimulate hair follicles," says Jana Blankenship, Founder of natural hair-care company Captain Blankenship. "Stimulating the follicles encourages hair growth and deeply nourishes both the hair and scalp." Bonus: This can also be used as a hair oil or to prevent frizz and flyaways.

2 tablespoons argan oil
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
Optional: 2 drops peppermint essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon. Pour into a 1oz glass bottle with eyedropper. Massage a few drops of oil into the palm of your hands and massage in a circular motion over your whole scalp. Work oil throughout your hair from roots to ends. Leave on for 15 minutes or longer. Can be left in hair overnight for deeper treatment. Wash out with shampoo and conditioner.

For Damaged Hair

"This hair mask repairs dry, brittle hair, helps balance PH levels and treats excessive dandruff and product build-up," says Ada Rojas, Founder of Botanika Beauty.

2 large eggs
Aloe vera plant stem
2 tablespoons castor oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Crack the 2 large eggs into a blender, add the stem of aloe vera, add two tablespoons of castor oil. Apply to hair from mid-shaft to ends. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse off and use a fiber towel to limit frizz and not damage the strands.

For Ultimate Hydration

"The benefits of coconut oil for your hair are endless," says Michelle Cleveland, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Hair Addict Salon. Unlike some other natural oils, coconut oil penetrates into the cortex of the hair (the thickest layer), providing more than just a shiny exterior—it moisturizes to the core!

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey

Bring both the coconut oil and honey to room temperature and mix together well before applying. Be careful not to make this too hot, as you could burn your scalp! Work the mixture through damp hair, making sure to coat every strand from root to tip. Leave the mask on for about 20 minutes and rinse well. Follow with your normal shampoo and conditioner routine.