Managing dry and frizzy hair can be a big challenge. The culprits of this hair problem include lack of moisture, genetics, hair type, and hair porosity, among many other factors.
If you like to color, perm, straighten, or blow-dry your natural hair and if you don’t use protectants or leave-in conditioners to replenish the lost moisture, you can end up with parched hair.
Your scalp condition can also alter your overall hair health, especially if you have alopecia, hair aging, etc.
Your hair texture and sheen depend on the state of your hair’s surface, but the strength and bounce of your hair depend on the hair cortex. (1)
If you have tried everything to regain soft, bouncy, and healthy hair and failed, read on for some homemade hair masks and treatments using natural ingredients that can bring back life to your hair.
Homemade Hair Masks to Improve Dry Hair
Here are some hair masks that you can easily prepare at home that will help you manage hair dryness.
1. Coconut oil hair mask
Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids including lauric acid, which exhibits emollient and antimicrobial properties that can stop the activity of bacteria and fungus on your scalp.
Coconut oil forms a coat over the hair shaft, seals the cuticle, and traps moisture within it. Its emollient properties effectively hydrate the hair and restore its bounce and health.
The fatty acids can also deeply penetrate the scalp and nourish the hair follicles. (2)
How to use:
- Massage a few drops of warm coconut oil on your scalp for 5–10 minutes. Leave it on overnight or wash it off after 30 minutes with a natural shampoo and conditioner.
- Mix coconut oil in your conditioner, apply it to your tresses, and wash it off after 2–3 minutes.
- Apply coconut oil to damp hair as a protectant before blow-drying it.
2. Avocado hair mask
Avocado is rich in B vitamins including biotin and can rejuvenate dull and dry hair to help it grow healthier.
Avocado is also rich in potassium and magnesium, which are essential in sealing the cuticles. It makes the hair soft and shiny, prevents breakage, and serves as a natural hair conditioner. (3)
How to use:
- Peel and mash an avocado.
- Add 1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil and jojoba oil and stir them well to make a paste.
- Apply this mixture to a clean scalp and hair, and leave it on for 30–40 minutes.
- Wash it off with lukewarm water.
- Use this remedy once or twice a week for best results.
3. Banana hair mask
Bananas are another fantastic and versatile fruit blessed with abundant amounts of protein, magnesium, and potassium, along with vitamins that moisturize and make the hair more manageable.
Use it as a hair mask to improve dry and brittle hair and to get rid of dandruff. A banana hair mask can also help protect your tresses from the UV rays that damage the hair. (4)
How to use:
- Mash one overripe banana.
- Apply it to your scalp and hair and leave it on for 1 hour.
- Wash it off with lukewarm water, and then wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner.
4. Aloe vera gel mask
Aloe vera contains 75 important nutrients for healthy hair and growth including essential amino acids, copper, and zinc.
A 2021 research study found that aloe vera is a good hair conditioner due to the fatty acids present in it, including capric, lauric, myristic, palmitic, and stearic acids. They are rich moisturizers and are an important component of shampoos and conditioners. (5)
How to use:
- Heat organic coconut oil and add some fresh aloe vera gel to it.
- Whisk it to form a smooth paste.
- Massage the paste gently onto your scalp and hair for about 10 minutes.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes.
- Wash off with a mild shampoo.
5. Shea butter hair mask
Shea butter is excellent for dry and flaky scalps because its anti-inflammatory properties reduce and treat redness and itchiness.
It adds shine and moisture to dry hair as it is rich in minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper, which are vital for healthy hair. (6)
How to use:
- Melt 1 tablespoon of raw shea butter using a double boiler or in a microwave.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool down a bit.
- To warm shea butter, add 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel and 1–2 teaspoons of vitamin E oil. Mix them well.
- Rub the mixture on your scalp and hair and leave it on for 1 hour.
- Wash it off with water.
- Use a natural shampoo and conditioner to wash it off thoroughly.
- Use this mask once or twice a week for best results.
Causes of Dry and Frizzy Hair
Some reasons behind dry hair include:
- Applying shampoo to the entire hair length
- Skipping out on hair conditioner
- Drying the hair by harshly rubbing it with a towel
- Excessive use of blow dryer, hot comb, or curling iron
- Applying styling products to the hair
- Coloring or perming the hair
- Brushing the hair a lot or pulling it when styling (7)
Tips to Improve Dry Hair
Improve dry hair by following these tips:
- Selecting the right shampoo based on your hair and scalp needs is vital in mitigating hair thinning and breakage. Most shampoos contain surfactants that are the core of the product and work by binding water and sebum to get rid of excess oil, dirt, and build-up on the scalp.
- Overwashing the hair can also lead to dry hair, brittle, and frizz-prone hair. The number of times you wash your hair depends on your hair type.
- People with straight hair should use shampoo often because sebum envelops the hair strand, thus leading to oily hair.
- Those with damaged hair should not use shampoo often and should limit it to once a week. However, people with straight hair can shampoo daily.
- Conditioners are crucial in maintaining healthy hair as they increase hair manageability, help get rid of static electricity, and can temporarily mend hair shaft damage. Try the soak-and-smear method for hair care as it helps retain moisture and elasticity and reduces tangles. Moreover, conditioners form a protective layer on the hair strands and protect them from damage. (8)(9)
General Queries Related to Dry Hair
What medical conditions lead to dry hair?
Scalp conditions such as alopecia and hair aging can alter your overall hair health and lead to dry and brittle hair.
Does hard water make hair dry?
Yes, hard water reduces hair strength and leads to breakage and dry hair. Conversely, soft water prevents hair damage. (10)
Do nutritional deficiencies cause dry hair?
Not consuming a balanced diet leads to dry and frizzy hair, which can further result in hair breakage and loss. (11)
The causes of dry and frizz-prone hair are many, but using oils and moisture-rich ingredients can reverse this condition and restore the lost sheen and health of the hair.
- Sinclair RD. Healthy hair: What is it? Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15526559. Published December 16, 2015.
- Mysore V, Arghya A. Hair oils: Indigenous knowledge revisited, International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9231528/. Published 2022.
- (PDF) avocado – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277697648/.
- (PDF) traditional and medicinal uses of banana – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285484754/.
- Sbhatu DB, Berhe GG, Hndeya AG, et al. Hair washing formulations from aloe elegans todaro gel: The potential for making hair shampoo. Advances in pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7492681/. Published August 29, 2020.
- Megnanou R-M, Niamke S. Improving the optimized shea butter quality: A great potential of utilization for common consumers and industrials. SpringerPlus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4631807/. Published November 4, 2015.
- How to stop damaging your hair. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/stop-damage.
- Safe hair care spares hair, Johns Hopkins dermatologists report – 11/28/2016. Johns Hopkins Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/safe_hair_care_spares_hair_johns_hopkins_dermatologists_report.
- Tips for healthy hair. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/hair-scalp-care/hair/healthy-hair-tips.
- Srinivasan G, Srinivas CR, Mathew AC, Duraiswami D. Effects of hard water on hair. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3927171/. Published July 2013.
- Guo EL, Katta R. Diet and hair loss: Effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatology practical & conceptual. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/. Published January 31, 2017.