Just when you think you and your hair have survived the winter months and are in the clear, summer comes around. It’s tempting to think that this time of year means that you can be free to soak in the warm weather, head to the beach and only worry about sun damage to your skin, but it’s crucial to know that this time of year poses some major threats to your hair too. Particularly ones that concern humidity and heat. Yep, whether the days of applying heat to your rizos are behind you or not, the summer months mean that the sun’s rays will be applying heat to your hair whether you like it or not. Fortunately, hair masks are a tool that you can use to ward off whatever damage your hair might be threatened with.
Straight from my mom’s own recipe book here are a few masks that’ll help you keep your hair strong, healthy and moisturized for the summer.
La Mayonesa Mask
If chilling in your pijama with mayonnaise in your hair sounds odd, you’re right girl. I’m pretty sure no one has ever claimed that keeping their hair wrapped in the key ingredients to a chicken salad sandwich was a delightful way to spend an evening and yet it’s a mask I apply to my strands once a week.
Benefits: For the chica with damaged strands, this mayo mask won’t be the end all be all to your woes, but it’ll be pretty close. I have to admit that recently my hair has been in recovery mode from heat styling and a not so smart dye job. Still, the regular use of mayonnaise on my hair has helped me to strengthen my strands and smooth out my frizzies. The rich amount of amino acids and nourishing oils in the product can also keep your hair conditioned while ensuring that locks of all types stay moisturized and smooth.
1 cup of Mayonnaise – if you’re out of the below ingredients like an egg or castor oil mayonnaise on its own can work too.
1 teaspoon of castor oil
Freshly cleansed hair
How to work it: Mix these ingredients together well, then slather on your hair before covering with a plastic shower cap. Let sit for 20 minutes then wash all of the ingredients out. Be sure when you’re cleaning the ingredients out of your hair that you go for a cooler temperature (there’s egg in there, girl. Don’t make an old mistake I made and let it cook). Follow up with a shampoo wash to get rid of that mayo stink.
Avocado & Banana Mask
Yep, my mom loved to use all kinds of foods to condition my hair growing up and avocado was definitely one of them. In recent years I’ve amended this recipe by adding mashed up bananas and honey to increase shine and help with dandruff.
Benefits: Avocados are packed with protein and amino acids that have helped me improve my dry scalp and soften my hair when its dry. It’s a pretty great way to end breakage. Meanwhile, bananas come loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin C that can bring shine and glow to your hair.
1/2 avocado (eat the other half while you’re chilling)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of honey
How to work it: Mix all of the ingredients in a blender (trust me*, that avocado can be hard to break down). Do it until the ingredients are creamy. Then, part your hair into sections, apply the ingredients and braid each section from root to end. Let sit for 30 minutes or stick it out and wear the mask overnight while you sleep.
Pro tip*: avocado pulp is no joke. Be sure to rinse the products out of your hair thoroughly or risk having people asking you what the heck is in your hair.
The Baking Soda Mask
Benefits: If you start to see your hair go limp and feel as if it looks weighed down you might have too much product on it. The use of baking soda can be great for cleansing your hair of the hair sprays, and oils you use but can’t always seem to wash out.
2 tablespoons of baking soda
1 tablespoon of water
How to work it: Mix both ingredients together until you get a paste. Then, coat all over your hair and wait 20 minutes before rinsing and following up with your regular hair wash routine.
Benefits: The reality of honey’s benefits are sweeter than anything I could imagine. Honey has hygroscopic properties which means that holding onto water molecules is a pretty darn easy thing for it do it. Meaning it does a ton of moisturizing. This mask will help soften your hair and nourish the cuticle layer which will make your hair appear shinier.
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
How to work it: Start by shampooing your hair and then letting it dry a bit so that it is damp. Mix the honey and olive oil together so that it is blended well and a bit runny. Doing this will ensure that it will be easy to work into your hair. Massage the ingredients into your the scalp and then lightly use your fingers to cover the strands. Let this sit for 15 minutes and then wash out. Follow up with conditioner.
Benefits: Papaya’s never been one of my favorite fruits, but after a bit of research I started adding it to my grocery list pretty regularly. As it turns out, the super fruit is filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and potassium that can help keep your hair in line during the summer months. The fruit can bring shine to your strands and a bit of bounce. Meanwhile, good ol’ trusty olive oil will bring on the moisture and help you to prevent breakage.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
How to work it: Blend pieces of papaya and olive oil together until smooth. Once you’re done so, apply the mask to your hair doobie style then cover it all up with a shower cap. Let the concoction sit overnight and wash out in the morning.
The Hot Coconut Oil Mask
When you have damaged hair, it might seem counter-intuitive to go for more heat, but trust me this recipe helps.
Benefits: Coconut oil doesn’t need to be fussed with when you’re applying it to your hair. That’s how powerful the ingredient which has lauric and fatty acids is. The recipe will help with breakage, keep your hair shiny and get rid of dandruff.
1/4 cup of coconut oil
How to work it: There are two ways to do this mask. It always starts with making sure your hair is cleansed. Once you’ve done this you can heat up the oil in a microwave and apply it to your strands. Or, you can apply the oil to your hair, cover it with a shower cap and use a dryer to warm up the outside of your hair cover. For both methods, leave the oil in your hair covered for 30 minutes or overnight. Once you’re done, proceed with washing the ingredients out and going about your normal shampoo routine.