Let’s face it, everyone’s hair gets a little dull and damaged from time to time. Whether it’s from swimming in chlorinated pools in the summer, or having to live with dry, cold air in the winter, our hair goes through a lot. And while going out to get a revitalizing hair treatment from a salon can seem like the only solution, there are some much easier (and cheaper!) options.
We’ve rounded up 13 of the best at-home hair treatments that you can easily make yourself. And the best part of all? They use ingredients that you probably already have on hand. When you peek inside your fridge, you'll likely find some eggs, butter, yogurt, and avocados. In addition to whipping up a delicious breakfast, you can use those ingredients to treat your dry and damaged hair. With any one of these treatments, your hair is going to be taking on a whole new life.
Heighten your shine with tea.
Some of us need tea to get the day started and bring us back to life, and as it just so happens, it can have the same effect on your hair. If you've noticed your hair has been looking a bit dull lately, black tea is a great way to add a revitalized shine to your locks, according to Lifealth. If you're already a tea drinker then this at-home remedy is going to be super simple to add into your routine. And even if you're not, it's still pretty darn easy. Bonus: black tea has also been known to help with curl loss.
To use: Brew some black tea and let it sit until it's cooled off. Pour the tea onto your hair and let it sit for 10 minutes. Wash the tea out and enjoy your shiny hair.
Add moisture with butter.
We all know butter is rich and creamy, but as it turns out, it can add some softness and moisture to your hair as well. The treatment is inspired by a long-standing similar practice in Ethiopia where people use butter to moisturize their hair and protect it from sun damage, according to the Daily Mail. For those with curly hair, using butter is a great way to enhance your natural texture while adding moisture and shine, according to Naturally Curly.
To use: take a few spoonfuls of room-temperature butter and rub it into your hair. Cover your head with a shower cap and let it sit for up to an hour. Then wash your hair as you normally would.
What you'll need: Shower cap
Revitalize your hair with bananas.
It's no secret that bananas are good for us — they're nutrient-packed and high in potassium, which helps regulate our bodies. And all of those great benefits help make bananas an amazing choice for hair masks. According to Healthline, bananas contain the mineral silica, which helps your body to synthesize collagen, which can make your hair stronger and thicker. A banana hair mask can also reportedly moisturize your hair and help relieve a dry, itchy scalp.
To use: Blend together two ripe bananas and half a cup of coconut milk. Coat your hair in the mixture and let it sit for 30 minutes, then wash the mask out of your hair.
Repair dry hair with apple cider vinegar.
Use this shine-enhancing hair mask from Tata Harper, the founder of Tata Harper Skincare, to repair dry and dull hair during the winter months. The apple cider vinegar helps to remove product buildup that dulls hair and vitamin E-rich argan oil nourishes and softens unruly strands. Apple cider vinegar helps to de-frizz hair, according to Natural Club, making this a great choice for those with more texture.
To use: In a blender, combine 1/2 avocado, 2 Tbsp argan oil, 10 drops of rosemary essential oil, and 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar, and pulse together. Work the mask through dry hair from roots to tips (if your hair's oily, skip your scalp). Clip hair in place and let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse and cleanse with shampoo. Do this at least once a month.
What you'll need: Apple cider vinegar
Transform all hair types with eggs.
"The [raw] egg is really the best of all worlds," says Janice Cox, author of Natural Beauty at Home. The yolk, rich in fats and proteins, is naturally moisturizing, while the white, which contains bacteria-eating enzymes, removes unwanted oils, she explains.
To use: For normal hair, use the entire egg to condition hair; use egg whites only to treat oily hair; use egg yolks only to moisturize dry, brittle hair, Cox says. Blend about 1/2 cup of whichever egg mixture is appropriate for you and apply to clean, damp hair. If there isn't enough egg to coat scalp and hair, use more as needed. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse with cool water (to prevent egg from "cooking") and shampoo hair. Whole egg and yolks-only treatments can be applied once a month, while whites-only treatment can be applied every two weeks, Cox says.
Moisturize dull hair with dairy.
Anything from harsh styling products and air pollution can sap moisture and dull shine — but dairy products like sour cream and plain yogurt can help to reverse this damage. "Lactic acid gently strips away dirt while the milk fat moisturizes," says Lisa Belkin, author of The Cosmetics Cookbook. While this mask can work for all hair types, the protein in the yogurt is especially great for enhancing natural curls.
To use: Massage 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt into damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, followed by cool water, then shampoo hair as you normally would. Treatment can be applied every other week.
Relieve an itchy scalp with lemon.
To fight winter dryness, try a lemon juice and olive oil mixture in your hair. "The acidity in lemon juice helps rid your scalp of any loose, dry flakes of skin, while the olive oil moisturizes the [newly exposed] skin on your head," Cox says.
To use: Mix 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 2 Tbsp water, and massage into damp scalp. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes, then rinse and shampoo hair. Treatment can be applied every other week.
What you'll need: Olive oil
Bring the bounce with beer.
To add body to hair, reach for an unlikely beauty beverage: beer! The fermented drink contains generous supplies of yeast and B vitamins, which works to plump tired strands, Cox explains.
To use: Mix 1/2 cup flat beer (pour beer into a container and let it sit out for a couple of hours to deplete carbonation) with 1 tsp light oil (sunflower or canola) and a raw egg. Apply to clean, damp hair, let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with cool water. Or add flat beer only to a spray bottle and spritz onto dry hair. "When the liquid evaporates, the remaining protein residue (from the wheat, malt or hops) continues to strengthen and structure hair," Belkin says. Treatments can be applied every other week.
Reverse sun damage with honey.
Whatever your hair-dehydrating demon is — hard water, sun overexposure, or your trusty flat iron — nature's sweetener can help. "Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and locks in moisture," Cox says. While this honey mask may seem like a bit of a sticky situation, it works well on all hair types.
To use: Massage approximately 1/2 cup honey into clean, damp hair, let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. You can also add 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil to loosen the honey for easier application. For extremely sun-damaged hair, trying mixing honey with 1 to 2 Tbsp of a protein-rich ingredient, like avocado or egg yolk, which will help replenish the keratin protein bonds that UV rays attack. Treatment can be applied once a month.
Remove grease with cornmeal.
"Used properly, [cornmeal or cornstarch] is an inexpensive way to remove oil and grease," Belkin says. Plus, cornmeal is a great source of iron, which helps generate the growth of hair cells.
To use: Pour 1 Tbsp cornmeal or cornstarch into an empty salt or pepper shaker and sprinkle onto dry hair and scalp until you've used it all. After 10 minutes, use a paddle hairbrush to completely brush it out. Treatment can be applied every other day.
What you'll need: Paddle hairbrush
De-frizz with avocado.
Rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, biotin, and vitamins A and E, avocados boast the best combination of nutrients for smoothing and weighing down unruly hair, Cox explains.
To use: Mash up half an avocado and massage into clean, damp hair. Let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with water. Amp up moisturizing power by combining mashed avocado with 1 to 2 Tbsp of a hydrating ingredient, like sour cream, egg yolks, or mayonnaise. Treatment can be applied every two weeks.
Remove residue buildup with baking soda.
According to Cox, "nothing eats through product buildup like baking soda." Sodium bicarbonate essentially breaks acids to remove excess oil and restore shine, Cox says. Overuse of baking soda, however, can lead to excessive dryness, so those with already dry hair should use sparingly.
To use: Mix 1 to 2 Tbsp baking soda with small amounts of water until a thick paste forms. Massage into damp hair and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with water, then shampoo hair. Treatment can be applied every two weeks.
Use coconut oil to strengthen.
Coconut oil is one of the most versatile products on the planet: You can use it to cook, clean, and condition your hair. According to Healthline, lauric acid allows coconut oil to be more easily absorbed into the hair shaft, making it a top choice for reducing protein loss from sun exposure or chemical treatment.
To use: Massage 2 Tbsp coconut oil from your roots to your ends and let it sit for 5 minutes before a shower. Follow with your normal shampoo and conditioning routine.