With exposure to things like the weather, less than great water, hair care products, and heat tools, your hair can take a beating. I use plenty of homemade hair care products to keep my locks healthy, like this herbal hair rinse. But this strengthening DIY hair mask is a great addition to any natural hair care regimen.
Why Use a DIY Hair Mask?
Shampoo and conditioner may not be enough to counteract everything we put our hair through. Even those who regularly consume nutrient-dense foods like collagen and bone broth might notice their hair needs some extra love. A natural shampoo and conditioner keeps hair clean and moisturized, but a protein-rich hair mask adds strength and shine.
While you can buy a hair mask, the kitchen is full of ingredients with properties that nourish and strengthen hair. Why not just mix a little up when needed? Bonus: You’ll know exactly what’s in your (100% natural) DIY hair mask!
How a Hair Mask Works
Before I delve into what’s in this hair mask to strengthen hair, it helps to know why I’m recommending these ingredients. The hair follicle and root are composed primarily of collagen. This is why consuming collagen-rich foods and a high quality collagen powder helps so much with hair growth and health. The hair itself is 91% protein, so coating it in protein gives it what it needs to rebuild.
Hair Mask Ingredients
Raw Free-Range Egg
The iconic egg shampoo was popular for a reason. While the proteins found in egg are too large to effectively bind with hair, they’re chock full of other vitamins and minerals that nourish hair and scalp. Eggs from less than healthy animals won’t have as good of a nutritional profile, so free range eggs are best.
Raw eggs contain:
- Vitamins A, B-complex, D and E
- Pantothenic acid
- Cholesterol, healthy fats and omega-3s
This ingredient is really the star of the show here. I love using gelatin for so many things, from homemade healthy marshmallows, to vitamin rich fruit snacks. However, it’s also fabulous for hair. The proteins in gelatin readily bind to hair to repair damage and really help this hair mask to strengthen hair. Twelve of the top thirteen amino acids that comprise our hair shafts are also found in gelatin.
Raw honey is another ingredient that goes into much of our food, DIY beauty tutorials, and natural health recipes. This unique ingredient does everything from clearing blemished skin to soothing a sore throat. While protein adds strength to the hair, too much can make it brittle. Adding honey helps keep the hair soft and flexible.
These are optional, but really help to amplify the benefits. Plus they help hair smell amazing! Lavender, rosemary, cedarwood, and ylang ylang are all good choices. I give more details about my top essential oils for a healthy scalp and hair in this post.
This plant is also known as scouring rush, or shavegrass. Because of its rigid nature, it used to be used as a scrubbing tool. It’s high in silica and other hair-healthy minerals like magnesium, potassium, and bioflavonoids that are best extracted in a water infusion. The silica not only makes the plant strong but hair, teeth, and nails as well.
DIY Hair Mask Recipe
- Pour the 1/3 cup of water into a small pan and bring to a simmer.
- Remove from the heat and add the horsetail.
- Cover, and let infuse for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain and set aside.
- In a shallow bowl, pour the ¼ cup of room temperature water.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and allow it to gel for a few minutes.
- Whisk in the hot horsetail infusion.
- In a small bowl, thoroughly combine the honey and essential oils.
- Stir the gelatin mixture into the honey. Keep stirring until you no longer see tiny bubbles, as this means it's mixed. The honey helps to safely disperse the essential oils into the hair mask. If not using any essential oils, then just add the honey straight to the gelatin mixture.
- Whisk the egg in. Make sure that the gelatin mixture isn’t too hot when adding the egg, or you’ll end up with scrambled egg in your hair mask!
- Apply the prepared hair mask liberally to the hair until all strands are thoroughly coated.
- Allow the mixture to sit on the hair for 5-10 minutes, but don’t let it dry. A shower cap can be used to keep the hair moist if you want it on the hair for longer.
- Thoroughly rinse out. Follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse if needed to remove all of the hair mask.
If you want to try a different type of mask for your hair, this one is a great alternative that uses molasses.
Do you use hair masks for healthier hair? Do you have a favorite DIY hair treatment? Please share!