14 Best DIY Hair Masks of 2022 Pro Teachs

hair mask ingredients

Danielle Daly

Whether it’s damage, dryness, flakes, frizz or fading, we all run into hair issues. The change in seasons, indoor heat, outdoor elements and hot hair tools are only some of the culprits that can cause these challenges. Luckily, you don’t have to hit the store or add yet another beauty product to your Amazon cart: You can head straight to your kitchen for everyday ingredients that you can whip into a DIY hair mask to fix your mane using a few simple pantry staples.

Our experts are on board with making your own masks, but “like anything prefaced with DIY, you have to proceed with caution,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. “You don’t want the ‘D’ to stand for disaster!” She advises to get reliable sources “that are based on fact, not the number of followers on TikTok,” like our masks listed below. “There are a lot of ingredients that can make hair dry and brittle and potentially irritate the scalp, which you would obviously want to avoid, but there are also some kitchen staples that can help out a struggling scalp,” she adds.

Marisa Garshick, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York, agrees and advises starting slowly when incorporating any homemade mask into your routine. “In general, DIY masks can be incorporated one to two times per week or once per month depending on the specific concern,” she says. Start with once a month and see how your hair reacts; you can always up the frequency to weekly if your hair and scalp need and can tolerate the mask more often.

Below, we’ve compiled the best DIY hair masks for all of your biggest woes, from an irritated scalp to dull hair to damage and dryness. Shiny, lustrous hair is only a hair mask away — and you never even have to leave the house.

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Coconut Oil Mask for Dry Hair and Scalp

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize — which will also help prevent split ends, frizz and breakage. If your regular conditioner isn’t cutting it, opt for an intensive overnight treatment with coconut oil. “It can penetrate the hair shaft” to repair hair, says Kyle White, a colorist at Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City.

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Directions: Before bed, warm coconut oil in the microwave, then massage into damp hair, avoiding the roots. (Tie strands into a bun and/or cover with a shower cap or hair wrap if desired.) Shampoo in the morning.

Avocado, Honey and Olive Oil Mask for Dry, Damaged Hair

Various factors can cause strand damage: styling tool overuse, haircolor, chemical treatments and more. Help counteract it with an avocado and olive oil hair mask, suggests Liana Zingarino, a hair stylist at Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in New York City. “Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, this treatment helps strengthen hair and add shine,” she says. The benefits don’t stop with strands: An avocado-based mask also “helps to rejuvenate and moisturize the scalp,” says Joel Warren of The Salon Project salons in Florida, Pennsylvania and New York.

Ingredients: Half an avocado, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey and 3 drops essential oil of choice

Directions: Stir ingredients together until fully combined, then apply to wet hair with your fingertips, starting at the bottom and working your way up. Warren suggests wrapping your hair into a bun and covering with a shower cap. To help activate the ingredients, blow dry your shower cap-covered hair for 10 minutes. Let it sit for another 20 minutes, then shampoo.

Cinnamon and Coconut Oil Mask for Hair Growth

Try a cinnamon-based mask — the anti-microbial spice is known to stimulate blood circulation and promote hair growth and strength, Zingarino says.

Ingredients: 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1 tsp of cinnamon

Directions: Blend ingredients together well. Apply the mask onto your roots and part, and massage into your scalp. Let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes and rinse. Aim to do this mask at least once a week.

Castor Oil Mask for Frizzy Hair and Flyaways

Frizz can be caused by damage, the environment or both — and some types of hair are inherently more prone to it. Keep fuzz at bay by laying down and sealing hair’s cuticle, or outer layer, with an emollient ingredient like castor oil, which “acts as a protectant and can help fortify strands,” White says. Derived from the castor plant’s seeds and “comprised mainly of the fatty acid ricinoleic acid, it coats and conditions to improve smoothness,” explains GH Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek.

Ingredients: Castor oil

Directions: Rub a dab of castor oil between hands and glide a very thin layer over frizz-prone areas on dry hair.

Rice and Avocado Mask for Curly Hair

Curly hair is prone to dryness and damage and can always use a little extra hydration. Dr. Garshick suggests using a mask that has rice water, “as it contains inositol which helps to repair damaged hair and in doing so, can help to retain curls.” The avocado in the mask adds instant nourishment.

Ingredients: 1 cup rice, 2 cups water, 1/2 avocado

Directions: Soak the rice in water, then use a sieve to eliminate the rice grains from the water. Mash the avocado then add to rice water. Apply to hair and rinse after 20-25 minutes.

Honey, Banana and Coconut Oil Mask for Bleached or Colored Hair

Color-treated hair can always use more hydration, especially bleached strands. “Make sure to use ingredients that won’t compromise the color,” Dr. Garshick says. “This mask helps to enhance moisture without affecting your shade.”

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon honey, 1 peeled banana and 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Directions: Blend ingredients together and then apply to hair for 15 minutes and rinse.

Banana, Honey, Egg and Olive Oil Mask for Thin Hair

A protein treatment can help plump strands, whether they are naturally fine or losing fullness. Make a “banana protein smoothie” for hair with amino acid-rich bananas and eggs to enhance elasticity, strengthen and add thickness, says Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, a trichologist in Houston and the author of Hair Care Rehab: The Ultimate Hair Repair and Reconditioning Manual. “Results are immediate and will last until your next shampoo,” she adds.

Ingredients: 2 egg yolks, 2 peeled ripe bananas, 2-3 tablespoons of honey, half a cup of condition, 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Directions: Blend all ingredients until pureed. Fully coat hair with the treatment, leave on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

Coconut Oil, Sugar and Essential Oil Mask for Dandruff Flaking

If flakes start to appear on your scalp when the temperature is dropping, it may be because the heat in your home is higher and is drying out your skin, says Paul Cucinello, celebrity stylist and owner of Cucinello Beauty. Your scalp is no exception. This exfoliating treatment helps remove and reduce flakes and (bonus!) doubles as a great facial scrub.

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons of raw unrefined coconut oil, 4 teaspoons of raw sugar, 5 drops of peppermint oil, 2 drops of tea tree oil

Directions: In a small bowl, mix ingredients together. Using your fingers or a hair color brush, apply mixture directly to two-inch sections of clean, damp hair in the shower. Once evenly applied, gently massage for 1-3 minutes and then clip your hair up and let it sit for the duration of your shower.

The sugar in this DIY scrub breaks down to glycolic acid, which dissolves dead skin cells, Cucinello says. The coconut oil is rich in fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory benefits; the peppermint oil helps promote circulation to the scalp; and tea tree oil is anti-fungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial.

Almond Oil, Mayo and Yogurt Mask for Dry Scalp

“If you suffer from dry scalp, almond or coconut oil is a key ingredient as either can help to keep the skin barrier strong and hydrated,” Dr. Gohara says. “People often mix with mayonnaise and yogurt or honey as each have anti-inflammatory properties.” Bonus: yogurt can also reel in flyaways.

Ingredients: 2 tbsp almond oil (or sub in coconut oil), 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tsp yogurt (or sub 1 tsp honey)

Directions: Mix all ingredients well in a bowl and apply to the scalp. Leave for for 15-30 minutes and rinse out.

Egg White and Lemon Hair Mask for Oily Hair

If you are prone to greasy hair, an egg mask can work wonders, says Sadah Saltzman, a hairstylist at Salon AKS in New York City. Stick with just the whites, which have protein enzymes that help remove excess oil.

Ingredients: 1 egg white, juice from half a lemon

Directions: Smooth over hair from roots to ends and leave on for 30 minutes to an hour — longer is better. Rinse with lukewarm water, not hot!

Baking Soda Mask for Buildup

Between haircare and styling products, it’s easy to accumulate layers of residue. Buildup can lead to strands that look and feel greasy along with flatness and even dandruff-like flakes. Cut through excess oil and buildup with this “baking soda power cleanse” from Davis-Sivasothy.

Ingredients: Half a cup of shampoo, 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda

Directions: Combine shampoo with baking soda, stir well and pour over wet hair. Gently massage the mixture into the scalp and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Honey, ACV and Coconut Oil Mask for Dullness

Keeping hair moisturized and healthy always makes your hair look better, says Stephanie Brown, master colorist at IGK Hair Salon in New York City. When strands start to lose their luster, apply a treatment made with apple cider vinegar, which clarifies and smooths hair’s outer layer, to boost shine.

Ingredients: One tablespoon of raw honey, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil (Adjust the amount but keep equal parts if you have really long or thick hair)

Directions: Work the blend through damp hair and leave on for at least 20 minutes, then shampoo it out. It’s great for all hair types and helps lock in color as well.

Green Tea and Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse for Irritated Scalp

While green tea has a laundry list of health benefits, you can also add “scalp soother” to the list, Saltzman says. A tonic that combines antioxidant green tea and anti-inflammatory, hydrating peppermint oil can help soothe dry, irritated scalp skin.

Ingredients: 1 cup of green tea, 2 drops of peppermint oil, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Directions: Mix well, massage into scalp and let sit for at least five minutes before rinsing.

Oats, Almond Oil and Milk Mask for Flat Hair

Give lifeless strands an energizing boost with a protein-rich oatmeal, milk and almond oil hair treatment. Apply to damp (not soaking wet) hair for the best results, Brown advises.

Ingredients: Half a cup of oats, 2 tablespoons of almond oil, half a cup of milk

Directions: Mix ingredients well. Smooth the mask all over hair and leave it on for 20 to 40 minutes, then shampoo.

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