Listen Live Graphics (Indy)

There has never been a more exciting time to be a naturalista. Major beauty brands are finally recognizing the need to promote products that serve Black women, and Black-owned hair care lines are popping up all over the world. These lines are offering quality handmade products to style and nourish our beautiful, unique strands. And it’s hardly any wonder why. Simply put (and implicit nobility aside) there are big bucks to be made in the beauty market. In fact, the global natural hair care product market was valued at a whopping $8.74 billion in 2019 with no signs of slowing down. And while Black women have more choices than ever when it comes to hair care, there’s nothing quite like reaching into your own cupboard and whipping up a concoction that will instantly bring your curls to life. 

DIY hair masks have become extremely popular on YouTube and social media over the last ten years. As we already know, kinky, curly, and coily hair textures need an abundance of moisture and added protein to thrive, so it’s not surprising that we’re constantly looking for innovative ways to give our hair the TLC it needs. Even celebrities like Cardi B have leaned into the more natural approach to hair care. The bottom line: DIY masks work and they’re cost effective.

Fortunately, many of those magic ingredients that work, such as avocado, banana, coconut, apple cider vinegar, and mayonnaise, that are found in pricey hair products can also be found right in your kitchen. 

1. Avocado and Coconut Milk Hair Smoothie

Because of their high concentration of vitamins and healthy fats, avocados are the perfect base ingredient for this ultra nourishing and strengthening DIY hair mask. Avocados are packed with vitamins A, D, E, and B6 which support hair structure, promote growth, and moisturize the scalp. They are also high in amino acids and protein, which helps reduce shedding. This nourishing mask, created by YouTuber Nia Imani, not only fights frizz, but also helps repair strands damaged by heat or protective styles. The coconut milk helps further moisturize and condition the hair for easier detangling. Sweet almond oil, olive oil, and honey are added to the mixture to help soften the hair, and add shine, and moisture, respectively. 

 

Ingredients: 

½  an avocado 

1 cup organic unsweetened coconut milk 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

2 tablespoons pure organic avocado oil

1 tablespoon organic honey

 

Directions: Mix the avocado and organic unsweetened coconut milk together in a blender until the mixture becomes smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Once all ingredients are fully combined, let it sit. Section clean hair into four parts and spray with water and/or apple cider vinegar to open up the hair cuticles. Apply the mask to each section starting with the ends and working your way to the roots. Ensure that each section is saturated. Cover your hair with a plastic cap and leave the mask on for 2 to 3 hours. Rinse out with warm water, and follow with a deep conditioner.

 

2. Bentonite Clay Mask

 

Bentonite clay is an age-old ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways. It has been touted in beauty circles for its skin detoxifying properties, but did you know that it’s also a miracle worker of a hair product? The clay removes toxins from the hair and scalp while also aiding in hair growth, defining curls, and minimizing dandruff. The best part is, you don’t need a ton of ingredients for this super simple DIY mask. YouTuber OnlyOneJess has a quick and simple tutorial for you to follow (one look at her healthy, defined curls is all the proof you need about its effectiveness). Bentonite clay can easily be found in your local beauty supply store, health food market, or online. 

 

Ingredients: 

equal parts bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar

 

Directions: Combine the bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar until it reaches a yogurt-like consistency. Apply to clean, wet hair in sections, concentrating on the scalp and working down toward the ends. Detangle the strands with your fingers while applying the mask. Cover the hair with a plastic cap and allow the mask to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and style as usual.

 

3. Cardi B’s Mayonnaise Hair Mask

 

Back in June 2020, rapper Cardi B shared a DIY hair mask recipe that’s been saving all of our strands ever since. The Bronx native is adamant about taking care of her natural hair while wearing wigs and other protective styles, and this homemade mask is one of the ways she keeps her hair healthy and moisturized. It all starts with mayonnaise, a highly effective ingredient for restoring moisture in curly and kinky hair types. Next comes avocado, which is rich in vitamins and natural oils which help balance and moisturize the hair. Cardi also adds a banana, which boosts the hair’s collagen production to promote thicker hair, and an egg for added protein and consistency. Finally, finish off with argan oil for shine, olive oil and honey for moisture, and black castor oil for growth stimulation. Like Cardi’s, your hair will emerge from this mask hydrated, strong, and healthy.

 

Ingredients:

1 heaping scoop of mayonnaise

1 avocado

1 banana

1 egg

2 tablespoons argan oil

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons black castor oil

 

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth. Ensure there are no chunks of avocado left before transferring to a bowl. Section clean hair into four parts, and apply the mask evenly to the strands from root to end. Cover with a plastic cap for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse out thoroughly, and style as desired.

 

4. Aloe Vera Hair Mask 

If you haven’t heard that aloe vera is the secret to hair growth at lightning speed, you’ve been missing out. This slippery yet ultra nourishing plant is commonly used for sunburns and other skin ailments, but it’s also fantastic for your scalp and strands. Stylists and hair enthusiasts rub the raw gel inside aloe vera leaf directly on the scalp, which is said to improve and repair damaged tresses. Many women report significant hair growth after consistent use of aloe vera. Natural hair blogger Bella Mecia has garnered over a million views of her homemade aloe vera extreme oil treatment, which promises massive hair growth, hydration, and moisture. She says this mask has helped her curls bounce back after a month of straightening. It’s easy to make and can be used as either a pre-poo or deep conditioning treatment. Like other DIY masks on this list, the vitamin-packed avocado is incorporated to boost moisture, strength, and shine.  

 

Ingredients:

1 avocado

1 fresh aloe vera leaf

1 tablespoon organic raw coconut oil

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 teaspoon sweet almond oil

1 teaspoon Jamaican black castor oil

½ teaspoon Moroccan argan oil

 

Directions: Cut the aloe vera leaf into sections and separate the gel from the peel. Place the fresh gel in a bowl, and set the peels aside. Slice the avocado chunks and place inside a blender, then add the oils. Blend the mixture, and use a fork to smash the avocado chunks if necessary. Once the mask reaches a consistency resembling baby food, add the aloe vera chunks and blend to a creamy texture. Part your hair into four sections (start with unclean hair if you’re doing this as a pre-poo treatment, or clean hair if this is a deep conditioner) and rub the aloe vera peels on the scalp. Then apply the mask throughout each section, starting at the ends. Cover with a plastic cap and let sit for one hour. Rinse the hair with cool water and continue with your normal wash day routine.

 

5. Sweet Potato Hair Mask

We love sweet potato for its ability to be delicious in both savory and sweet dishes, but never did we think of it as a natural hair remedy — until now! Sweet potato boosts the scalp’s natural oils to moisturize hair and promote growth. It also thickens strands with its high B vitamin content, and adds shine with its richness in omega-3 fatty acids. This makes it a great DIY mask ingredient to combat hair loss or for overall conditioning. Naptural 85 shows us how to accomplish a simple DIY mask using half a sweet potato, water, and olive oil.

 

Ingredients:

½ baked sweet potato 

 ½ cup of water

¼ cup of olive oil

 

Directions: Peel the skin off the cooked sweet potato and dice into chunks. Add sweet potato pieces to the blender along with the water and olive oil. Blend the mixture until it’s smooth and creamy. Dampen clean hair with water to loosen the strands and open the hair follicles. Apply the mask all over the hair from roots to ends. If some mixture is left over, you can use it as a face mask since the sweet potato’s vitamin-rich content also benefits the skin. Cover your hair with a plastic cap and let sit for 45 minutes. Rinse with water and style as desired.

 

RELATED STORIES:

Here’s Why You Should Switch Your Deep Conditioner For A Hair Mask

TRIED IT: Dove’s Amplified Textures Recovery Mask Left My Hair Hydrated

The 5 Best DIY Hair Masks For Kinky & Curly Hair  was originally published on hellobeautiful.com