Continuing on from last week’s scalp scrubs and conditioning treatments (read about them in 3 Steps to a Healthy Scalp), this week we’re getting our locks in the best condition for summer with hair butters and masks.
If you look up DIY hair masks, you’ll come across a plethora of recipes containing everything from eggs to bananas to mayonnaise. Although we don’t doubt the benefits of these foodie hair treatments, we’re not the greatest fans of putting guacamole or egg in our hair (yes, we have tried it). So we researched some easy-to-apply whipped hair masks and butters that contain only the best hair oils and are 100% natural and vegan-friendly.
How to use a hair mask correctly:
Collagen is a wonder ingredient in hair treatments. It is a structural protein in connective tissues and helps regenerate cells, improves elasticity in skin and can help overall hair health and growth. It absorbs into hair strands and helps strengthen hair from the inside out. It forms a protective barrier to protect hair from damage caused by heat, sun and other environmental factors. It also makes hair shiny, soft and more manageable.
Optional: 5 drops rosemary essential oil
Mix everything together and apply to your whole head. The collagen may feel a bit grainy but this is normal. Leave in for 20 minutes then shampoo out. Repeat shampoo if necessary. Apply this mask once to twice per month. If you are taking collagen internally as a supplement, you may also find it helps improve your hair’s appearance and condition.
Alternatively if you don't want to add oil to your hair but just want the collagen mask, you can simply blend a tablespoon of collagen with half a cup of water and massage into your hair. Follow mask directions above.
Another quality ingredient for hair care is D-panthenol. You will often see D-panthenol listed on conventional shampoos and hair products, but don’t worry this is no nasty chemical. It is a pro-vitamin derived from Vitamin B5 and is a humectant and moisturiser. It also creates a film over hair strands which makes hair glossy and brings a ‘slip’, discouraging knots and tangles.
9ml freshly boiled water
1 tsp powdered horsetail root
10ml vegetable glycerine
1/4 tsp D-panthenol
1/2 tsp hydrolyzed collagen powder (optional)
6ml marula oil
1ml vitamin E oil
20 drops lavender essential oil
7 drops cedarwood essential oil
10 drops lemongrass essential oil
0.5ml Geogard 221 preservative or Euxyl 940
Weigh the water, horsetail root, glycerin, vitamin B5, and collagen into a small glass measuring cup, and then weigh the marula oil, emulsifying wax, and vitamin E oil into a second glass measuring cup. Place both of them into a shallow, wide pan that has about 3cm of water in it, and bring the water to a bare simmer for twenty minutes to melt the oil part and heat the water mixture. Then pour the oil into the water and leave in the water bath for another five minutes to ensure everything has melted through. Once combined, give the mixture a few quick blasts with an immersion blender. Continue to blend intermittently as it cools, leaving it for a few minutes at a time to cool before blending it a bit more. Once the mask has cooled to room temperature, stir in the essential oils and the preservative, and then transfer to a jar. To use, spread about 30ml of mask through your hair from about the ears down. Wrap your hair in a towel and leave in overnight, then wash out in the morning.
Hair butters are rich blends of natural oils and butters that act as a sealant to protect your hair from breakage and dryness. Hair butters work particularly well for those with very curly or frizzy, dry hair. They can be applied to dry or damp hair and can help hair to look more sleek and shiny and can assist in styling. Remember, a little butter goes a long way!
(grams here can be converted directly to mililiters if you find that easier)
67g mango butter
14g cocoa butter
12g avocado butter
15g avocado oil
15g castor oil
14g jojoba oil
4g olive oil
1g argan oil
1g rosehip oil
27g aloe ferox oil
Optional: you can also add flaxseed oil and essential oils such as lemon, orange, lavender, juniper, rosemary or rosewood.
Melt the butters together, then add the oils. Let the oil mixture cool in the fridge for an hour until it is opaque but not quite completely solid. Add the aloe oil and vitamin E oil last. Whip up and store in a glass jar.
A little goes a long way, so if your hair looks greasy you’re adding too much. If you have natural, tight curls, you can also use this butter to style your hair and keep it moisturised. This hair butter can also double as a luxurious body or hand butter.
4 tablespoons of shea butter
1 tablespoons of argan oil
7 drops of rosemary essential oil
1 tablespoon vitamin E oil
Melt the oils together in a water bath or double boiler. Once melted, add the vitamin E oil and let the mixture cool till it looks thick and opaque but not completely solid. Use an immersion/stick blender to blend on high speed. Slowly add the witch hazel in a steady stream, while continuously blending. When you get a creamy, white, fluffy texture, transfer the conditioning treatment to a jar. To use, scoop out a little on your fingers and apply to your hair. Remember, a little goes a long way! You can leave it in overnight then wash out with a gentle shampoo, or leave it to control dry and frizzy hair.
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