Just about every woman wants those beautiful, silky, luxurious locks portrayed in all the shampoo and conditioner ads. But for women saddled with dry hair or damaged hair, reality is far different from the airbrushed fiction of the advertising world. Numerous factors can lead to dry hair, including thyroid disease, malnutrition, and environmental factors such as too much fun in the sun and over-use of heat or styling products.
Some of the most common external factors that can be the culprit in turning healthy hair to damaged, dry hair are:
- Shampooing your hair more than necessary
- Using shampoos that are too harsh
- Using chemical treatments on your hair such as perms and hair dye
- Heat from hair dryers, curling irons, and flat irons
- Excessive exposure to sun and wind
Before diving deep into your wallet to fork over a small fortune for salon products to treat dry, damaged hair, try a few low-cost home remedies for dry hair to restore luster to those locks.
Raid Your Kitchen
Save yourself a trip to the store and reach into your pantry or refrigerator for some effective dry hair treatments.
- Grab some plain mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip or other salad dressing types) and coat your hair from root to tip. You may not like the smell, but you’ll love the results. Women have been using mayonnaise as a treatment for dry hair for ages. Why? Because it is made from eggs, vinegar, and oil and these three ingredients are excellent in hydrating the hair and helping to restore its moisture. After you apply the mayonnaise to your hair, cover with a shower cap and let sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing and washing with your normal shampoo.
- Break out the vinegar. Not only is vinegar great on salads, but it’s great for hair as well. It’s better to use apple cider vinegar for hair rinses and treatments rather than other types of vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is not only a great cleanser and conditioner, it also adds body and luster to your hair, balances the pH of your scalp, and helps to reduce scalp itch and dandruff. You can make your own apple cider vinegar hair rinse by mixing 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 1/2 cups of cool water. After you shampoo and condition your hair, pour the rinse over your hair from roots to tips, leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse. If you have very dry hair, leave the rinse on a bit longer. Simple and effective, apple cider vinegar is one of the best home remedies for dry hair.
- Rinse your hair with a can of beer to restore shine. Beer is made from malt and hops that contain proteins that are very nourishing to the hair. Beer softens and clarifies the hair, helps to balance the pH of hair and the scalp, increases shine and elasticity and acts as a gentle detangler. If you have any doubts about the benefits of using beer for hair care, just ask Catherine Zeta Jones. Catherine conditions her lustrous locks with beer and honey!
- Mash up some avocados or bananas for a hair mask. Avocados are rich in Vitamins A, B, D, and E, nutrients, essential fatty acids, amino acids, and potassium. They have natural humectant properties, meaning they draw moisture and lock it in. Avocados help to hydrate the scalp, promote new hair cell growth, and give hair a silky texture and glossy shine. Any type of hair can benefit from a treatment using Avocados, but they especially beneficial as a treatment for dry hair.
Bananas are rich in potassium, carbohydrates, vitamins, and natural oils that help to soften the hair and protect its natural elasticity. Using bananas in hair care treatments can help to prevent hair breakage and split ends, control dandruff, and make the hair manageable and shiny.
For an easy homemade hair mask mash 1/2 banana with 1/4 avocado and a tablespoon of plain yogurt. Just smooth the mixture on your hair from the roots to the tips, leave on for about 20 minutes, and then rinse and shampoo as usual.
- Olive oil for hair is fantastic. It’s packed with vitamins A, E, and K as well as antioxidants and squalene, which is a natural moisturizer. Olive oil provides deep conditioning, helps control dry scalp and dandruff, and seals in moisture to improve the elasticity of hair. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the oil obtained from the very first press of the olives and is more beneficial to the skin and hair than other grades, such as virgin or pomace.
Make an olive oil hair treatment by mixing two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 peeled cucumber and an egg together in a blender, smooth the mixture over your hair and leave in for 15 minutes. Rinse well and then shampoo and condition as normal.
A Tropical Solution
Take a cue from our friends in tropical climates and grab yourself some coconut oil. Not only is it a great dry hair treatment and conditioner that adds essential proteins to nourish those dry locks, it is also relatively inexpensive. A 16-ounce jar averages about $6, and a little bit goes a long way. You can use coconut oil to make a dry hair treatment simply by taking a scoop of solid coconut oil and melting it in the microwave until it turns to liquid or, you can add curry leaves and boil it for two to three minutes. Apply the liquid to your hair while it’s still warm and massage it into your hair and scalp. Pile your hair on your head, put a shower cap over it, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes, even longer if you have the time. Shampoo well to thoroughly remove the coconut oil and then condition as normal. Coconut oil is available in health food stores, supermarkets and online retailers.
Use A Sulfate Free Shampoo
Sulfates are found in most soaps and shampoos. Sulfates are surfactants that create suds, but they can also rob the hair of moisture and cause color-treated hair to fade. Excessive coloring can lead to damaged hair and shampoos with sulfates exacerbate the problem. Even if you never color your hair or don’t color it often, using a sulfate free shampoo is better for your hair than shampoos that contain sulfates.
Amazon has a good selection of Sulfate Free Shampoo if you can find any in a salon or store in your area.
Healthy hair requires a healthy diet. Protein is especially important because it is the building block for hair, but it can’t finish its work without carbohydrates. Iron and B-complex also play a starring role in creating healthy hair, according to trichologist Philip Kingsley in his book “The Hair Bible.” Take care of your body and your hair by getting the recommended daily intake from all the food groups.
The Cheapest and Most Natural Remedy for Dry Damaged Hair
The easiest and most natural dry hair treatment is completely free and requires no effort from you at all- you simply leave it alone. Stop abusing your hair with a never-ending cycle of washing, styling and blow-drying by taking a day off occasionally. If you’re not in a rush to get out the door, let your hair air-dry. Washing your hair every day depletes natural oils, so give it a rest and try washing every other day. On those days when you really don’t need to be presentable, let your hair take control (or be out of control, as the case may be) by forgoing products designed to force it into a particular style.
Home Remedies For Dry Hair
Here is a sample recipe for a homemade hair treatment where everything you need can be found right in your kitchen!
Dry Hair Treatment With Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Apply a generous amount to dry hair. Pile your hair on top of your head and cover with a plastic cap (or plastic wrap you have in your kitchen). Leave mixture on for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo and condition as usual. Unused mixture must be refrigerated and used within one week. Note: For longer hair, double the recipe.
You can find more dry hair remedies in the new book, Home Remedies For Dry Hair – Easy Recipes For Beautiful Healthy Hair By using the recipes in the book, you can turn your damaged hair into healthy, lustrous locks!