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7 Best DIY Mask Recipes For Hair That's Curly, Dry, Oily—You Name It

These recipes will satisfy you more than your last Bumble hookup.
PHOTO: katie buckleitner

As someone who has spent her entire freakin’ life obsessed with all things beauty, but has also spent her entire life not made of pure cash, I’ve basically become a walking DIY expert. DIY face masks? Concocted them all (…for better or worse). Homemade body scrubs that clog your drain and stain your skin? Yeah! That happened! DIY hair masks? Please—if it’s a food item, I’ve probably slathered it on my head.

Which means I’m fully aware of the ingredients that do work wonders in under an hour for your hair, aaaaand the ingredients that have absolutely no business touching your scalp—and trust me, there are many, many terrible DIY recipes out there. So to cut through the noise and save you from a potential hair disaster, I rounded up my seven favorite DIY hair masks for curly hair, dandruff, dry hair, and more. Try one of these tonight, and I promise your hair will be happier for it.

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Best DIY Hair Mask for Frizzy, Curly Hair

As someone with curly hair, I want to say there’s absolutely nothing wrong with frizz or flyaways, and they 100 percent do not need to be “tamed.” That being said, frizzy curls can be a major sign of dryness, in which case you need a moisturizing hair mask fast. The easiest and most beloved hair mask for curls? Pure oil. Both olive and coconut oil are the heaviest of the oils, but they’re also the most moisturizing, so try this mask once a week for max definition and hydration.

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DIY hair mask ingredients:

- Coconut oil or olive oil

The steps:

  1. Warm a half cup of coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl until liquified (or, just pour half a cup of olive oil in a bowl).
  2. Dip your fingers in the bowl and slowly coat your dry curls—oil and water don’t mix—from roots to tips with oil, working in sections until fully saturated.
  3. Clip your hair up, cover it with a shower cap, and leave it on for at least an hour before rinsing and shampooing your hair. If your hair is incredibly dry and/or damaged, leave it on overnight and rinse in the morning.
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Get Rid of Frizzy Hair! 4 DIY Hair Masks

Best DIY Hair Mask for Shine and Softness

This DIY mask is truly magical for hydration. It's made with avocado, which is filled with fatty acids that coat your hair cuticle in moisture, and honey, which acts as a humectant (an ingredient that draws moisture from the air and into the strand). If you’re not sure which oil to choose, pick olive oil for thicker, coarser, and/or color-treated hair, and argan oil for finer hair types that are easily weighed down.

DIY hair mask ingredients:

- 1 ripe avocado

- 1 tablespoon of argan oil or olive oil

- 1 tablespoon honey

- 1/8 cup coconut milk (or almond milk, if you’re in a pinch)

The steps:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender (or, use a hand mixer, or, if you’re supremely lazy, just mix that sh*t by hand with a fork and whisk, but be prepared for clumps).
  2. Smooth the mixture throughout your dry hair, from roots to tips, then wrap and clip your hair up.
  3. Leave on for at least 30 minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual.
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DIY Avocado hair mask

Best DIY Hair Mask for Flakes and Dandruff

Okay, so this is the closest tutorial I could find that matches my own DIY dandruff mask. But, instead of the lavender essential oil in the video (too irritating), I use aspirin. It’s. Freaking. Magical. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, a natural dandruff killer and flake soother, while apple cider vinegar is king at changing the acidity on your scalp to disrupt yeast growth (too much yeast = dandruff). As for tea tree oil? It’s antibacterial and antifungal, so it helps stop dandruff and itch on contact.

DIY hair mask ingredients: 

- 1/4 cup water

- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

- six to eight drops of tea tree oil

The steps: 

  1. Mix the water and apple cider vinegar in a clean spray bottle.
  2. Add the tea tree oil, swirling until mixed.
  3. Crush the aspirin (I use the bottom of a cup to smash them up), pour the powder in the bottle, and swirl it around until dissolved.
  4. Saturate your scalp with the spray, letting it sit for 30 minutes before shampooing and conditioning like normal. Don’t worry—the scent will be gone.
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DIY Tea tree oil scalp spray

Best DIY Hair Mask for Oily, Greasy Hair

Okay, technically, nothing but your genetics and hormones can really curb your oil production (blame your DNA), but a grease-dissolving DIY mask also can’t exactly hurt. Enter: This aloe-based recipe, which uses honey (a natural antibacterial), lemon (a natural astringent that’s usually a major no-no for your face—it’s too acidic—so keep it on your hair), and aloe (a lightweight hydrator) to cut grease without stripping your hair.

DIY hair mask ingredients:

- Two tablespoons honey

- One tablespoon aloe vera gel

- One squeeze of a lemon wedge (only have lemon juice? Try half a teaspoon)

The steps: 

  1. Combine all three ingredients in a bowl and stir until mixed.
  2. Rake it through your damp hair, focusing on your scalp.
  3. Let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing (you don’t need to shampoo after, but you can).

DIY: Aloe Vera Hair Mask For Oily Hair

Best DIY Hair Mask for Itchy, Dry Hair

Apple cider vinegar is the MVP of curly-hair ingredients, and for good reason: It gently dissolves product buildup, soothes itchiness, and balances out your scalp’s pH (sounds fake, but it’s legit helpful). Mix that with soothing honey and moisturizing coconut oil, and you’ve got an incredibly good, scalp-calming DIY hair mask for straight hair and curls.

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DIY hair mask ingredients:

- Two tablespoons coconut oil

- One tablespoon honey

- One tablespoon apple cider vinegar

The steps:

  1. Add the coconut oil to a bowl (though the tutorial doesn’t call for it, I recommend microwaving the oil for 45 seconds to make it easier to work with).
  2. Mix the honey and apple cider vinegar in with the oil.
  3. Work the mixture through your dry roots, making sure to fully saturate your scalp before moving to your ends.
  4. Leave on for 30 minutes before shampooing.

DIY Hair Mask for Soft, Moisturized, Defined Curls

Best Vegan DIY Hair Mask

As I'm sure you've already seen by your own Googling, most strengthening, hydrating hair masks tend to have eggs or some form of animal-based ingredients. Not fun if you're vegan. But this moisturizing mask uses only three vegan ingredients to make your hair hella soft and smooth.

DIY hair mask ingredients:

- 3/4 cup coconut oil

- 3/4 cup shea butter

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- 1/2 cup olive oil

The steps:

  1. Add the coconut oil, shea butter, and olive oil to a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Stir until fully melted, then remove from heat.
  3. When the mixture is room temperature (or just slightly warm), rake it through your hair—avoiding the roots, if you have fine, naturally oily hair—and let it sit for an hour.
  4. Shampoo and condition, as usual, to get the excess oil out. If your hair is fine and easily weighed down, try slathering your hair with conditioner first (it can help dissolve the oil better than shampoo, as weird as it sounds), then shampoo and condition again.

3-ingredient hair mask for hair growth, vegan, zero waste

Best DIY Scalp Scrub and Hair Mask

Okay, so technically, this isn't just a DIY hair mask—it's a scalp scrub, too, using moisturizing oils and antibacterial honey to soothe irritated or dry scalps, along with raw sugar to exfoliate flakes and cut through product buildup. Though you can apply this scrub to damp or dry hair, this YouTuber recommends dry hair, finding that the sugar granules tend to dissolve too quickly with water to get a good exfoliation.

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DIY hair mask ingredients: 

- Two tablespoons raw sugar

- Two tablespoons honey

- Three tablespoons coconut oil

- Two tablespoons sweet almond oil

The steps:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a small bowl, stirring until completely mixed.
  2. Scoop up a dollop of scrub and massage it along your part and hairline.
  3. Work section by section, lifting a row of hair, tossing it to the other side, and massaging the scrub into your scalp until your scalp is fully covered and exfoliated.
  4. Leave it on for five minutes, then shampoo and condition.

DIY nourishing scalp scrub for dry scalp and hair growth


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.