Targeting hair health and other concerns can come with a hefty price tag (in addition to many time-consuming trips to your hairstylist). A bad dye job can require endless color correcting at the salon; frizzy hair can call for a keratin or Brazilian blowout; eczema, dandruff, or severe dryness may call for a professional scalp detox; thinning hair or natural hair loss can call for extensions, or heck, even a prescription like Rogaine (if it comes to that). And, of course, stunted hair growth often enlists the help of luxury serums or biotin supplements (we’re looking at you, Vegamour and Nutrafol). But rest assured, you can actually enlist a natural hair mask for growth. Yes, your fridge and cupboards may just become your new bestie in the bathroom. Store-bought hair masks can certainly be effective—but why not save some cash on hair care with a natural hair mask for growth?
From coconut oil and egg yolk, to lemon juice and more, you’d be surprised at the array of (safe) household options at your fingertips when it comes to strengthening those strands and enforcing them to grow. Added bonus? Many of these multihyphenates also target damaged hair, dry hair/dry scalp, buildup, and breakage, while adding a deep conditioning, hydrating element to the process. They’re packed with amino acids, fatty acids, potassium, and so many other good-for-you ingredients. So what are you waiting for? Stop reading and stake your claim in the kitchen where your next natural hair mask for growth is at your fingertips. Hair pros Lauren Paglionico, Sharon Dorram, and Jon Carlos De La Cruz share their personal fave DIY hair mask recipes for healthy hair below.
About the Experts:
Lauren Paglionico is a New York City-based colorist and founder of LRN Beauty.
Sharon Dorram is the owner of Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger NYC.
Jon Carlos De La Cruz is a Los Angeles-based colorist and hairstylist, and member of Cosmo Prof’s artistic team.
8 Natural Hair Masks for Growth
1. Aloe-Nut Hair Mask
- Take a large aloe vera leaf and scoop out the middle.
- Put it in a bowl and add a tsp. of coconut oil.
- Mix together and apply to your scalp.
- Massage and leave on for 10 minutes.
Because both ingredients are nourishing and non-acidic, you can utilize this mask once a week, or whenever your scalp needs a little extra TLC. Paglionico says aloe vera is one of the most versatile items for DIY hair masks because it works well with so many other at-home essentials. Dorram considers this mask an all-star because “both ingredients soothe the scalp and condition hair for added shine,” she says.
2. Rosemary Hair Spritz
- Soak a few rosemary branches in water.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Spray onto scalp and hair.
- Leave overnight and wash your hair in the morning.
Rosemary is your scalp’s best-kept secret. Its oil can stimulate hair growth, prevent dandruff, and improve blood circulation to the scalp and follicles.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Spritz
- Mix 2-4 tbsp. apple cider vinegar with 16 oz. of water and let sit.
- Shampoo and condition hair.
- Spritz ACV mixture all over hair/scalp evenly with a spray bottle.
- Let sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse.
- Repeat 1-2 times a week depending on individual and hair/skin type.
ACV is known to alleviate acne and improve digestion, but did you know it’s also a savior for your scalp? “Apple cider vinegar promotes hair growth with the help of its antimicrobial properties,” Dorram says.
4. Wheat Germ Hair Mash
- Mash up a small, ripe banana with a medium-sized, ripe avocado.
- Add tbsp. olive oil and tbsp. wheat germ oil. Mix together.
- Apply mask all over scalp and hair, focusing on the roots and tips.
- Leave the mixture in for about a half hour and then rinse with cold water.
Nutrafol stands by this mask, and Dorram agrees. “Wheat germ oil has Vitamin E, which is great for moisture,” she says. “It also has Vitamin B, which stimulates circulation and promotes hair growth. And it makes hair look lustrous and glisten beautifully.”
5. Coco-Lemon Hair Mask
- Mix 3 tbsp. coconut oil and 3 tbsp. squeezed lemon.
- Deeply massage the scalp.
- Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse
Coconut oil is deeply soothing and nourishing, while lemon is known to cleanse and reactivate hair follicles, while unclogging pores that could stunt hair growth. But as Paglionico warns, “I wouldn’t suggest using lemon if you have color-treated hair. Lemon is acidic and can dry out your hair and/or irritate your scalp. It will also fade your hair color.”
6. Fish Oil Hair Mask
- Mix equal parts olive oil and fish oil in its liquid form (Naturally Curly recommends Nature’s Answer Liquid Omega-3 Deep Sea Fish Oil).
- Apply the mixture to your scalp for 15 minutes, then rinse.
“Fish oil is an underrated biggie for hair growth,” De La Cruz says. “It’s actually good for you internally and externally. People often shy away from it because the smell is nasty, but it’s worth using if you can stomach it.” Pro tip: To keep the stench (somewhat) at bay, keep the oil refrigerated.
7. Cardi B. Hair Mask for Textured Tresses
- Blend an avocado.
- Blend in argan oil.
- Add a large scoop of mayo.
- Work in a small amount of honey.
- Crack an egg into the mixture.
- Pour in a heaping of black castor oil.
- Add olive oil.
- Combine with a second avocado in the blender (make sure it’s well-blended so no avocado meat/chunks get stuck in the hair).
- Add a banana.
- Add one more egg.
- Blend until super smooth.
- Leave in as you wish, then rinse.
Don’t knock it til ya try it! Cardi B. posted a video whipping up quite the concoction for her and daughter Kulture. And based on the ingredient feedback we got from our experts, this natural hair mask for growth is actually pretty on-point. Only potential tweak? Doram says you can still get by without the mayo—“It sits on the hair shaft and makes hair oily and smelly and doesn’t really do anything,” she says (but if it works for you, go for it!).
8. Two-Ingredient All-Star Hair Mask
- Combine equal parts aloe vera and castor oil.
- Massage into the scalp.
- Secure with shower cap or other dependable covering.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Rinse out with warm water in the AM.
You’ve probably heard about castor oil in relation to its eyebrow growth ability. Well, did you know the same applies to the hair on your head? In fact, paired with aloe vera (which we’ve mentioned above), this blend is quite the dynamic duo. Pro tip: When creating this natural hair mask for growth, aim for Jamaican black castor oil in particular—it has higher absorption.
While these two highly potent ingredients are known to work wonders, De La Cruz is quick to point out that powerful hair products can’t do their jobs unless you do yours. “You are what you eat and drink, so water is your bestie,” he says. “A good, healthy diet with exercise will go a long way. You need that heart pumping and blood flowing in order for the rest to fall in place.”