Between the teasing, tousling, tonging and tying, our hair takes a real beating, on the daily. Then, of course, environmental factors like sun, pollution, wind and rain test your strands, just for good measure. There are a lot of amazing, hard working hair masks out there to help reverse the adverse affect of these hair hazards, but when you're after a last-minute mask and you're out of stock, you needn't look much further than your kitchen pantry for strand saving supplies. Ok, so we know that there is no clean way out of this, but, food is an amazing topical tool for nourishing, hydrating and repairing damaged hair. So, we foraged the fridge and found the best strand saviours in the kitchen...
For each mask, allow the mixtures to sit in your hair for around thirty minutes to an hour, and use a shower cap or cling film to lock in moisture.
An avo a day, keeps the damage at bay
In the age of avocado enthusiasm, it's little wonder the nutrient-dense green gem would be found on any list pertaining to food and beauty. However, its usual pedestal resides atop the ingestibles, not the topical. But, the fatty-over achiever has a place, of course, on our crowns, as it makes for an intensely nourishing hair mask. The natural oils and fats in avocados work wonders on dry, damaged hair that suffers from split ends. To get started, cut your avocado in half and remove the pit. Peel off the skin and mash the flesh to a very smooth consistency. Add a little bit of water to blend it easier. Using your hands (with gloves to avoid mess), add the mixture in small dollops to damp hair until every strand is covered. After rinsing, if you feel your hair needs it, apply conditioner. Not only will this mask leave your hair super shiny, it also conditions your scalp.
An egg for your egg
While the prospect might turn your tummy a little, raw eggs have long been known for their hair saving abilities, inside and out. Rich in fats and proteins, eggs strengthen and repair your hair, leaving it feeling and looking shiny and healthy. For this reason, we threw our slightly repulsed prejudices aside and went literally head-first into some raw eggs. To start this remedy, crack two eggs into a bowl and whip them until the yolk is blended. Apply the mixture to dry or damp hair. When rinsing hair, make sure to use cool to lukewarm water because very hot water on this mask could cook the eggs in your hair - not the effect you're after... This mask will repair damage and leave your hair feeling strong and healthy.
Mayo your mane
And now, we move onto the first cousin twice removed of the egg, mayonnaise. The results are well worth the mess (and smell). First things first, make sure you are getting plain mayonnaise as opposed to flavoured ones with herbs and spices. Also, avoid using low fat mayonnaise because you want the fats to help to deeply condition your hair. It's easy to apply this to dry hair because it has the consistency of a regular conditioner. The fats and oils in mayonnaise will work together to make your hair oh-so-soft once you've washed and dried.
Honey, you've got to try this
Not only does it add that touch of sweetness to our morning tea, honey also has a ton of healthy hair benefits. Some supermarket honey varieties will have a high amount of additives that your hair doesn't need, so we recommend buying an organic or no-preservative honey. Generally, honey is not an easy hair mask ingredient to work with, so try combining it the mixture of any of the above so it's more soluble. Or, to test the raw strength of honey alone, heat up 2-3 tablespoons in the microwave for about 30 seconds with a little bit of water. Apply this to damp hair (the mixture doesn't bode well with dry hair). You're going to want to wash your hands as soon as possible, or use a pair of rubber gloves, to avoid any prolonged stickiness. Including honey in your hair mask recipes will leave your hair rejuvinated and stronger in no time.
Coat in coconut oil
Last, but certainly not least, we have our favourite hair mask ingredient: the most hard-working oil in a beauty and kitchen cabinets, coconut oil. While the jury is still out on how much of the oil is healthy to ingest, you can go, well, nuts with it topically. You'll need about 2 tablespoons for an entire hair mask, depending on your hair, and heat it up in the microwave for about 30 seconds to ensure it has liquified. Then apply throughout your hair with your hands, from ends to tip on most hair types (unless you have particularly dry roots). After just one use, even the most coarse, thick and heat damaged hair can be noticeably softer. The mild coconut smell is quite soft and lovely as well. As an added bonus, while showering, the rinsed out oil will make your skin feel silky soft.
Story by Samantha Blanchfield