12 DIY Hair Treatments to Refresh Your Locks for Fall
Summer inflicts damage from sun, salt, chlorine, and styling products, while the onset of winter can bring dry, dull hair. That makes fall a good time to add DIY hair treatments to your personal care regimen. Whether you need a solution for a hair problem or just want to update your look for fall, try one of these cheap home hair treatments.
Pumpkin is good for more than pies and spiced lattes. For hair that's strong, shiny, and ready for fall, try a DIY pumpkin hair treatment using honey, gelatin, and pumpkin purée. Dissolve 1 tablespoon gelatin powder in one-half cup water. Thoroughly mix in one-half cup pumpkin purée and 2 tablespoons honey. Distribute the mixture evenly through hair and leave in for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse out and shampoo and condition as usual. Pumpkin contains the antioxidants vitamins C and E as well as beta carotene (which turns into vitamin A), all of which promote healthy hair. The gelatin contains protein to make hair strong, while honey contributes moisture and shine as well as more antioxidant power.
A long summer of pool parties can turn blond hair green due to chemicals in the pool -- not exactly a desirable fall look. Luckily, all it takes to banish these unsightly hues is a common and cheap kitchen condiment. Slather hair with ketchup and let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse, shampoo, and condition as usual. The tomatoes and vinegar found in ketchup neutralize the chemical reaction that causes hair to turn green.
A leave-in conditioner nourishes hair on the go. It also prevents tangles and snarls when tresses are buffeted by fall winds. Coconut milk contains fat, protein, and vitamin E that make it an effective all-natural leave-in conditioner and detangler. This cheap DIY hair treatment also boosts hair growth. For an easy leave-in conditioner, combine one-half cup coconut milk, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a spray bottle and shake to combine. Store in the refrigerator and spray on damp or dry hair to enjoy soft, healthy hair all day long.
Summer may be over, but tousled waves are a carefree style that can stick around into fall without the help of shore or salon. To make an inexpensive DIY texturizing spray, combine 1 cup hot water, 2 tablespoons Epsom salts, one-half teaspoon sea salt, and 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel in a spray bottle. Shake thoroughly until salts are dissolved. Epsom salts are less drying than sea salt, but a dash of the latter delivers a bit of staying power without being too harsh. Aloe vera gel adds moisture and softness. Spray on damp hair and scrunch, then air dry. Also use this spray on dry hair roots to add volume.
After a long summer of sun and surf, brittle hair and split ends cry out for a little TLC. Treat your tresses with a moisturizing mask packed with protein and nutrients. Mash an avocado and add 2 tablespoons egg white and 3 tablespoons olive oil, mixing to get a creamy consistency. Apply mask to hair and let sit for 40 to 60 minutes, then rinse and wash with a mild shampoo.
It's hat season, but that doesn't have to mean flat, limp hair. If your locks lack volume, try an easy and cheap DIY hair treatment using beer. The yeast in beer plumps up hair, and the proteins strengthen hair to prevent breakage. Thoroughly mix one-half cup flat beer, 1 teaspoon canola or sunflower oil, and one beaten raw egg. Apply to damp hair, let sit 15 minutes, then rinse. The oil adds extra moisture and the fat and protein in the egg promote hair health. For a simpler version, fill a spray bottle with flat beer and spritz hair.
A fuzzy scarf or sweater is a cozy fall staple, but frizzy, fuzzy hair? Not so much. Aloe vera contains polysaccharides that fight frizz by adding moisture and shine, plus vitamins C and E to support healthy hair. In a spray bottle, combine 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon glycerin, and 1 cup water. For extra shine and smoothness, splurge on 1 teaspoon argan oil -- it's a little pricey but super effective at moisturizing hair without being greasy. Spray on as needed.
During busy weeks at school or the office, dry shampoo is a must-have. When sprinkled on hair roots, it absorbs oil and dirt so hair looks fresh, not greasy. Don't bother spending big on dry shampoo, though. Just sprinkle a little cornstarch or baby powder on roots, massage in, then comb normally. For darker hair, add a little cocoa powder or cinnamon to the mix to create a powder that doesn't leave a white shadow. For dry shampoo in the form of a spray, mix 1 cup warm water, one-quarter cup cornstarch, and one-quarter cup vodka or rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and shake well to combine. Spritz on roots as needed and let dry. (Shake well before each use.)
A luxurious deep conditioner restores moisture to dry and fried hair and adds vitamins and protein for strong, healthy strands. This low-cost recipe also makes use of the overripe bananas that are turning brown on the kitchen counter: Thoroughly mash one ripe banana or purée it in a blender. Add one-quarter cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons olive or almond oil, and 1 tablespoon honey and mix well. Massage mask into hair and leave for 30 minutes, then rinse and wash as usual. Bananas contain potassium, antioxidants, vitamin A, and other nutrients that bring malnourished hair back to life. Yogurt provides moisture and protein to strengthen and repair dry tresses.
Leaves don't have to be the only thing that changes color in the fall. A cheap cinnamon and honey treatment gradually and naturally leaves hair with a fall-perfect palette of lighter brown with reddish tints. And unlike peroxide, bleach, or chemical dyes, cinnamon is gentle on hair and smells delicious. Mix 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and one-quarter cup water (add more if the mixture is too thick). For normally oily or greasy hair, omit the olive oil or replace it with your regular conditioner. Let the mixture sit for an hour or so, then apply generously to damp hair. Leave in for at least an hour, or overnight if possible (put hair in a bun and wrap with a towel or plastic bag). Rinse out, shampoo, and condition as usual. It may take two or three treatments to see results, which ensures no drastic hair-color mishaps.
Don't wait for spring cleaning to get rid of built-up gunk and residue from styling products, sweat, oil, hard water, and daily life. A quick and easy clarifying rinse strips away build-up and leaves hair shiny, soft, and squeaky clean. Concoct a 50/50 mix of apple cider vinegar and water. For a gentler treatment, use less vinegar; for a stronger treatment, use more vinegar and add the grated peel of one lemon. Pour onto hair and massage in for a few minutes. Leave in for up to 15 minutes. In addition to cleaning hair and clearing away residue, the vinegar balances the scalp's pH and can help fight dandruff. Rinse with plain water. The vinegar smell should be gone by the time hair is dry.
Beat the autumn chill with a luxurious hot oil treatment that adds moisture and shine and helps ward off winter dryness and protein loss. Salons charge top dollar for hot oil treatments, but they're easy enough (and certainly cheaper) to apply at home. Almost any oil will do, but olive an coconut oils work for most hair types and are relatively inexpensive. Start with freshly washed hair that is free of styling products (they can prevent the oil from penetrating hair). Heat oil in the microwave or double-boiler until hot but not burning -- about 10 seconds in the microwave should suffice. Work the hot oil into hair from root to tip. Keep massaging for a minute or two to make sure the oil thoroughly coats each strand. Wrap hair in a shower cap or plastic bag and wait 15 minutes to an hour, then shampoo and condition as usual. For healthy, shiny, beautiful hair, treat once a month and experiment with different oil mixtures to find the best for you.