I’m trying to take better care of my hair. I’ve been admittedly not-so-great at hair care in past years—it’s been dyed and fried and bleached and neglected. And while I believe that a lot of the formula to healthy hair (and skin and nails) comes from what you put inside your body (good food and lots of water), I also think there are some things you can do externally to help keep your hair shiny, soft and smooth. And one of my new favorites is this all-natural hair mask.
When I was in high school, I used to have at-home spa days where I’d pick up a packet (or two, because my hair is so thick) of a chemical-laden deep conditioning treatment and let it sit on my hair while I painted my toes and watched 90210 reruns. I always loved how soft and shiny my hair was after those treatments, but now that I’m a little more conscious about the chemicals I put in and on my body, I thought I’d test out some all-natural conditioning treatments. There are a ton of recipes and formulas out there—and I’ve tried a lot of them—but this combo is my favorite. Not only because it makes my hair soft and shiny, but also because it has ingredients that I almost always have on hand.
The same fats and oils in avocado that make them good for your body also makes them a great option for helping to repair dry, brittle, or damaged hair. Olive oil is also extremely hydrating, and it helps protect your hair from damage—an awesome thing if you usually use a lot of heat on your hair. And honey is packed with scalp- and hair-strengthening vitamins (plus, it helps coat your hair strands and retain moisture). You can also toss in a few drops of lavender essential oil, which is a natural treatment for the scalp—helping to keep dandruff and itchy skin at bay. Oh, and it smells good, too.
The key to getting this hair mask to really get in deep and hydrate your hair is heat. There are a few different ways to go about this. My preferred method is to apply the mask to damp hair, wrap it up in a shower cap and then apply heat—either with a blow dryer or, my favorite, sitting out in the warm spring sunshine! I let it rest on my noggin for a good 30-45 minutes, about the amount of time it takes to get through a magazine. Then I rinse and wash with my normal shampoo and condition.
I tend to have oily roots (althoug, it is SO much better now that I only wash my hair a few times a week), so I try not put the mask on the first inch or so of my hair, but if your entire hair is frizzy or dry, slop that stuff on everywhere! And make sure you really slather it on your ends. If your hair doesn’t need a lot of conditioning, you can do this once a month or even less frequently, but if your hair is really asking for a drink, you could do it every couple of weeks. I would say that if your hair is normally thin or limp, I’d skip this hair mask—it’s really deep conditioning and might weigh your hair down (which is an awesome thing for my thick and wavy hair).
Makes enough for my thick, shoulder-length hair (double it for longer hair)
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and scooped out
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2-3 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
- Bowl and hand-mixer or stand-mixer
- Hair clip (for longer hair)
- Shower cap
- Hair dryer or a sunny day
- In a small mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the avocado, olive oil, honey and essential oil. Whip on high until light in color and smooth.
- Dampen hair with water. Spread mask onto hair, paying particular attention to the ends (feel free to rub it in a bit). Clip your hair onto the top of your head, cover with shower cap, and heat—either using a hair dryer for 15 minutes or by sitting in the sun for 30-45 minutes.
- Remove shower cap, rinse out mask, and then wash and condition hair as usual.