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For thousands of years, cultures around the world have used honey for medicinal purposes and as a natural sweetener.
Due to its vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidant properties, honey has been used as a natural remedy for all sorts of ailments, ranging from healing wounds and relieving digestive issues to soothing a sore throat and improving skin conditions.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that honey can also be used to nourish, condition, and boost the health of your hair.
Here’s a look at the benefits of using honey in a hair mask, and how you can go about making your very own mask at home with honey as the key ingredient.
Due to honey’s therapeutic properties, it’s been used in hair rinses and conditioners for centuries. Today, it’s still a popular natural ingredient in many types of hair care products.
So, what are the benefits of using honey on your hair and including it in a hair mask? According to research and anecdotal evidence, honey may be beneficial in a hair mask for the following reasons:
- moisturizes dry hair and scalp
- reduces hair breakage
- restores shine
- improves condition of natural hair
- reduces frizz
- softens hair
Additionally, honey works well as a binding agent. This means it’s a good base to use as a hair mask if you want to include other ingredients.
Because you leave a hair mask on your hair for a longer period of time, it may promote more intense healing, nourishment, and repair than a regular conditioner.
There are many different recipes you can use to make a honey hair mask. This is one of the most basic, and it’s well-suited to dry, damaged hair.
All you need are the following items and ingredients:
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- a mixing bowl
- a shower cap
- a small paint brush (optional)
Try to use raw, organic honey, which is the least processed and has a higher concentration of antioxidants. However, nonorganic honey should still provide benefits.
If you don’t have a shower cap, you can make one using plastic wrap or a large plastic bag and tape.
- Start with clean, damp hair.
- Pour 1/2 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of olive oil into a bowl, and stir the mixture well.
- Microwave the mixture for 20 seconds.
- Once it’s heated, stir the mixture again with a spoon.
- After allowing the mixture to cool (you want it to be slightly warm, not hot), start working it into your hair using your fingers or a small paintbrush. Start at the scalp and work your way down to the ends.
- Gently massage your scalp with circular motions using your fingertips.
- Place the cap on your hair to help seal in the moisturizing ingredients.
- Leave on for 30 minutes.
- Rinse the mask from your hair and shampoo as usual to ensure you’ve removed all ingredients.
Honey can be combined with many other ingredients to create hair masks that provide additional benefits to the standard recipe.
Depending on what you want to use a hair mask for, you may want to try one of the following options.
The protein in yogurt can cleanse your scalp and also strengthen your hair. The coconut oil can help moisturize and soften your hair.
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup plain full fat yogurt
- 3–4 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
Mix the honey and coconut oil, and then warm the mixture in a microwave for 15 seconds. Once cool, add the yogurt, and continue to mix until the ingredients are well-blended.
Follow the instructions outlined above for applying to your hair and scalp and rinsing out of your hair.
Adding banana to a honey hair mask may help alleviate an itchy scalp.
Use the following ingredients to make this mask:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Mix these ingredients in a blender until you have a smoothie-like puree, and then follow the instructions outlined above to apply to your hair.
If you have very long hair, you may need to add up to 1/2 cup more olive oil to make the banana less sticky on your hair.
Cover with a shower cap, and leave this mixture on for about 10 minutes. Shampoo your hair well to remove all ingredients.
Together with honey, this mask includes egg and coconut oil.
The high protein content in egg can help to fortify your hair, making it less prone to breakage and damage from heat and styling. Coconut oil can help soften and moisturize your hair.
Use the following ingredients to make this mask:
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 large egg (whisked)
Mix together the coconut oil and honey, and then gently heat the mixture in a small pot on the stove.
Allow it to cool, and then add the whisked egg to the honey and oil, and stir well. Once all the ingredients are well-blended, apply the mask to your hair following the instructions outlined above.
Let the mask sit on your hair for 15 to 20 minutes, then shampoo your hair well with lukewarm or cool water to remove all ingredients.
If you’re short on time or would prefer a ready-made mask, there are a variety of options to choose from. You can find honey hair masks at most beauty stores, drugstores, or online.
Honey masks that seem to do well with specific hair types include the following:
- Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures Repairing Hair Mask for Damaged Hair: This honey hair mask, formulated for dry, damaged hair, contains honey, royal jelly, and propolis.
- SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque: This mask works well for curly hair. It’s infused with honey and other softening oils, such as baobab and mafura oil.
- tgin Honey Miracle Hair Mask: This mask is intended to reduce frizz and breakage while boosting shine. In addition to raw honey, it contains jojoba oil and olive oil.
Unless you’re allergic to honey or oils that are typically used in a mask, like olive oil or coconut oil, there’s very low risk associated with using these ingredients in a hair mask.
If you warm the honey and oil in the microwave first, make sure it doesn’t get too hot. Avoid using your finger to directly test the temperature of the hair mask mixture.
Don’t use the honey hair mask on your hair and scalp if the mixture is too hot. Doing so could burn your scalp. After heating the mixture, wait until it’s just slightly warm before applying it.
Due to its many therapeutic properties, using honey in a hair mask may help moisturize your hair and scalp, reduce frizz, restore shine, and reduce hair breakage.
You can make your own DIY honey hair mask using a few basic ingredients, or you can buy a premade mask at your local drugstore, beauty store, or online.
If your hair is dry, use a honey hair mask a couple of times a week. If your hair is oily, use it once a week.