In a perfect world, every day would be a good hair day. Our hair would be shiny, strong, and healthy without a forty minute haircare routine. No matter the weather, it’d be easy to style; no matter the season, it’d stay supple and moisturized. For now, effortless hair is a pure fantasy, but the closest we’ve come to overnight salon quality is with the power of a coconut oil hair mask.
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Coconut oil is the holy grail of haircare: It contains lauric acid, a type of fatty acid that permeates the hair shaft to support growth and moisturize dry spots. “I like using coconut oil because it helps to grow hair healthier, thicker, and longer,” says Richy Kandasamy, colorist and R+Co collective member. “The vitamins and the fatty acids help nourish the scalp and penetrate through the cuticles. Because coconut oil is so thin, it serves as a lubrication for your follicles and growth system. Coconut oil additionally smooths cuticles on your split ends, [and] controls frizz when in humid weather or if you have breakage.”
In DIY hair masks—and professional products like leave-ins—coconut oil is a key ingredient for nourished, healthy hair. A thirty-minute coconut oil hair mask can restore moisture; an overnight one can protect hair for weeks to come. There’s not much of a price tag, either. The ingredients for a homemade hair mask can be found in most grocery stores.
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Don’t be intimidated by the extra elbow grease “DIY” can imply. We’ve found coconut oil hair masks that use less than five ingredients and can be whipped up in as many minutes. Whether you want to encourage hair growth, protect against breakage, or boost shine, the right coconut oil hair mask can restore it to perfect hair day glory. As Kandasamy says: “It heals while it treats and adds shine at the same time.”
For Dry Hair
A no-frills coconut oil hair mask will infuse dry, brittle hair with moisture. To whip up this simples recipe, you’ll need:
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Honey
- 1 Egg
First, melt the coconut oil on a stovetop or in the microwave. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl; then combine the egg with the heated coconut oil. Add the honey and whisk again until the mixture is consistent.
Now comes the application. After separating clean, damp hair into sections, gently massage the hair mask into each section from root to tip. Make sure each section is evenly covered. Then, wrap your hair in a shower cap, t-shirt, or towel for thirty minutes.
Finish up by rinsing out the hair mask with water and your favorite shampoo. You may need two or three rinses to entirely wash out the mask.
For Dull Hair
Alone, coconut oil hair masks are a fountain of moisture. Add in apple cider vinegar, and it’s an express route to stronger, shinier hair. For this double-benefit hair mask, you’ll need:
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
Heat the coconut oil until it’s melted. Then combine it with the apple cider vinegar in a bowl, mixing well. Apply the mask to dry or damp hair in sections, evenly covering each section from root to tip. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse out. Follow with your routine shampoo and conditioner.
For Damaged Hair
Hair that’s thirsty for TLC will require a slightly different recipe. Instead of mixing several ingredients for a coconut oil hair mask, you’ll instead use two tablespoons of coconut oil alone.
After heating the coconut oil, apply it to damp or dry hair as-is. Then, wrap it in a towel or shower cap and wear it overnight. (We recommend keeping it on for at least seven hours.) In the morning, rinse out the mask with your preferred shampoo and let it dry.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.