3 Easy Masks for Natural Hair
I’ve been natural for 4 years and it’s seriously the best decision that I’ve ever made for my hair. However, now that the newness of being a natural has worn off, I tend to be on the lazy side when it comes to hair care. Thankfully, my hair continues to flourish despite my neglect. When I do realize that I’ve neglected her for too long (yes, my hair is a she), I treat her to an extra special mask and breathe some life into her. Now, I love Target and their natural hair section BUT if I go into Target, I’m leaving with 10 other things that I had no intention on buying. So, I’ve gotten into the habit of creating my own hair masks with some hair staples that I keep around the house.
And of course, I’m sharing them with you! Here are 3 masks that I make at home that your curls are going to love!
1. Moisturizing Pre-poo Mask
What you’ll need: 100% raw shea butter, 100% virgin olive oil, honey, shower cap
What to do: If your shea butter has hardened, you can melt it by sitting the container in a bowl of hot water for about 5 minutes. Once it is melted, add virgin olive oil and slowly add and stir in the honey until it is all mixed together consistently. I’m really not a measuring freak – I tend to just mix things pretty evenly until I get a consistency that I like. Once everything has been mixed, let it cool down enough to handle. Distribute it evenly throughout your dry hair and you don’t have to be stingy with it. Put on a shower cap for about 30 minutes and then rinse it out using shampoo (no sulfates, please).
Why: MOISTURE, MOISTURE, MOISTURE! Shampooing your hair on wash days gets your hair and scalp squeaky clean. A consequence of that is stripping your hair of most of its natural oils and moisture. Pre-poo serves as a moisturizing buffer to your shampoo, helping your hair retain some moisture. It also can help soften hair so that detangling is easier. The shea butter and olive oil in this recipe make a great treatment. Honey is a humectant and also just makes your hair smell sooooo good. You can’t go wrong with this one!
2. Hot Oil Treatment for Itchy Scalp
What you’ll need: 100% virgin coconut oil, 100% virgin olive oil, 100% Jamaican black castor oil, 100% tea tree oil (optional), towel, shower cap
What to do: This treatment doesn’t require any measuring. Make as much or little as you need and store it in a plastic container. I like using the plastic bottles with the pointed tip (like the ones that come in the hair dye kits) because it’s easy to squeeze onto the scalp. Once you’ve mixed your oils, place the container in a bowl of hot water for about 3-5 minutes. Make sure that the oil is cool enough to handle and then apply it directly to your scalp and massage it in for about 5-8 minutes. Put on a shower cap. Take the towel and dip it into the hot water and wring out the excess water. Wrap the towel around your head with the shower cap still on. Keep it all on for at least 30 minutes. Rinse out the treatment with cool water and conditioner.
Why: There are so many reasons why this treatment is one of my favorite ways to spoil my hair. First, the OILS! Coconut oil is really good for softening and conditioning hair. Olive oil is crazy moisturizing and it’s relaxing. Jamaican black castor oil strengthens hair and thickens strands. It’s also really good for growing hair back in weak spots. It’s really thick, which is why it needs to be mixed with other oils. Tea tree oil is great for itchy scalp. It eliminates flakes and dandruff and you only need a few drops to feel its tingly effect. Another reason why I love this treatment is that it is so relaxing. Massaging your scalp with warm oil has to be one of the top 5 best things in life + it stimulates blood flow which means it’s great for stimulating hair growth. A good scalp massage can put me to bed!! And the hot towel? The heat opens your hair follicles (like pores) so that the moisture can get in. Rinsing with cold water seals your hair follicles and traps the moisture back into your scalp.
3. Strengthening Mask
What you’ll need: eggs, honey, 100% extra virgin avocado oil, conditioner
What to do: Depending on the length of your hair, you’ll need 1-2 eggs. Add avocado oil and stir in the honey slowly. To get a more “mask” consistency, add some moisturizer until the mixture is creamy. Apply generously all over your hair, especially the ends. Put on a shower cap and leave in for about 30 minutes. Rinse out with cool water.
Why: This is the perfect mask to use if you notice that your hair is shedding more than usual or if you have split, frizzy ends. That’s also a sign that you need a trim! This is also a really good treatment to use after you’ve used heat on your hair. The eggs and avocado oil are good sources of protein, which is what your hair is made up of. The oil and the yolk strengthen your hair strands, preventing more breakage. Honey is great for shine and pulling moisture back into your hair.
And voila! 3 masks that you can whip up on your own using the products you probably already have in your cabinets. If not, you can find most of this stuff at Target now (thanks, gentrification!). Or you can head to Trader Joes, Whole Foods or even your local beauty supply if you’re lucky.
So pour a glass of wine, blast some Isley Brothers (because it’s always a good choice) and treat your hair to some good ol’ TLC. Enjoy!