HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN RESTORATIVE HAIR MASK
To continue on the road I paved last week discussing women's rolls as healers throughout history, I thought it would be perfect to share one of my favorite health tips for your hair.
With so many trends in beauty and health care there is such a vast universe
of products to consider. Certainly, each person has different needs
when it comes to hair care; there are, however, some benefits we can all get from the occasional hair mask.
I have always stuck to my own recipes at home when doing any healing or deep hydration. I find it easier to control the ingredients that go into the product, especially since I only use a hair mask every month or so and do not need a constant supply.
Within the past few years I have begun incorporating cannabis into my mask - which has been very rewarding! Especially when playing with colors or lightening my hair, I find it vital for healthy roots and diminishing the damage caused by heat, sun, and shampoo.
My recipes change from time to time depending on my taste or the specific needs of my hair, but today I thought I would share with you a couple options for making the most luscious hair mask at home.
DROP THE BASE
Almond Oil - This is my favorite emollient as it has such a delicious almond-y smell that is mild but sweet. It is a gentile moisturizer that works well in less oily hair types.
Aloe Verde - Aloe is perhaps the queen of the bases, as it is the most versatile. It is water based, rather than seed or nut oil, which makes this ideal for more oily hair and scalps. One benefit that sets aloe apart from the rest of the carrier oils, is that it is soluble in water. This means it tends to wash out more easily in the shower. One common misconception about oil based hair masks (or oil based products in general) is that they could actually block out your skin from moisture over time. Because oils are not water soluble they will create a coating on your skin, scalp, and hair blocking out natural moisture and air from your body. This oily layer will also influence the natural production of oils on your scalp and could cause your head to over or under produce your own oils necessary for a healthy head. Over time this could actually dry out your hair faster than the desert in July. Oils like coconut oil are more damaging than helpful when it comes to moisture.
Avocado Oil - This is the most mild of the oils on my carrier oil list. It is gentle on the scalp while still helping promote moisture. In small amounts avocado oil can penetrate your skin and hair follicles which will aid in softening your scalp and also enriching your head with vitamin E (a beneficial vitamin for regenerative growth). Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps in reducing inflammation and promotes healing.
Apricot Kernel Oil - Apricot seed oil has an omega-9 fatty acid, oleic acid, that can help soften your scalp and roots. It also contains Linoleic acid with is believed to have benefits for stimulating hair growth. This is a perfect base for moisturizing as Linoleic acid helps aid in stabilizing moisture for dry scalps and hair.
Argan Oil - This is probably one of the more popular oils when it comes to haircare. It has a decent amount of vitamin E which can aid in healing and restoration for dry or brittle hair - similar to Avacado Oil. I put argan oil in almost every blend that I make, but I find this oil to be extremely helpful for oily hair types when using an aloe base. You get all the benefits of vitamin E without having to add that much oil to your mix. Argan oil is also incredible for thick or frizzy hair.
Clary Sage - Known for its anti-inflammatory effects, sage is an excellent option for fighting off dandruff. It is an anti-bacterial agent, which can help in minimizing fungus or bacterial related dry scalp. Sage is also known for its ability to help reduce cortisol levels which make it ideal for aiding in stress relief.
Peppermint Oil - Peppermint oil stimulates the scalp with a tingly and icy sensation. It is believed to help treat dandruff due to its powerful antiseptic properties. In a 2014 study, research suggests that a regular topical application of peppermint oil showed prominent hair growth effects, increasing dermal thickness, follicle number and follicle depth. It is important to remember when using strong anti-bacterial oils like peppermint to use only one or two drops of this oil at a time, as to not hurt your natural biome, which may cause more trouble than a dry or itchy scalp.
Rose Hip - Another staple oil for me is rose hip. This oil works with all hair types as it is mild in effect and does not coat on hair like other heavy oils may. Rose hip is rich with fatty acids that help with healing and moisturizing.
Lavender - Also known for its anti-bacterial effects lavender oil can be very helpful for dry or irritated scalp. Against common belief, lavender is actually an energizing oil that can be perfect to balance your mood and stimulate your mind and body. Its possible there may be a link to lavender aiding in hair loss, however there is not enough research available for me to confirm this at this time.
Roman Chamomile (Blue) - This odd and pungent oil can be a great component for promoting hair growth. It is a soothing oil with properties that help with dry or irritated scalp. It also has anti-bacterial properties that can help with acne, making it a great oil to mix in for sensitive skin that may be prone to acne. A little bit goes a long way!
BUMP UP THE MOISTURE
Emu Oil - If you have thick, dry hair emu oil may be a useful additive to your mask. I would only recommend using this occasionally as needed, as it could have the potential to coat your hair and blocking it from air and drying your hair out even more.
Lanolin Oil - If Emu oil isn't enough, lanolin is even more heavy duty alternative on the moisture and healing! Lanolin oil comes from the wool of sheep. Due to the downy, thick nature of wool, sheep need to produce an oil on their skin that helps lock in moisture when they have little air circulation through their thick, fleecy locks. This is a great addition to any hair mask or body oil as it is packed with vitamins that will absorb into your skin under the waxy coat of this oil.
THE SECRET INGREDIENT
Cannabidiol (CBD) - I have recently been adding about 500mg of CBD to each of my hair masks. This is an excellent way to introduce cannabinoids into your system without feeling the psychoactive effects. CBD can help with mood stability, making this a relaxing spa experience. Furthermore, it has incredible anti-inflammatory effects making it a great pair with all of the healing oils mentioned above. I use a CBD isolate (crystal form) that is derived from cannabis. This makes mixing in an accurate dose so easy because it is always around a 99%+/- purity. I tend to not heat up the CBD too much, however it can handle a decent amount of heat to properly emulsify. It is also relatively shelf stable once mixed into the carrier oils, but if it crashes out you can always heat it up again to remix the oils. If you plan to reheat the CBD/carrier oil blend I would recommend not mixing in your other essential oils until after it is back to room temperature as to not degrade the more volatile oils.
HOW TO USE
When applying your hair mask work from your roots to your tips. Massaging the scalp will be the most important part of this process, as that is where most of the healing will happen. Let it sit anywhere from 30 min - 2 hours depending on the time you have to set aside. Rinse with cool to warm water and avoid using shampoo. If you feel your hair is too oily after this, rinse again with water again. Towel dry your hair and let it air dry for this first wash.
There are endless combinations you can use to craft your mask to your scalp and hair type. Above all its important to remember moderation. A little bit goes a long way with all of these ingredients. Carrier oils may be gentile on your hair, but many of the essential oils I listed are highly concentrated and should be added with care. You can always add more to your mix but you can never separate the oils once they are mixed.
Never forget to take time to yourself and nourish yourself physically and mentally. Although there are already countless health benefits to a hair mask, one of the most beneficial components is the time you take to rest and reflect.
Reach out in the comment section to share you experience with hair masks!