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13 Easy At-Home Hair Treatments to Rescue Your Hair and Scalp

Looking to tackle pesky hair concerns without blowing your budget? These easy, affordable DIY hair masks all use household remedies that you probably already have at home. While some may utilize your blender — check out the egg and banana mask below — others are as simple as a single ingredient that will get your hair into tip-top shape, whether you suffer from dry hairfine hair, an itchy scalp, or dandruff.

If you aren’t a DIY’er, don’t stress: We’ve also included shoppable options to cure your hair woes. Either way, you’ll have lust-worthy hair in no time.

The problem: Thinning hair

homemade hair treatment


The fix: If you have baby-fine hair, your biggest stresses might comprise hiding a visible scalp or worrying about strands you can’t afford to lose. Dispel concerns with a protein-rich treatment that can plump up a wimpy mane.

Steal this tip from Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, author of Hair Care Rehab: The Ultimate Hair Repair and Reconditioning ManualMake a “banana protein smoothie,” which consists of amino acid-rich bananas and eggs to enhance hair elasticity, strengthen, and add thickness.

How to use it: Blend two egg yolks, two ripe bananas, two to three tablespoons of honey, half cup of conditioner, and two tablespoons of olive oil, until fully pureed. Slather all over and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes; rinse with cool water. “Results are immediate,” says Davis-Sivasothy. “But keep in mind that it only lasts until your next shampoo.”

Store-bought fix: For a drugstore purchase, she suggests Pureology Strength Cure Strengthening Shampoo.

The problem: Brittle hair

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Strengthen strands. While dry, brittle hair is a struggle on its own, it can also lead to increased breakage and dullness. Egg yolks are an easy fix, says Sadah Saltzman, a hairstylist at Salon AKS in New York City. They will help strengthen and nourish hair follicles.

How to use it: Mix a little lemon into the yolks to lessen the egg smell. When applying, put the mixture on hair from roots to ends and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour to really penetrate into hair.

Store-bought fix: If you’d rather save your eggs for cooking, try Too Cool for School Egg Remedy Hair Pack.

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The problem: Messy waves or curls

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Define, rather than fight, your hair’s natural bends with a homemade curl enhancer made of molasses and honey. According to Davis-Sivasothy, honey and syrup are natural humectants (ingredients that attract and lock in moisture) and can treat curls while hydrating thirsty hair.

How to use it: Mix a half-cup of molasses or maple syrup, 1/4 cup of olive oil, four tablespoons of honey, two bananas, half-cup of water, four table spoons of lemon juice, and two tablespoons of all-purpose flour (adjust according to desired thickness).

Mix together ingredients, removing any lumps, and warm over the stovetop. Separate hair into four sections, evenly apply the sweet concoction, and cover it up with a shower cap; let sit for 45 minutes and rinse thoroughly.

Store-bought fix: Feeling lazy? Pick up Tigi Catwalk Curlesque Curls Rock Amplifier, instead.

The problem: Dry, damaged tresses

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Otherwise, you’re only a hair away from split ends, frizz, and breakage. Opt for an intensive overnight treatment if your average conditioner isn’t cutting it.

“Invest big money in shampoo and save in deep conditioners,” says White, who is a believer in the reparative properties of coconut oil. “It’s the heaviest of oils and can penetrate two layers of the hair shaft.”

How to use it: Take a tablespoon of coconut oil, warm it in the microwave, massage into damp hair, and sleep on it. Wear a shower cap and lay a towel on your pillow to prevent a greasy mess. In the morning, shampoo it out. Only use coconut oil on dry and damaged areas, which typically occur from the mid-shaft to the end. If you have finer hair, pick a lighter oil, like olive or avocado, as coconut oil can weigh strands down.

Store-bought fix: Intimidated by oil straight from the bottle? Start with an oil-based conditioner, like Crème of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment.

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The problem: Itchy scalp

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Soothe and moisturize. An itchy scalp can be caused by myriad problems, from something as serious as psoriasis or as minor as dryness. First, reach for tea tree oil, “an effective remedy for nearly any scalp ailment, including antifungal conditions,” says Davis-Sivasothy.

How to use it: Drip three drops of the oil on a cotton swab and dab onto the scalp. If the oil is irritating, dilute 1 ½ tablespoons of oil to one cup of warm water. To combat dryness, White recommends breaking a Vitamin E capsule and rubbing the oil on itchy areas to help moisturize skin, slough off dead skin cells, and unclog hair follicles. Leave the oil on overnight and rinse out in the morning.

Store-bought fix: Turn to a scalp conditioner, like Derma E Scalp Relief Conditioner, but make sure to apply it to the scalp to avoid damaging hair and stripping color. If the problem persists, see a dermatologist.

The problem: Limp locks

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Boost volume. The surefire way to pump up a flat ‘do is to add texture. But when you’re low on your go-to arsenal of volumizers and root lifters, you can mimic the effect with laundry starch. Kyle White, the lead colorist at Oscar Blandi, says starch builds texture and has a strong hold that lasts throughout the day.

How to use it: Lightly mist starch to roots, blow dry, and style as usual. Remember, less is more. White says to start with a light layer and build up, as you see fit.

Store-bought fix: For a similar hair product that gets the job done, try John Frieda Volume Lift Fine to Full Blow-Out Spray.

The problem: Faded dye job

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Intensify vibrancy. Add a jolt of red with a cranberry juice rinse (cherry flavored Kool-Aid works, too). To warm up ashy blonde hair, substitute the cranberry juice rinse for chamomile tea. Or bring out golden tones with some champagne (flat or bubbly both do the trick). Got some brassiness in your blonde locks? Do a rinse with grape-flavored Kool-Aid to counter any signs of orange.

How to use it: Tilt your head back over the sink and carefully pour the juice over clean, detangled hair. Once every section is soaked, dry your hair section by section on low heat to lock color in place. Rinse and condition after. “But remember to do a rinse only when necessary, otherwise it could lead to buildup,” says White.

Store-bought fix: You can also revive hair color with color enhancing shampoo, like KMS Color Vitality Shampoo.

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The problem: Dullness

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Lock in shine. Think of the outermost layer of your hair, the cuticles, as shingles on a roof; and those shingles must lie as flat as possible for shiny strands. Anything from friction to hot water to humidity can ruffle up the cuticles, resulting in a lackluster mane. Residue and product buildup are also culprits of sapping shine.

How to use it: To clarify and smooth cuticles, pour an apple cider vinegar rinse (a tablespoon of vinegar to half cup of water) over damp hair and comb through. Let it sink in for five minutes, rinse with cool water, and follow up with conditioner.

The acidity in the vinegar complements the pH of our hair, which helps seal the cuticle and makes it lay flatter, says White.

Store-bought fix: If you can’t stand the stench of vinegar, try Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three.

The problem: Frizz, flyaways, and wisps

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Smooth and tame. Unfortunately, raised cuticles not only affect shine, but they can also stir up frizz. If at the slightest hint of humidity your hair “rears its ugly head,” then your strands are parched — and they’re looking to the air’s moisture for replenishment. Castor oil acts as a thermal protectant and can actually help heal the hair, thanks to its omega-9 properties, says White.

How to use it: Create a buffer between your ‘do and the air with a very thin layer of castor oil; apply only where you need it.

Store-bought fix: If you don’t have castor oil, a pump of Phyto Phytolisse Finishing Serum will tame frizz without leaving behind grease.

The problem: Product buildup

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Deep clean. Between smoothing creams and hair oils, it’s easy to accumulate layer upon layer of product residue. Excess buildup leads to strands that never feel clean and dandruff-like flakes. But you can cut through oils and buildup with Davis-Sivasothy’s “baking soda power cleanse.”

How to use it: Combine 1/3 cup of shampoo with one to two tablespoons of baking soda, stir well, and pour over wet hair. Gently massage the mixture into the scalp and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Store-bought fix: Try a clarifying shampoo like Kenra Clarifying Shampoo.

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The problem: Dandruff

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Keep flakes under control. Dandruff is a scalp disorder that involves rapidly shedding dead skin cells. To slow down cell turnover and fight dandruff, Davis-Sivasothy suggests a ginger root scalp spritzer: ginger has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the scalp and keep dandruff in check.

How to use it: Finely grate half a ginger root into two cups of water and boil until it’s one cup of tea. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and olive oil. Mist the brew directly onto scalp, let dry, and shampoo out.

Store-bought fix: If you’re missing some ingredients, stop flakes with The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo.

The problem: Excessive shedding

homemade hair treatment


The fix: Treat the scalp and strengthen the hair follicle. Serious hair fallout can be caused by a multitude of things: stress, a major life change, illness and pregnancy to name a few. Paul Cucinello, celebrity stylist & owner of Cucinello Studio NYC, suggests doing a mayonnaise-based mask one to two times per week to help prevent shedding and heal the scalp, which is often the root of the problem.

How to use it: In a small bowl, combine three tablespoons of mayonnaise, one teaspoon of honey, three drops of rosemary oil and three drops of lavender oil. Mix until smooth. Apply onto clean, damp hair and massage into your scalp. Place a shower cap on your hair and allow to sit for up to an hour.

The combo of ingredients includes nutrients that will smooth the hair, boost shine and strengthen the hair follicle. The essential oils and honey also have anti-inflammatory benefits to calm the scalp and prevent additional fallout, says Cucinello.

Store-bought fixDabur Vatika Naturals Hair Mayonnaise Treatment is another option for a pre-made version.

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