At the end of a long, well-lived summer your hair is bound to be in need of some love. Between the sun, heat, salt, and chlorine, it’s likely been through a lot. On a night when I have a little more time to myself, I love to use a hair mask for a half an hour before I get in the shower. Especially if you have longer strands, it can make such a difference in the health of your hair. And they couldn’t be easier to whip up using natural ingredients at home.
Knowing that Laurel Gallucci of Sweet Laurel Bakery is a fan of a DIY hair mask—and has the most beautiful head of hair on the planet—I asked her to put together a few recipes for different hair types out there. Laurel’s experience as a chef and natural food expert certainly play in here. While she might not be cooking with the ingredients, she still brings a deep understanding of why they’re nourishing as a beauty treatment. XXJKE
Clay + Essential Oils: To clarify and add volume
The idea of removing toxins has been growing trend over the last few years, and when something becomes a trend, that usually means there’s a lot of confusion about what it actually does. In the case of bentonite clay—a clay composed of volcanic ash—it produces a strong negative charge when in contact with water, which supposedly bonds to the positive charge in many toxins. So when contacts a toxin, chemical, or heavy metal, the clay absorbs the toxins and release its minerals like a giant sponge. Bentonite clay isn’t a cure-all, but it’s a great way to clarify your skin or hair; which soaks up environmental toxins throughout the day (think of how your hair can reek of cigarettes hours after you sat at a bar).
For this simple mask, I added rosemary and lavender oil, mostly because of their beautiful scent, but also because of they are believed to help stimulate hair growth from the scalp.
· 2 tablespoons bentonite clay
· ½ cup water
· 3 drops organic rosemary essential oil
· 3 drops organic lavender essential oil
In a non-metal bowl (the clay reacts to metal), mix together the ingredients, adding more water if needed, to get a thick yogurt-texture paste. Section your hair and apply the clay from root to tip, massaging into the scalp. Let the clay sit on your hair for 20 to 25 minutes, but do not let it harden (hard clay is harder to remove!). Rinse out all of the clay with warm water. Shampoo and condition as you normally would.
Avocado and Egg: To hydrate and soften
Avocado is a powerhouse of phytochemicals, antioxidants such as vitamin A, E, D, and B6, amino acids, and minerals like potassium, copper, iron, and magnesium. Combined with avocado’s luxurious texture, its moisturizing properties are fantastic for frizzy, dry hair that needs a shine. The egg yolk also packs a multitude of nutrients, including B-vitamins, vitamin A, zinc, protein, and Sulphur, which means in addition to moisture, you’re also soothing your itchy scalp and possibly promoting hair growth. These two ingredients have so many amazing qualities, and can transform your hair into princess-level tresses.
· 1/2 avocado, seed removed
· 1 organic egg yolk
Blend the avocado and egg yolk until you have a lump-free paste (small lumps will get caught in your hair, and you’ll have to comb it out). Section your hair and apply the mask from root to tip, massaging the mask into the ends. Let the mask sit on your hair for 20 to 25 minutes. Rinse out all of the mask with cool water (hot water will cook the egg). Shampoo and condition as you normally would.
Coconut Yogurt and Honey: To restore and balance oily hair.
Packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins, calcium, and protein, coconut yogurt has moisturizing properties that help control oily, greasy hair by washing away excess oil in the scalp and hair. Honey is a key ingredient in this mask, enlivening dry, dull hair. Combining them creates a powerful hair mask that is perfect for someone with an oily scalp.
· 1/4 cup coconut yogurt (recipe below)
· 2 tablespoons honey
Section your hair and apply the mask from root to tip, massaging into the ends. Let the mask sit on your hair for 20 to 25 minutes. Rinse out all of the mask with hot water. Shampoo and condition as you normally would.
Coconut Yogurt Recipe:
· 2 cup organic coconut milk
· 1 capsule probiotic
Place coconut milk in a pot. Heat to 180 degrees. Allow to cool completely. Add probiotic. Place in dehydrator for 5 hours at 110, or in a yogurt maker for 5 hours. Place in fridge for 5-10 hours. If you aren’t able to make coconut yogurt from scratch, one of my favorites is Super Probiotic Coconut Kefir Yogurt.
Photos: Sweet Laurel Bakery
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