13 Home Remedies for Dry and Damaged Hair

These inexpensive at home tricks will condition your brittle, dried out locks, leaving you with gorgeous, healthy hair.

From Stealth Health (Reader's Digest Association Books)
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    Repair damage with an avocado

    Mash a ripe avocado (pit removed) with one egg, then apply this home remedy to wet hair. Avocados are rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids, and minerals that will help restore luster to your hair, says Stephen Sanna, expert colorist at the Pierre Michel Salon in New York City. Leave on for at least 20 minutes, then rinse several times. Repeat once a week for damaged hair and once a month for healthy hair.

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    Massage in butter

    Try this home remedy: treat dry, brittle hair with a small amount of butter for a glossy shine. Massage it into your dry hair, then cover your hair with a shower cap for about a half hour. Shampoo as usual, and rinse all the butter out.

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    Condition with olive oil

    Put the moisture back into dry hair by warming up 1/2 cup olive oil (do not boil it), and then rubbing it into your hair. Cover tresses with a plastic bag, then wrap everything in a towel. Let this home remedy do its thing for 45 minutes, then shampoo and completely rinse.

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    Rinse with tea

    To give a natural shine to dry hair, use a quart of warm, unsweetened tea (freshly brewed or instant) as a final rinse after your regular shampoo. Tea can enhance hair color, so make sure to use a tea that works with your hair color. Blondes should use chamomile tea; black tea may darken their tresses. Brunettes should use black tea to enhance shine and enrich color.

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    Whip up an apple cider vinegar mask

    Put the life back into your limp or damaged hair with this terrific home remedy: combine 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 egg whites, then rub the mix into your hair. Keep your hair covered for about a half hour using plastic wrap or a shower cap, then shampoo and rinse.

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    Make a "shampoo omelet"

    Mix one egg with a small amount of shampoo, then apply to your damaged hair for five minutes and rinse well. This treatment helps to enhance the protein in your hair.

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    Treat with botanical oils

    Available at health food stores, olive, jojoba, and sweet almond oils are all wonderful elixirs for damaged hair. If your hair is thick and heavy, coconut oil works well. Dampen your hair and apply small amounts of the botanical oil until your hair is thoroughly covered. Top off with shower cap and warm towel for about 30 minutes, then rinse and shampoo your hair out.

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    Try sandelwood oil

    Mix a few drops of sandalwood oil with a few drops of olive or jojoba oil, rub the mixture between your palms, then smooth it through the ends of your hair for instant sleekness and a way to curb and condition brittle, flyaway hair. Alternately, squirt a few drops of hand lotion in your palm and smooth it through damaged hair.

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    Condition naturally when swimming

    Before the beach or after a swim, protect hair from harsh elements or chemicals with a homemade rinse of 1/4 cup apple cider mixed with 3/4 cup water to help cleanse hair, recommends Susie Galvez, author of Hello Beautiful: 365 Ways to Be Even More Beautiful, then follow with conditioner.

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    Wrap wet hair dry

    Instead of rubbing your hair after you get it wet, wrap up your damaged hair in a cotton towel, and let the cotton absorb the moisture for a few minutes. This helps protect against further split ends.

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    Use a humidifier at night

    Your home heating probably keeps the air very dry, especially in winter, and that can dry out your hair. Putting moisture back into the air will help your hair from becoming more dry and damaged.

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    Let your hair down

    If you usually wear your hair in a ponytail, take it out for a few hours a day to give your hair a break. Also, try not to pull hair back too tightly. And never sleep with any sort of accessories in your hair.

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    Eat your omega-3s

    Take one to three 250-milligram capsules of borage oil, evening primrose oil, or flaxseed oil one to three times a day. All are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like gamma-linolenic acid, great for keeping hair (and nails) moisturized, says Kathleen W. Wilson, M.D., an internist at the Ochsner Health Center in New Orleans and author of When You Think You Are Falling Apart.

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