Raise your hand if the end of summer has left you with less-than-healthy looking locks. Between sun exposure and dips in the pool, chances are your hair has had its fair share of “summer fun.” Recently, I was met with an unpleasant combination of summer hair symptoms—my ends felt dry and starchy while my roots felt heavy with buildup from hair products and oil. I was certainly in the market for a hair mask that would nourish my strands while helping me bust through pesky build up. I decided to take matters into my own hands and make this DIY Nourishing and Clarifying Avocado Hair Mask.
If your fridge is stocked with beer, you can upgrade this recipe and use beer as your liquid base. Although beer isn’t the best for your health when consumed, it actually packs in some beauty benefits for your hair. The yeast in beer gives hair a volume boost. In addition to yeast, beer contains phosphorous, magnesium, silica, potassium, maltose (which contains vitamin C), and biotin (a B vitamin that helps tighten the hair cuticle, allowing it to reflect more light, i.e. shine!), which combine to provide your hair with a vitamin- and mineral-packed cocktail—or, err, beer. If you’re adding beer to your blend, use an IPA if possible. The hoppier the beer, the more protein present (since hops are protein rich).
The vitamin E and essential fatty acids in avocado and olive oil serve as a rich conditioner to restore moisture to thirsty strands and help make hair soft and shiny once again.
Baking soda may be one of my favorite hair care ingredients. In my experience, nothing banishes product and oil buildup quite like it. After washing my hair with baking soda, it’s noticeably softer and bouncier, and it feels so clean—in a good way—not in a stripped, harsh-shampoo kind of way. Combined with apple cider vinegar, another clarifying in ingredient, baking soda will leave your hair feeling less weighed down.
Clary sage essential oil is beneficial for hair growth and has long been used to treat hair loss, dandruff, and oily scalp (by balancing sebum production). Meanwhile, tea tree essential oil is a well-known clarifying oil that also helps with dandruff.
DIY Nourishing and Clarifying Avocado Mask
¼ cup water (or beer—the hoppier, the better, so try an IPA)
2 tablespoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive, coconut, or almond oil (I used olive oil, but all contain nourishing fatty acids)
1 tablespoon baking soda
7 drops clary sage essential oil
3 drops tea tree essential oil
Whip the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl or combine in a blender. The mixture should be fairly thin, kind of gritty, and pretty smelly (sorry!). Work the mixture into damp hair. Massage your scalp with the mixture for a good five minutes. Wrap your hair in a shower cap or damp towel, and leave the mixture in for at least thirty minutes. Shampoo and condition your hair as usual, and enjoy a little extra volume and luster.
What’s your favorite way to restore hair after exposure to the harsh summer elements?
More in DIY beauty: DIY Non Toxic Sunscreen
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell