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You don’t have to be a cosmetic chemist to concoct these spa-level masks.

By Gianluca Russo
May 07, 2020
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diy-hair-masks: woman with wet hair
Credit: Getty Images

With excess time on your hands, now is the perfect opportunity to work more self-care into your schedule. Given the current troublesome state of the country, and globe for that matter, the stress and anxiety you’re facing is likely affecting your hair and skin. Just because you’re unable to leave the house freely, as you were three months ago, doesn’t mean it’s time to abandon your beauty routine. 

In fact, now is the time to do the opposite: For many, beauty rituals are a solid form of regular self-care. But you don't need to head to your local Sephora or Ulta to purchase a variety of sheet masks and hair masks to try out. Instead, here are seven of the best DIY hair and face masks you can make from ingredients you likely already have at home. 

1
Detoxifying Lemon and Ginger Hair Mask

Curl expert, owner of Spiral (x,y,z), and founder of the CurlyWorld product line, Lorraine Massey, has a very simple and effective ginger and tonic scalp and hair detox recipe that you can make right at home. This detox is the perfect solution for someone who is plagued with a lot of product buildup, or for people who need to reboot from a trusted formula that no longer works. Lemon water has an alkalizing effect, meaning that it can help begin to neutralize and dislodge silicone and oil/butter coatings on the hair fibers.

Recipe:

  • 2 lemons
  • Large chunk of ginger 
  • Mint leaves (optional) 

Directions:

All you need to do is blend and strain the pulp. Use 2 tablespoons to a pint of spring or distilled water and pour over wet, saturated hair. Take your mixture and massage the scalp tenderly and consciously for about a minute (the longer the better!). A cranial massage can stimulate blood flow, providing health benefits to the scalp as the buildup of debris can trap dead skin cells that clog the pores on the scalp. Rinse out the mixture and follow with a 100 percent sulfate-free, silicone-free, water soluble cleanser or conditioner.

2
Lemon Face Mask

Because of its clear source of vitamin C and citric acid, lemon is also a popular ingredient in DIY face masks. However, those with sensitive skin should stay away from using it regularly as it may cause irritation when applied due to the acidic qualities of the fruit. And be sure to stay out of the sun until it is fully rinsed off.

Recipe:

  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and apply per usual. 

3
Aloe Rosemary Hair Mask

When combined, aloe and rosemary can promote healthy hair growth. Shiffa founder, Dr. Lamees Hamdan, recommends this easy, relaxing, and effective DIY recipe to nourish your strands.

Recipe:

  • 4 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera blended
  • 1 drop of rosemary oil
  • 1 drop of castor oil

Directions: 

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and apply per usual. Apply to scalp and hair twice a week for 30 minutes, then rinse off.

4
Banana and Turmeric Duo Mask

Bananas are packed with nutrients including potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, which are all beneficial to the hair and skin. Using this fruit in your masks will not only help fight acne and wrinkles, but will also leave the skin glowing while protecting it from the sun. When applied to hair, the mix will improve manageability and shine, prevent and control dandruff, and moisturize your scalp. 

Recipe: 

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Directions: 

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and apply per usual. 

5
Turmeric Face Mask

Recommended by Dr. Josh Axe, masks made with turmeric leave your skin glowing almost immediately. There are many healing benefits of turmeric—including on the skin if you battle with acne, dark circles, eczema, or dry skin—making it the perfect go-to face mask recipe. Supermodel Jourdan Dunn also revealed in 2018 that she regularly uses a recipe similar to this one in order to fight acne, dull skin, and tired eyes. 

Recipe:

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of organic, raw, local honey
  • ½ teaspoon milk or yogurt

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together under the desired consistency (sticky enough to stay on your face) is achieved. Then apply and let sit for 20 minutes before washing it off thoroughly with warm water. 

6
Yogurt and Honey Face Mask

In recent years, yogurt has become a popular face mask ingredient as it has moisturizing effects on the skin. Additionally, honey is also a skincare secret as it contains many crucial nutrients. Combining the two masks for the easiest DIY mask to try.

Recipe: 

  • 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Directions:

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix until completely blended. Apply to your face and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before wiping off and washing. If excess product is left over in the bowl, you can refrigerate it and use it again later in the week. 

7
Avocado and Yogurt Face Mask

Another skin secret: Avocado. In both the fruit and oil made from it, there are beneficial amounts of beta carotene, protein, lecithin, fatty acids, and vitamins A, D, and E. Combining it with a few other simple ingredients—including yogurt—makes for a go-to mask, and one that will leave your skin refreshed, soft to the touch and hydrated.

Recipe:

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and apply as usual, wiping the mask off after 20 minutes. 

8
Oatmeal Face Mask

Not only does oatmeal contain anti-inflammatory qualities, but it's also shown to help fight acne when used on the skin. The ingredient also serves as an exfoliant, getting rid of dead skin skills and anything else that may be stuck in your pores. 

Recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Water (Add small amounts slowly until the mixture becomes a paste that can be applied to the skin and that will stick)

Directions: 

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and apply per usual. 

9
Pink Clay and Avocado Duo Mask

Recommended by naturopath and nutritionist Anna Mitsios, this duo mask—which is beneficial to both your skin and hair—is not only hydrating and purifying, but helps to combat excess oil production, which is a problem many regularly face. This Pink Clay and Avocado Mask recipe will bring life back to your skin and hair if they’ve started to lack their shine in recent weeks. 

Recipe: 

  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons coconut yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon pink clay 
  • 1 tablespoon agave or brown rice syrup
  • 2-3 drops of rosemary essential oil (optional, this boost circulation to the hair)

Directions: 

Once you have all of the ingredients, mix them together in a bowl until they are fully blended (you may add more coconut yogurt depending on how thick you like it). Then, apply the mask and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before removing and washing your skin and hair.