Are you dealing with dry, damaged hair? Maybe you’ve spent hours scanning your local beauty department’s dry hair solutions – only to be overwhelmed by the variety of options, high prices, or sketchy-sounding ingredients involved. Luckily, you can actually make your own remedies at home for dry, damaged hair. Here are some solutions to try:
First, fix the underlying issue
All too often, dry, damaged hair is caused by harsh treatment, but according to a New York Times health guide, dry hair can also be caused by malnutrition, hypothyroidism, and even dry air. So before you launch into a bevy of homemade masks and oil treatments, try to figure out what’s causing your hair to be dry in the first place.
As with all health issues, dry and damaged hair could be related to lack of water or poor nutrition, so clean up your diet first. One article from WebMD notes that healthy fat-rich foods, such as salmon and walnuts, are great for boosting the health of your hair from the inside out. If you’re really struggling with dry, easily breakable hair, you may even want to consider taking a nutritional supplement containing hair-healthy ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids and biotin.
Another common problem that causes dry, damaged hair is over-treatment. If you’re using a harsh shampoo every day, you’ll probably dry out your hair, even if you’re using conditioner. Switching to a gentle, natural shampoo can help, as can shampooing just every other day. Using cooler water in the shower can also be helpful, since super-heated water dries out both your hair and your skin.
Finally, if you’re styling your hair every day with heat tools, prepare for damage and dryness. The best option is to skip the hair dryer and, especially, the straightener and curling iron, as much as possible. But if you must use heated tools to style your hair daily, apply a protective spray to keep the heat from drying out your hair. You can make your own heat protector spray with avocado oil, shea butter, and lemon juice, or you can pick up a commercial protector spray in your local beauty department.
Now, on to how you can re-moisturize your hair – naturally and from home. – after it’s already been damaged:
Next, use your hair’s natural oils
One of the best ways to re-moisturize your hair is to use its own natural oils to make it smooth and shiny again. Even if your hair is dry, your scalp is continually producing natural sebum – the oil that is produced to keep your skin and hair healthy.
Interestingly, too much shampooing and processing results in overproduction of sebum as well as dry ends. Your roots will be oily while you still struggle with split ends.
To help the rest of your hair become shiny and supple again, redistribute that sebum throughout the hair shaft. To do this, simply use a natural boar bristle brush to gently brush down the length of your dry hair every morning or evening. The bristles will help take the sebum and spread it all the way to the ends of your hair.
Create a hot oil treatment
A hot oil treatment is one of the easiest ways to re-moisturize your hair, and it makes for a luxurious, spa-like experience, too. Creating your own hot oil treatment at home is easy, and lets you customize the treatment for your hair and your preferences.
For your treatment, you’ll need to start with a base oil. These carrier oils can then be infused with herbs or essential oils for a deliciously scented treatment that boosts your hair’s health even more.
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Some great hot oil bases include jojoba oil, coconut oil, castor oil and sesame oil. Jojoba is very close to your hair’s own sebum, and it’s great for oily hair because it’s very light. Coconut oil is excellent for treating a flaky, dandruff-ridden scalp. Castor oil is excellent for oily hair as well, but it’s also a strengthening treatment for thin, easily-damaged hair. Sesame oil is a great option for any hair type.
Once you’ve chosen your base oil – or oils, since you can combine them – you can infuse your hot oil treatment with herbs. The simplest option is to put 2-3 drops of essential oils into a small container of base oil. Another option is to infuse real herbs into your oil treatment. To do this, simply steep dried herbs in oil while heating the blend over low heat for half an hour. Strain out the herbs when you’re done, and enjoy your hot oil treatment.
Protein for brittle hair
Infusing brittle hair with a protein treatment is a great way to bring back strength and shine. Luckily, you don’t have to pay a fortune for a protein treatment from the store. You can make your own at home.
One excellent option is to simply mix a cup of yogurt with an egg. Work the mixture into your hair, and leave it in for thirty minutes. Rinse it out with shampoo, and your hair will be softer and stronger than ever.
Another option is to mash up half of a ripe avocado. Avocado is full of rich fats and proteins that are great for your hair. You can use an avocado on its own as a hair strengthening treatment, or you can blend it with an egg yolk, sour cream, yogurt, or honey for even more moisturizing properties.
Moisturizing on the go
These treatments may be a bit hard to come by if you’re traveling. Who wants to hang out in a hotel room for half an hour using a hair mask when you’re on vacation? Plus, some of these treatments need to be made on the spot with fresh ingredients.
Luckily, though, you can make your own conditioner for traveling. Stick it in a travel-sized shampoo bottle, and you’re good to go. One excellent option is a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of water. Use it as a rinse and it will leave your hair shiny and moisturized. (It won’t leave you smelling like fish n’ chips, either.) Another option is to simply take a small pot of olive or coconut oil. Rub a few teaspoons into the ends of your hair during your shower, and then rinse it off.
As you can see, making your own DIY dry hair treatments is pretty simple. And these treatments can be every bit as effective as store-bought options – especially considering you can customize most of them to your hair’s needs, your preferences, and even the season.