There’s one thing we can all agree on: self-care is more important than ever. We need a break from the news, the homeschooling, the WFH Zooming, and the cooking of three meals a day to take time for a beautifying experience for ourselves. And since most of us have put blowouts and highlights on hiatus, it’s an opportune moment to give our hair a little extra TLC without damaging distractions to minimize results. And your crowning glory deserves the royal treatment. Here, some DIY ideas from the pros.
Not ready to engage in boxed haircolor debauchery? You can still turn up the vibrancy on your strands with this bright idea for brunettes and blondes from celeb colorist Rita Hazan (@ritahazan), maker of True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss and the cult fave Root Concealer Touch Up Spray. “Think of this just as a stain to enhance your haircolor, and get you through to the next appointment,” she says. Bonus: You may get a subtle camouflage action for those grays.
• If you have brown hair, brew some coffee but make sure it’s decaf as sometimes caffeine can get into your bloodstream via your scalp, says Hazan. If you have highlights, best not to try it, as the coffee could darken them.
• Let the coffee cool down. All you need is a regular cup size.
• Wet your hair, and pour the coffee on (you might want to do this in the shower). Leave it on for 3 to 10 minutes and then shampoo and condition.
• If you have blonde hair, simply substitute the coffee for brewed chammomile tea.
These days every part of our bodies is feeling parched and that includes our oft neglected scalps. Give the skin on your dome some DIY love with an at-home scrub. “You want to create a healthy, clean scalp so your hair can grow better,” says stylist to the stars Adir Abergel (@hairbyadir). And who doesn’t want to optimize their growth potential?
• Mix 2 TBS coconut oil, 4 tsp granulated sugar, 4 drops peppermint oil, and 2 drops tea tree oil in a small bowl.
• Using your fingertips rub it into your scalp (hair should be dry) and rrrrrreaallly get in there, Abergel adamantly recommends.
• Shampoo and then follow up with a mask (try Virtue’s Restorative Treatment Mask) to make sure your hair is as awesomely reinvigorated as your scalp.
For an all-around hair replenisher turn to this hydrating, shine-enhancing, exfoliating, strengthening mash-up from former hairstylist turned chef Denine Smith (@spiceisnicewithdenine). The multitasking mask is designed to get your tresses in better shape, from root to tip. “Growing up in Jamaica, food was always our first go-to because we knew its nutritional value not only internally but also topically,” says Smith.
• In a blender, add the inside of 1 avocado, 1 TBS of coconut oil, 1 TBS of turmeric (omit if you’re blonde or have highlights), 1 tsp honey, and 3 TBS Irish moss or aloe vera juice, if you have.
• Blend it all up, and let it rest for an hour.
• If you have fine hair, apply it before you shampoo. If you have thick or coarse hair, do it after. Evenly distribute the mask from roots to ends. Massage it in circular motions “lovingly”, as Smith says. (This is self-care after all).
• Wrap your head in plastic wrap or put a shower cap on. If you don’t have either, you can knot a plastic bag. Sit with it for a couple of hours to let all the goodness seep in. Shampoo (if your hair is fine) or just rinse (if your hair is coarse or thick).
As for me, I am not ashamed to admit that my hair is a top priority. Ever since I grew out my chemical relaxer and went natural, long healthy locks were suddenly more feasible. Another formerly relaxed friend turned me onto rice water treatments, a longtime strand secret of women all over Asia. Rice water has tons of nutrients like vitamins B and E, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants to strengthen hair and perhaps promote greater length.
• Measure out 1 cup of organic rice. Rinse it thoroughly.
• Place the rice in a jar that has a lid.
• Add 1 cup of water to the rice and cover.
• Let the mixture sit out at room temperature overnight or up to two days. Just know the longer you let it ferment, the stinkier it will be but some say the extra fermentation increases the benefits.
• Strain out the rice so you are left with the milky water and apply it to damp washed and conditioned hair. Put on a shower cap. [Sidenote: After my last treatment, I cooked the rice and it wasn’t bad. Slightly mushy, but edible]
• Leave it on for about 30 minutes, and rinse thoroughly. Your hair may be a bit dry after so you could run conditioner through it if needed.