Several months ago I bought a natural-ish deep conditioner to infuse my locks with some much-needed moisture. I used it once. It made my hair soft, but I couldn’t get over the smell–cloyingly sweet and chemically–which lingered for days. $35–poof. A few weeks ago I was feeling like it was time for some hair love again. This time I hit my kitchen instead of the beauty supply store.
Most of us have the ingredients to whip up some self-care concoctions in our pantries and refrigerators. In this case, I only needed three things: coconut oil, honey, and yogurt.*
Coconut oil: Folks have been using this on hair (and skin) forever. Unlike many oils, coconut oil is absorbed into the hair shaft instead of just sitting on it. Plus it smells fabulous. Go for the organic, unrefined, virgin stuff.
Honey: Oh blessed sister bees, thank you for your sweet nectar! Honey is magic and for your hair, it’s fabulous. Honey is a humectant, meaning it helps your hair hold moisture. It’s also an emollient, which means it softens and smooths. Also, it smells divine. Make sure your honey is real, raw goodness.
Yogurt: The lactic acid in yogurt is good for dry and damaged hair. Some claim it even helps with hair growth. Milk fat also moisturizes you curls. Some folks use greek yogurt because it’s extra thick, I just use plain whole milk yogurt. Do avoid low or no fat yogurt or you’ll be missing some of the fat and enzymes that are good for you hair. And go organic.
A note about the quality of your ingredients: Your skin–and that includes your scalp–is an organ. Substances that you apply to your skin are absorbed into your bloodstream. Ideally, we shouldn’t put anything on our skin that we wouldn’t eat. Organic ingredients aren’t going to make this mask perform better–so don’t freak out if you can’t afford organics**, don’t have access to them, or whatever–but it does mean less toxins in your body.
To make this delicious hair mask you need:
1-2 Tb. coconut oil
1-2 Tb. honey
1/4 c. yogurt
You may want to warm the coconut oil and honey (if it’s crystallized). Put the coconut oil in a small pan and heat it on low just until it melts. Pour the oil into a bowl and stir in the honey until it liquifies. Whisk in your yogurt until smooth. See how the constancy is for you. Feel free to add more whatever.
Section your hair–damp or dry (I chose dry) –and apply the mask from roots to tips. I dip a brush into the bowl and brush it through my hair. (Wash your brush when you’re done or ew.)
Then, pile your hair on top of your head and secure with a clip or rubber band. You could also cover your head with a plastic bag or shower cap. Leave it on for at least 15 minutes or a few hours. Heat will also help the mask penetrate more effectively. I get in the shower and let the hot steam work on it. You could also sit under a hair hood dryer. Finally, wash your hair with a little shampoo and do your thang.
* If you’re vegan you can skip the yogurt. If you’re a no-honey-either-yo kind of vegan, experiment with avocado, banana, and coconut oil. The internet is your friend.
** I’m sorry I said “organics” like that’s a thing.
Guest Blogger Mia Birdsong is an agitating, mothering, cooking, agitating some more, dancing, running, singing, writing, loving, and believing generalist. For contact information and more of Mia’s writing, visit Canerow.