By Holly J. Coley, The Upstate Edit
Photo: Courtesy of Holly J. Coley
Natural ingredients like yogurt and eggs work miracles on hair. They’re also messy and time consuming. During the holidays, and frankly, the rest of the year, who really has time to sit for thirty minutes with egg on their head? Not me! In my opinion, an oil-based treatment is the way to go. And this recipe is so lightweight and absorbent that after applying, you can go about your life until you’re ready to rinse and style. I kid you not; I’ve worn this to the supermarket, the gym—everywhere! And it’s only three ingredients.
You may want to save yourself the trouble and just buy a commercial brand. Resist the urge. Beyond the parabens, sulfates and fragrances, most contain a particularly evil ingredient. In fact, you probably have it in your medicine cabinet: rubbing alcohol (often listed as isopropyl alcohol). It’s used as a dissolvent in conditioners and, ironically, dries out your hair.
For a healthy mane, you want ingredients that moisturize, repair and strengthen, and that’s exactly what this mask does. Its base is skin-balancing jojoba oil, which cleanses, conditions and is great for all hair types. The second ingredient is sweet almond oil. Along with being rich in vitamins B1 and B6, its emollient properties smooth the hair shaft and soften brittle ends. Sweet almond oil also contains magnesium, a mineral necessary for protein synthesis. The final ingredient, Jamaican black castor oil, contains a fatty acid called ricinoleic, which has been scientifically shown to be anti-inflammatory when applied topically. (This also helps with scalp inflammation, medically known as scalp folliculitis, which can be caused by bacteria, damaged hair follicles or psoriasis. Beyond creating an itchy and dry scalp, it can also lead to hair loss.)
While you don’t need to use essential oils for this to be an effective treatment (after all, I did say this was a three-ingredient recipe), they can be a great addition to the formula. Not only will they provide an aromatherapeutic experience, but EOs such as lavender, rosemary, lemongrass and even tea tree have been clinically proven to aid in hair growth. Many experience hair thinning over time because of buildup, yeast or poor blood flow to the scalp. Since many EOs promote circulation and/or are antibacterial, they can address these issues. If you include them in this DIY, use sparingly, especially if they’re new to your routine. Keep it to a maximum of five drops per oil. Remember, just because something is natural doesn’t mean you won’t experience a negative reaction from it. █
4 tablespoons of jojoba oil
2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil
½ tablespoon of Jamaican black castor oil
Optional: Up to 5 drops of essential oil of choice
1. Combine ingredients within the bottle and shake gently.
2. Liberally apply mask through hair from root to tip.
3. Slick hair into bun and wear up to eight hours before cleansing as usual.
You can store the remainder of your mask in a dry, cool space for later use. This makes a great stocking stuffer when labeled and topped with a ribbon!