There are plenty of natural-ingredient hair care products on the shelves these days, but you’ll know exactly what you’re putting on your head if you whip up your own treatments made mostly from things you can find around the kitchen.
Whether you embrace your locks’ natural hue or color-treat them, there’s always room for more vibrance and shine. But don’t rely on a fumy, bottled enhancer for results. Instead, restore your shade with nourishing foods from the pantry.
With these these temporary color-intensifying glosses for blondes, redheads, and brunettes, you’ll get similar effects to using store-bought products, but without the fragrances, dyes, or chemicals. All it takes is a few minutes once a week — and a few key ingredients.
Color Booster for Brunettes
Cocoa makes for a deeper, richer brown. How it works: Honey moisturizes while acids in the yogurt (lactic) and vinegar (acetic) penetrate the hair shaft, allowing the cocoa’s pigment to sink in. Natural acids open the cellular doors to the pigmented molecules and make the results more pronounced.
Whip 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 teaspoon apple-cider vinegar into a paste. Shampoo hair, squeeze out the water, and apply the mask. Keep it on for 2 to 3 minutes. Drape a towel around your neck to prevent the mask from dripping, as it may stain skin temporarily. Rinse, then style as usual.
Color Booster for Blondes
Tea, lemon, and potato enhance sunny shades. The chamomile and lemon act as whitening agents, and the acidic lemon juice allows potato enzymes — which help brighten blonde hair — to break through the tough, keratinized outer layer of the hair.
Squeeze the juice from a lemon. Grate a raw potato and blend with the lemon to form a paste. Add 1/2 cup room-temperature chamomile tea and stir. Shampoo, then spread the mask throughout hair, massaging lightly. Cover your head with a PVC-free shower cap or plastic wrap, then lightly heat with a hair dryer for 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse, then style as usual.
Sea salt enhances and defines natural waves, while fragrant essential oil helps lock in moisture and softness. Just a few spritzes make hair look as if you’ve been frolicking in the ocean all afternoon.
Mix 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, 1 cup warm water, and 4 to 5 drops essential oil (such as grapefruit) in a reusable spray bottle. Shake well to dissolve salt. Spray on clean, well-conditioned damp hair. Run your fingers through to distribute, twisting sections of hair into ropes to further define waves. Let dry naturally, then run fingers through again to create loose, irregular ringlets. For extra hold, reapply lightly on dry hair. (Shake well before each use.)
Coconut and Flower Hair Oil
Oiling conditions the hair and scalp and promotes relaxation. Prepare the oil the night before by bringing 1/2 cup coconut oil to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons rose water and 1/2 cup mixed fresh flower petals such as rose or jasmine. Return to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Let the flowers steep in the oil overnight, then strain the oil through a coffee filter or double layer of cheesecloth into an airtight container. To oil your hair, gently massage four to five tablespoons of the oil onto the crown of your head and into your scalp. Wrap hair in a towel and allow the oils to penetrate for at least 20 minutes. Shampoo and rinse as usual.
Nourishing Hair Mask
A protein-rich mask helps to strengthen hair. In a medium-sized bowl, thoroughly combine 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 egg. Apply the mixture to your scalp after oiling and cleansing. Leave the mask on for about 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with warm water.
Sunflower Highlighting Hair Rinse
Sunflowers have figured in beauty concoctions since ancient times. Try this flower-inspired treatment for shiny hair.
Place 1/4 cup dried sunflower petals in a bowl. Add 2 cups boiling water; let cool. Strain out the petals and pour liquid into a clean container. After shampooing and conditioning, pour mixture over hair; do not rinse out. Dry and style as usual. For more highlights, repeat the process.
Hair-products can accumulate, weighing down hair and keeping your locks from looking their best. Get a clean slate by giving your hair and scalp a deep cleaning with a clarifying shampoo rinse; use it about once a month to get rid of the buildup and to restore shine.
Apply 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar to hair and scalp after shampooing (or mix with your regular shampoo), leave on for 5 minutes, then rinse and condition.