My mom has always reinforced the value of investing in a good hair and skin care routine. It’s no question my beauty routines have been inspired by hers— particularly hair care.
Everyone in my family knows about my mom’s fixation over beauty. They would talk about how she would always experiment with her beauty routine and how she could spend all of her time doing so. Particularly, she enjoys making DIY masks— it’s she’s been doing for a LONG time.
Even today, she’ll tell me about the latest products she extensively researched and persuade me to try (in fact, most of my favorite skincare products I talk about here are my mom’s recommendations). She’d often explain the purpose and unique benefits of every “must-have” item she’s raving about. It’s awesome to have her as a beauty resource because I’ll tell her my concerns and she’ll know exactly what I need. Moms truly know best!
Out of all my beauty routines, I’ve always prioritized my hair. I have the most confidence on good hair days. Since I was very young, my mom would apply oil in my hair and give me a head massage. This is actually a common Indian beauty practice too. Further, having long, luscious locks is an important beauty feature in Indian culture. Indian hair care is routine and preventative. For example, in the US, treatments and deep conditioning are done occasionally, usually to remedy any damage. Whereas, in India, masks, oils, treatments are used regularly regardless of hair health and to protect from further damage.
So, I guess it’s safe to say my interest in hair care is influenced by both my mom and culture. While I’m a sucker for a great product, I’ve also grown up using natural ingredients– and they produce great results! Homemade masks are great because of how simple, quick, and fun they are. I like to leave mine on my hair for at least 30 minutes to an hour, but it’s really up to you! Here are my 5 favorite masks that I learned from my mom:
Amla + Coconut Oils
Amla (Indian gooseberry) oil is so beneficial! It helps fortify and strengthen the strands to further help with thinness, hair loss, and promote growth. When I was in elementary school, I wanted to grow out my hair from my short bob. So, my mom did what any Indian mother would do: bought this Alma oil and massaged it in my hair. It smelled AMAZING and made my hair extremely shiny and grow long quickly!
Coconut oil is another one of my favorites because it really helps to moisturize and de-frizz. It’s one of my go-to products when I want to really deep condition (like, when I haven’t gotten a trim in a LONG while). I really like using this when my ends are especially dry. Since oils can weigh my hair down, I concentrate it at the ends first and then work my way up almost to the roots. I then let any residual oil on my hands touch my roots, but nothing more than that. A mix of these two oils together is the perfect concoction to meet your #hairgoals needs!
Greek Yogurt + Honey
I remember I had a large container of Greek yogurt that was nearing its expiration date. To prevent wasting it, my mom took a few tablespoons of it, mixed it with a spoon of honey, and used it as a mask. After she washed it off, she kept asking me to touch her super soft hair. I had to try it! Greek yogurt is so good as it is moisture-rich and is a natural source of protein. Hair needs protein to help grow, tame, and strengthen it (and also super important to eat a protein-rich diet to further reap the benefits). Honey helps to condition the hair because it absorbs moisture from the air. It also has natural properties to help with smoothness. As someone who has always focused on keeping my hair smooth and frizz-free, this combination is very appealing!
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is one I thought was kind of strange at first, but after a few uses, I noticed results almost instantly. ACV really helps tame frizz, add shine and keep my scalp clean! I’ve used it both as a mask (mixed with a spoon of coconut oil) and as a rinse (1 part ACV, 2 parts water) and I prefer the rinse actually! Leaving it in as a mask just means I constantly smell the ACV, which I don’t like. I like the rinse because it’s less concentrated with the added water (aka, weaker smell) and because it’s a quick little treatment! I like to use this rinse after I shampoo, let it sit in my hair for a few minutes, and then use conditioner. Don’t worry, the conditioner will take the smell out!
Sometimes 1 ingredient is all you need! I bought a few cans of coconut milk a while ago to bake with and had a little extra. Similar to the yogurt, my mom didn’t want to waste it, so she used it as a pre-shampoo rinse. However, it can also be used as a mask! Coconut milk helps to add moisture, smoothness, and shine — much like coconut oil — without the added weight. In fact, I used this today as a mask and my hair feel incredibly soft! I’ve used this both as a rinse and a mask — it all depends on how much time I have.
Egg + Lemon
When my mom first told me that you can make a mask out of eggs, I thought she was crazy. This was the strangest combination in my opinion, but it makes sense. Eggs are rich in protein, and like the greek yogurt, will help to strengthen and repair. The fats in the yolk help with adding moisture. Lemon also helps to add shine and fight dandruff– also something my mom struggled with. This isn’t a mask that I use in my regular beauty routine, but I especially like it for its strengthening properties when I notice more hair loss than usual. The vitamin c in the lemon also helps to reduce hair fall by cleansing the scalp and strengthening the follicles. I personally still get a little weirded out with just using egg as the main ingredient, so I also like to add in a spoon of greek yogurt to make it a smooth and creamy mask. Regardless, it’s a great mask to play around with!
Pro tip: rinse this mask out thoroughly with cold or lukewarm water, NOT HOT, because you may risk cooking the egg (true story, had this happen to a friend).
Do you have any beauty tips from your mom you swear by? Or, have you tried any of these masks above? I’d love to hear your experiences!
Hope you all have a great hair day!