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4 DIY Hair Masks with Essential Oils for Dry, Damaged Hair

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Learn how to make 4 DIY hair mask recipes with essential oils. Whether your goal is to promote hair growth, or if you have dry, frizzy, or damaged hair, there’s a mask for every hair concern. Each hair mask contains a selection of essential oils for hair growth and a healthy scalp.

DIY hair masks with essential oils.

Pampering your hair doesn’t have to break the bank. Chances are, you have a plethora of hair-nourishing ingredients sitting right in your own kitchen.

And if you have a cabinet full of essential oils, that’s even better! Essential oils possess a variety of therapeutic properties that make them wonderful tools for overall hair health.

In this post, I’m sharing 4 easy, deep-conditioning hair mask recipes infused with essential oils. Each oil has been carefully selected for its ability to enhance the health of your hair and scalp.

Not only are these recipes easy to make, but they also use simple, inexpensive ingredients that you likely already have on hand. So grab your overripe bananas and avocados, and let’s get started.

For more homemade hair care recipes with essential oils, also see my DIY dry shampoo spray, micellar cleansing water for hair, and apple cider vinegar hair rinse.

Essential oil benefits for DIY hair masks

There are a variety of everyday food items that can be used to make your own deep conditioning treatments, such as avocado, banana, coconut milk, eggs, honey, and even mayonnaise.

But essential oils can take your hair care to the next level. By adding a selection of essential oils to your hair masks, you can take advantage of their potential benefits for hair growth and scalp health.

Homemade essential oil hair masks.

There are a few ways in which a hair mask with essential oils can help promote healthy hair:

  • Faster hair growth. Essential oils help stimulate blood flow to the scalp, which in turn can promote more rapid hair growth. This is the same reason why scalp massages and upside down hair brushing are popular hair growth tricks. Tip: for scalp massage, a brush with firm wooden bristles is best!
  • Antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Oftentimes, bacterial and fungal overgrowth are at the root of scalp issues such as dandruff, dryness and itching. This can lead to hair breakage and damage caused by constant scratching. Luckily, essential oils can help – they possess antibiotic properties that can aid in keeping the critters on your scalp in check. This directly benefits your hair, because for healthy hair, you need a healthy scalp.
  • Antioxidants for healthy hair. Stressors such as heat and pollution cause oxidative stress that can damage the integrity of our hair. But the antioxidants in essential oils can help mitigate oxidative damage, potentially leading to stronger, more resilient hair.
  • Pleasant scent. Of course, essential oils are a great way to naturally fragrance hair masks while avoiding the synthetic fragrances in many commercial hair care products.
DIY hair masks with bottles of essential oils.

What essential oils are good for hair masks?

Some of the best essential oils for hair growth and hair health include:

  • Rosemary. Rosemary oil has shown impressive results for hair growth. In fact, it was found to be just as effective as topical hair loss medication with fewer side effects1.
  • Tea Tree. Shampoo infused with tea tree oil was found to significantly improve the severity and symptoms of dandruff. This is great news if you’d like longer, stronger hair, as less itching means less scratching and breakage2.
  • Lavender. Lavender oil is a popular at-home hair growth treatment, and for good reason. Multiple studies concluded that lavender has a marked growth-promoting effect3.
  • Peppermint. A study on peppermint oil demonstrated its ability to significantly speed up hair growth while also increasing its overall thickness4. (Just another reason to include it in your dry shampoo spray!)
  • Frankincense. Commonly used to treat infections, frankincense oil can help keep the scalp’s flora in check. It’s been shown to inhibit Candida and Malassezia, two yeasts that can overgrow and cause scalp issues5.
  • Myrrh. Myrrh oil possesses potent anti-fungal properties that can help keep dandruff and other fungal issues at bay6.
  • Palmarosa. Palmarosa oil is said to help balance sebum production, which can be helpful for oily hair6. It’s also anti-bacterial.
  • Amyris. You’d never guess this sweet, woody oil is such a powerhouse. It’s potently antibacterial, and can help kill pathogenic bacteria on the scalp while imbuing your hair with a lovely fragrance7. (Side note: it’s also wonderful in homemade perfume.)

By the way, Simply Earth makes a blend called Beauty Within which combines some of the best essential oils for hair growth: rosemary, lavender, frankincense and myrrh.

It’s really convenient to have all the oils in one bottle, and makes it easy to add a variety of benefits to your hair mask.

Ingredients for essential oil hair mask: castor oil, honey, avocado and essential oils.
Beauty Within is one of the best essential oil blends for hair.

I received it in my March 2021 Essential Oil Recipe Box. It’s such a nice monthly treat – not only does the box contain 4 full-size essential oils, but it also includes 6 natural recipes and the ingredients required to make them.

It’s great place to begin with DIY beauty and to start building (or expanding) your essential oil collection.

The March 2021 box also included Palmarosa, Tea Tree and Amyris essential oils. All are wonderful for hair and scalp health, and especially for using in homemade hair masks. You can see the full box contents here.

Essential oils for hair masks.

If you’re interested in making your own hair masks with the oils mentioned above, you can use our code ALIFEADJACENTFREE to get a $40 gift card with your first box.

Plus, if you subscribe, you’ll receive a Bonus Box for free, which contains even more goodies to make your own hair products with essential oils.

Now, onto the hair masks.

Tips for using these hair masks

Before we get into the recipes, I have a few tips for getting the best results from your essential oil hair masks:

  • Apply to damp hair. This helps the mask seal moisture into your hair. You can wet your hair in the sink or simply use a spray bottle to dampen it.
  • Cover your hair. Covering your hair with a shower cap or plastic wrap helps trap heat from your scalp. This opens the hair’s cuticle, allowing the hair mask to penetrate more deeply. You can also use a blow dryer on low heat to gently heat your hair.
  • Apply to your scalp. The main way essential oils benefit your hair and promote growth is through your scalp. So don’t forget to fully saturate your head when you apply your hair mask, as this will allow the essential oils to do their job. A BPA-free squeeze bottle can help with this. Tip: it’s even better if you give yourself a head massage – this helps the oils penetrate each hair follicle.
  • Customize your essential oils. Each hair mask recipe contains a blend of essential oils for a wide variety of hair benefits. But you can also customize your blend for your needs. For instance, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil to help control dandruff, or a few drops of amyris oil to kill bacteria while adding a relaxing fragrance.
Homemade hair mask ingredients and essential oils.

4 homemade hair masks with essential oils

Each of the following hair conditioner recipes contains a blend of some of the best essential oils for hair growth and a healthy scalp. All were created using oils from Simply Earth’s March 2021 Essential Oil Recipe Box.

4 DIY hair masks with essential oils.

Castor Oil Hair Mask Recipe

2 eggs
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp castor oil
6 drops Beauty Within essential oil blend
4 drops palmarosa essential oil

Homemade castor oil hair mask for hair growth.

This castor oil hair mask is perfect for those seeking faster hair growth and longer, stronger hair. Whole egg strengthens your strands, honey moisturizes, and castor oil nourishes, adds shine, and can help promote growth.

After years of searching, I can’t find any scientific evidence for why castor oil helps hair grow, but it works. (If you’re skeptical, try using castor oil nightly on your eyelashes for a month!)

But aside from its effects on hair growth, castor oil also helps nourish dry, dull hair. It’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acids such as omega 9 ricinoleic acid that penetrate deeply into the hair shaft.

Egg yolk’s fatty acids, phospholipids and cholesterol are a goldmine for keeping hair soft, shiny, and pliable. And eggs are also high in sulfur, one of the main building blocks of our hair’s keratin protein.

So if your hair needs protein, or your locks have been damaged by heat styling, bleaching or dye, this could be the hair mask for you.

Tip: If your hair is brittle or protein-sensitive, omit the egg white and simply use the egg yolk instead. High molecular weight proteins like egg white can be drying for some hair types. The yolk, on the other hand, is lower in protein and higher in nourishing fats.

Castor oil hair mask recipe ingredients: castor oil, eggs, honey and essential oils.

This recipe is adapted from the Grow and Flow hair mask recipe from Simply Earth. The ingredients can be found in their March 2021 Recipe Box.

How to make castor oil hair mask for hair growth

  1. In a small blender, blend eggs, honey, and castor oil until frothy.
  2. Pour the hair mask into a bottle (such as a squeeze bottle) for easy application. Then, add the essential oils and shake gently to combine.
  3. Apply to damp hair. Be sure to coat hair from root to ends, and don’t forget to massage it into your scalp.
  4. Leave the mask on for at least 1 hour before washing out with lukewarm water and proceeding with the rest of your hair washing routine. Tip: Don’t use hot water, or you’ll get scrambled eggs in your hair!
DIY castor oil hair mask.

Mayonnaise Hair Mask Recipe

1/2 cup avocado oil mayo
1 tbsp honey
6 drops Beauty Within essential oil blend
4 drops palmarosa essential oil

DIY mayonnaise hair mask.

Putting mayonnaise in your hair is a classic homemade hair treatment, and for good reason!

Mayo is the condiment that’s also a hair conditioner. It has all the makings of a good hair mask – protein from eggs to strengthen damaged strands, oil to replenish your tresses’ natural lipids, and vinegar to seal the cuticle and balance your hair’s pH.

The addition of honey helps deeply moisturize dry hair, as honey is a potent humectant (water-binding ingredient).

You may notice that I switched out typical mayonnaise for avocado oil mayonnaise. This is because conventional mayonnaise typically contains low-quality oils like sunflower oil or canola oil, which are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Not only are PUFAs unstable and easily oxidized (damaged), but they also sit on the hair’s surface, since only saturated and monounsaturated oils can penetrate the hair shaft8.

Avocado oil, on the other hand, is made of monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to permeate the hair. As a bonus, avocado oil is rich in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that can help protect hair from oxidation and heat damage.

Since mayonnaise contains vinegar, this mask is best applied to damp, freshly shampooed hair. Acidic ingredients like vinegar seal the hair’s cuticle, so they should be used as the last step in your washing routine. This is the same idea behind using a vinegar rinse.

To make this hair mask recipe vegan, you can substitute egg-free vegan mayonnaise and use agave nectar in place of honey.

Homemade mayo hair mask.

How to make mayonnaise hair mask for dry, damaged hair

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, honey, and essential oils.
  2. Apply the mask to damp, freshly washed hair. Be sure to coat hair from root to ends, and don’t forget to massage it into your scalp.
  3. Leave on for at least 1 hour before washing out with lukewarm water and following it up with your usual hair conditioner.

Banana Hair Mask Recipe

1 small banana or 1/2 large banana
3 tbsp full-fat coconut milk
3 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp olive oil or castor oil (optional)
8 drops Beauty Within essential oil blend
4 drops palmarosa essential oil

Homemade banana hair mask.

This delicious-smelling hair mask is like a tropical smoothie for your hair. Banana is another popular ingredient for homemade hair masks – but is it actually good for your hair? As it turns out, yes.

For one, banana is packed full of vitamins and minerals that can help soften and strengthen hair. These include potassium, silica, and vitamin B6.

As well, banana’s water content makes it a very moisturizing hair conditioner. It’s rich in natural humectant sugars that help restore elasticity and infuse hair with much-needed moisture.

So, a banana hair mask can be particularly useful for dry, frizzy, or curly hair types. It can also help moisturize a dry scalp.

Finally, banana masks are also said to be helpful for dandruff. While the reason behind this is unknown, it could potentially have something to do with banana’s antibacterial properties9.

The addition of full-fat coconut milk provides all the benefits of coconut oil without the heavy texture.

Coconut milk is rich in nourishing saturated fats that help create shinier, softer hair. It also contains anti-fungal fatty acids like lauric acid and caprylic acid that can help prevent a dry, itchy scalp.

Finally, milk powder thickens the formula, because no one wants their hair mask running into their eyes or onto their face! It also provides strengthening milk proteins and shine-boosting saturated fats.

Be sure to choose whole milk powder, as nonfat milk won’t contain any of the fats that help make your hair soft, smooth and shiny. And if you’re vegan or allergic to dairy, you can substitute coconut milk powder.

If desired, you can also add a splash of olive oil or castor oil for even softer, shinier hair.

How to make banana hair mask for dry, damaged hair

  1. In a small blender, blend banana, coconut milk and olive oil (or castor oil) until smooth and silky.
  2. Add milk powder and blend again to combine.
  3. Pour the hair mask into a bowl and whisk in essential oils, if desired.
  4. Apply to damp hair. Be sure to coat hair from root to ends, and don’t forget to massage it into your scalp.
  5. Leave on for at least 1 hour before washing out with lukewarm water and proceeding with the rest of your hair washing routine.

Avocado Hair Mask Recipe

1 small avocado or 1/2 large avocado
3 tbsp olive oil, avocado oil, or avocado butter
1 tbsp honey (or agave nectar)
8 drops Beauty Within essential oil blend
4 drops palmarosa essential oil

DIY avocado hair mask.

This hair mask is perfect for frizzy or damaged hair. It contains a wide range of fatty acids for intense recovery from dryness and heat damage.

Rich, creamy and moisturizing, avocado is like a hair conditioner in a fruit. It’s a powerhouse of healthy monounsaturated fats which have been proven to penetrate the hair shaft.

As previously mentioned, avocado is also rich in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that can help protect the hair from oxidative stress. In fact, vitamin E is the most important fat-soluble antioxidant in our bodies.

Adding a splash of olive oil or avocado oil to this mask further bolsters its intense nourishing properties, adding even more antioxidants and fatty acids for shiny, silky hair.

I used solid avocado oil (avocado butter) for its rich, viscous texture, but you can also use liquid avocado oil or olive oil. Your mask will simply have a thinner consistency.

Honey helps add a moisture boost, but you can also substitute agave nectar for a completely vegan hair treatment.

Homemade avocado hair mask.

How to make avocado hair mask for dry, damaged hair

  1. In a small blender, blend fresh avocado, olive oil (or avocado butter) and honey.
  2. Pour the hair mask into a bowl and whisk in the essential oils.
  3. Apply to damp hair. Be sure to coat hair from root to ends, and don’t forget to massage it into your scalp.
  4. Leave on for at least 1 hour. Wash it out with lukewarm water and proceeding with the rest of your hair washing routine.
Yield: 1 hair mask

4 DIY Hair Masks with Essential Oils for Dry, Damaged Hair

DIY hair masks with essential oils.

Learn how to make 4 DIY hair masks with essential oils. Each hair mask recipe contains a selection of essential oils for hair growth and a healthy scalp. Whether your goal is to promote hair growth, or if you have frizzy, dry, or damaged hair, there's a mask for every hair concern.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $2

Materials

Castor Oil Hair Mask Recipe

Mayonnaise Hair Mask Recipe

  • 1/2 cup avocado oil mayo
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 6 drops Beauty Within essential oil blend
  • 4 drops palmarosa essential oil

Banana Hair Mask Recipe

  • 1 small banana or 1/2 large banana
  • 3 tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp whole milk powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or castor oil (optional)
  • 8 drops Beauty Within essential oil blend
  • 4 drops palmarosa essential oil

Avocado Hair Mask Recipe

  • 1 small avocado or 1/2 large avocado
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, avocado oil, or avocado butter
  • 1 tbsp honey (or agave nectar)
  • 8 drops Beauty Within essential oil blend
  • 4 drops palmarosa essential oil

Tools

  • Small blender
  • Small bowl
  • Squeeze bottle for application (optional)

Instructions

How to make castor oil hair mask for hair growth

  1. In a small blender, blend eggs, honey, and castor oil until frothy.
  2. Pour the hair mask into a bottle for easy application. Then, add the essential oils and shake gently to combine.
  3. Apply to damp hair. Be sure to coat hair from root to ends, and don't forget to massage it into your scalp.
  4. Leave the mask on for at least 1 hour before washing out with lukewarm water and proceeding with the rest of your hair washing routine. Tip: Don't use hot water, or you'll get scrambled eggs in your hair!

How to make mayonnaise hair mask for dry, damaged hair

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, honey, and essential oils.
  2. Apply the mask to damp, freshly washed hair. Be sure to coat hair from root to ends, and don't forget to massage it into your scalp.
  3. Leave on for at least 1 hour before washing out with lukewarm water and following it up with your usual hair conditioner.

How to make banana hair mask for dry, damaged hair

  1. In a small blender, blend banana, coconut milk and olive oil (or castor oil) until smooth and silky.
  2. Add milk powder and blend again to combine.
  3. Pour the hair mask into a bowl and whisk in essential oils, if desired.
  4. Apply to damp hair. Be sure to coat hair from root to ends, and don't forget to massage it into your scalp.
  5. Leave on for at least 1 hour before washing out with lukewarm water and proceeding with the rest of your hair washing routine.

How to make avocado hair mask for dry, damaged hair

  1. In a small blender, blend avocado, olive oil (or avocado butter) and honey.
  2. Pour the hair mask into a bowl and whisk in essential oils.
  3. Apply to damp hair. Be sure to coat hair from root to ends, and don't forget to massage it into your scalp.
  4. Leave on for at least 1 hour. Wash it out with lukewarm water and proceeding with the rest of your hair washing routine.

Notes

  • To make the mayo hair mask vegan, you can substitute egg-free vegan mayonnaise.
  • You can also use agave nectar in place of honey for a vegan-friendly hair treatment.
  • Be sure to choose whole milk powder, as nonfat milk won't contain any of the fats that help make your hair soft, smooth and shiny. And if you're vegan or allergic to dairy, you can substitute coconut milk powder.

Did you make this DIY?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

More DIY recipes with essential oils

For more essential oil hair treatments, check these out:

For more ways to use essential oils in your beauty routine, see:

Pin it for later

4 hair mask recipes with essential oils.
  1. Panahi, Yunes et al. “Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial.” Skinmed vol. 13,1 (2015): 15-21.
  2. Satchell, Andrew C et al. “Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology vol. 47,6 (2002): 852-5. doi:10.1067/mjd.2002.122734
  3. Lee, Boo Hyeong et al. “Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice.” Toxicological research vol. 32,2 (2016): 103-8. doi:10.5487/TR.2016.32.2.103
  4. Oh, Ji Young et al. “Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs.” Toxicological research vol. 30,4 (2014): 297-304. doi:10.5487/TR.2014.30.4.297
  5. Di Stefano, Vita et al. “In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Frankincense Oils from Boswellia sacra Grown in Different Locations of the Dhofar Region (Oman).” Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 9,4 195. 20 Apr. 2020, doi:10.3390/antibiotics9040195
  6. Orchard, Ané, and Sandy van Vuuren. “Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2017 (2017): 4517971. doi:10.1155/2017/4517971
  7. Dahiya, Praveen & Manglik, A.. (2013). Evaluation of antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant potential of essential oil from Amyris balsamifera against multi drug resistant clinical isolates. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research. 6. 57-60. 
  8. Lourenço, C.B., Fava, A.L.M., dos Santos, É.M., de Macedo, L.M., Tundisi, L.L., Ataide, J.A. and Mazzola, P.G. (2021), Brief descriptions of the principles of prominent methods used to study the penetration of materials into human hair and a review of examples of their use. Int J Cosmet Sci. https://doi.org/10.1111/ics.12683
  9. Hossain, M Sarowar et al. “Antidiarrheal, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities of the Musa sapientum Seed.” Avicenna journal of medical biotechnology vol. 3,2 (2011): 95-105.
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