Summer is coming (or so we keep telling ourselves), so it's time to start protecting our hair from the best bits of the coming months - sun, salt and chlorine. We love our beachy locks after a day by the seaside as much as the next girl, but like your skin, you need to take care of your tresses too. These hair masks can be made from the contents of your kitchen cupboard and will help tired, dry and dull strands, as well as give hair a boost in volume and shine.
Always apply a hair mask to warm, damp hair. The water helps to distribute the mask evenly and penetrate deeper, particularly for curly hair, while the heat speeds up the absorption of the mask.
Wet hair is more fragile than dry hair and you must treat it accordingly. Always comb wet hair using a wide toothcomb as it creates less friction and reduces breakage.
After you've rinsed out the mask and finished shampooing and conditioning, give your hair a blast of cold water - or as cold as you can stand it! This will close up hair follicles and lock in nutrients for longer-lasting results.
The Coconut Oil Hair Mask
Hair type: For hair that is prone to frizz.
Blake Lively swears by coconut oil as a hair product, using it as a mask or just massaging into the tips before showering.
2tbsp. of coconut oil
1tbsp. of pure olive oil
1tbsp. of honey
Melt the coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds, then add the olive oil and honey and stir. Heat up for a further 30 seconds and slather it (this is the messy bit, best done over a bath or sink) through your hair focusing on the tips and gradually working towards the roots. Using a wide toothcomb, brush the mask through your hair until you feel it has reached every strand. Then tie it up in a loose bun and leave it for 30 minutes to work its magic. Just before you shower, give it a blast with the hairdryer to melt the coconut oil and speed up absorption as you rinse. Wash out the mixture using your normal shampoo and conditioner and viola! Beautifully soft, sleek hair for next to nothing.
The Avocado Hair Mask
Hair type: For dull hair in need of shine
I know it's almost sacrilege to use a deliciously ripe avocado in something that you will not be eating, but this will be worth it, we promise!
1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp. of pure olive oil
1 tbsp. of lemon juice
Scoop out the avocado and put it through a blender with the lemon and olive oil. It will look horrific - like that terrible green goo they pour all over the winners at the Nickelodeon Kids? Choice Awards - but it will work wonders. Using your fingers, begin at the tips and gradually work your way up toward the scalp, using a comb to spread the mixture evenly throughout your hair. Wrap it in a shower cap (this mask tends to drip) and leave for 30 minutes. Wash out and shampoo and condition as normal. The natural oils and fats in the avocado will create intense shine and the lemon juice will brighten any highlights (natural or otherwise) in your hair to give you high-gloss locks.
The Egg Yolk Hair Mask
Hair Type: For damaged, weak hair.
As teenagers my friends and I had a birthday tradition - at some point during the school day you would be ?Birthday Egged?, which sounds exactly like what it was - usually an egg cracked over your head during math class or while you queued for the tuck shop. We were a charming bunch. The upshot of this was that our hair would look shinier and feel stronger for the following week! The egg yolk helps to restore natural proteins in hair follicles to fortify strands and infuses hair with vitamins and fatty acids to protect them against heat and colour damage.
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp. of olive oil
1 tbsp. of milk
Whisk together the egg yolks until slightly paler in colour. Add the oil and milk and whisk until combined. Dunk the tips of your hair into the mixture and then comb through with a wide toothcomb to distribute the mask evenly through the hair. Pour the remainder of the mask onto your scalp and comb through once again. Wrap it in a shower cap, leave for 30 minutes and then wash out. Your hair will be stronger and able to better stand the damage we put our hair through every day. Nothing gets wasted if you whisk up the whites until they foam up and slather it on your face for a pore-cleansing facial while you wait!
The Banana Hair Mask:
Hair Type: Thin hair lacking in volume
Bananas are rich in potassium and amino acids and high in calories, so they're ideal for invigorating thin hair. This mask will bolster hair follicles from the roots to stimulate growth and increase hair strength.
1 ripe banana (just beginning to brown)
1 tbsp. of honey
1 tbsp. of milk
Mash the banana until it forms a thick paste then, add the honey and milk and mix through. Coat the hair as evenly as possible using your fingers and comb through to reach every strand. Cover in a shower cap for 30 minutes and then rinse out and shampoo and condition. This little gem of a mask will make hair appear thicker and add bounce and volume.
So there you have it! Four homemade hair masks that you can whip up in your kitchen. Now enjoy your new silky, shiny hair full of body all summer long.