One of the most common questions I get asked by my brides-to-be who plan to get their hair styled for their big day is how and when they should wash their hair beforehand. This question seems so simple in nature- yet preparing your hair for your special day goes much deeper than when you should wash it. (For the record, the answer to that specific question is: Typically washing and drying a day before is perfect. Product free and conditioned lightly [if at all] hair is most preferred…and no, super dirty hair is not easier to style… it’s just…well, dirty.) My saying is that you know your hair best, so give it to me manageable, clean and dry, whatever that means for you. The best and foremost answer to this question is actually a ritual of taking care of your hair before the big day comes. Who wouldn’t want beautiful locks that are healthy, luscious and full of volume? All hairstyles will turn out amazing if you’re starting point is just that. Here are a few of my simple, go-to recipes for homemade all-natural (and vegan!) hair masks. These bad boys will gently sooth and freshen your strands, all while moisturizing and helping to neutralize the pH of your hair (which just means it’s more resilient, manageable and happy). Remember though, eating a well balanced diet and drinking lots of water will also greatly improve hair health, hitting it where it starts. Using ingredients that are nutrient-rich and sourced from basically any farmer’s market or grocery store, these hair masks are easy to whip up and healthy for your hair! Using these masks on dry hair will intensify them, and starting with damp hair will make them a bit gentler for first timers. Cheers to beautiful hair, Enjoy!
If you have….
Oily Hair + Scalp, Build Up, or Dandruff
Dry Hair + Scalp, Frizz, or Curls
What to use:
4 Strawberries1/4 Cup Aloe Vera (more or less depending on length of your hair)1/2 Teaspoon SaltJuice of 1/2 a Lemon
2-4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (depending on the length of your hair)1/2 of an AvocadoJuice of 1/2 a Lemon
How to make it:
In a mesh strainer, mash berries with the back of a spoon over a bowl to collect the juice. Stir in the salt and lemon, and then add the Aloe Vera (Feel free to use bottled or fresh aloe). Stir until well mixed. Place in your hair, first focusing on the scalp. Massage slowly for a few minutes. Use only the pads of your fingers, not your nails. Slide the remaining product down the rest of your hair to the ends. Let the mask sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly then wash with a gentle shampoo. Add conditioner to only the ends of your hair. *
In a bowl, mash the avocado with the lemon juice until it is not lumpy. If your coconut oil is solid, warm either in the sun beforehand, or in the microwave (do NOT overheat, just get it to the softened point). Mix the oil into the avocado, stirring until a creamy consistency is reached. Start the Mask at the ends of your hair, working it up to the scalp. Gently Massage your scalp with the pads of your fingers, and then let it sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse and wash your hair with a gentle shampoo. Be sure to Condition, applying the same way (ends to scalp). Only use conditioner on the scalp if you are extremely dry, otherwise conditioning your roots is not necessary. *
Why it Works:
The Aloe helps to smooth the cuticle of your hair (read: sleeker hair strands, less frizz!), without adding the super hydration you get from oils or deep conditioners. Using salt can help to gently exfoliate the hair strands, which tend to get oil build up. Lemons, with their Vitamin C and acidic nature promotes growth and gives way to shinier locks.
Coconut Oil is beneficial in so many ways, we can easily add hydrating and nourishing hair to the list. It penetrates the cuticle (goes deep into the hair strand) and gives it strength. The avocado coats the hair with a soothing, nutrient filled kind of love that fights frizz and adds tons of shine. The lemons act like shine boosters and build up removers, with their acidic nature and Vitamin C.
* (Don’t use if your scalp has any open cuts, scrapes or bumps/ bruises as it can irritate it!)