Hair exposed to the elements, hard water, or to frequent coloring or chemicals, can be hard, dry, cracked and brittle. Fortunately, deep-conditioning treatments can be created naturally with household items, including lemon juice, vegetable oils and olive oil. For soft hair, use lemon juice with natural emollients to moisturize and exfoliate. Vegetable oil and olive oil can be used on their own or with other natural ingredients to deep condition, restore, and soften damaged or dry hair.
Dry hair is sometimes accompanied by a dry, itchy and flaky scalp. Lemon juice adds acidity to any hair treatment and helps slough off dead skin cells and flakes to leave your hair cleaner and softer. Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with a finely mashed ripe banana, which contains lots of restorative minerals and vitamins. Add 1 tablespoon of honey, which is a natural humectant, and comb the mixture through your hair from scalp to ends. Wait for 20 minutes and then shampoo and rinse.
Extra Special Olive Oil
Olive oil, which is full of antioxidants and vitamins, makes for a rich and nourishing hair treatment. Try mixing a quarter cup of olive oil with one egg, which contains proteins and fats to help lock in moisture. Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair and then tie it up in a shower cap or plastic bag. Leave the treatment on for as long as desired, even overnight, and then wash thoroughly with shampoo and water for noticeably softer hair.
Vegetable oils are also effective emollients that can soften hair. Canola oil is most commonly found in homes and grocery stores, but other vegetable oils, such as castor oil and jojoba oil are beneficial as well. Mix a quarter cup of vegetable oil with a pinch of argan oil -- a vitamin-rich plant oil -- and a few drops your favorite scented essential oil. Comb the mixture through your hair and massage it onto your scalp. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse.
Hot Oil Heat
Hot oil treatments can be made using olive oil and vegetable oils, and they are effective ways to deliver hydrating power to your hair. Heat 1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending upon the length of your hair, of olive oil or jojoba oil in the microwave or on the stove top until it is warm, not hot. Apply the warm oil to your hair and wrap a warm towel around your hair. After 30 minutes, rinse your hair with shampoo and water.
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