4 DIY hair conditioning treatments that don't feel like a chemistry project

Jan 22, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

Gone are the days when women felt compelled to purchase shampoos and conditioners from big name brands. A do-it-yourself conditioning treatment may have seemed like a lofty, expensive (and messy) effort years ago, but women are much more knowledgeable about the effective ingredients and essential oils that can be used to keep their locks healthy and free from frizz.

The bottom line: Homemade hair treatments have become as simple to make as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

DIY hair treatments
Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

If you're curious about trying out your own DIY conditioner, we've got six simple recipes to start you off. Whether you crave a more voluminous mane or want to tame frizz and fly-aways, these treatments fit the bill and will save you money.

1. Mayo mask for volume

mayo hair mask
Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

Grab a bowl and add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and the egg white from one egg. Mix the ingredients together and apply to your hair, making sure you leave it on for at least 30 minutes so that it has time to penetrate and work wonders on frayed ends. Rinse the conditioning treatment with lukewarm water, making sure you wash all of it out (for obvious reasons).

DIY beauty expert, and author of Recipe for Radiance and Radiant Bride, Alexis Wolfer affirmed that this is a great hydrating mask. "The lactic acid in the yogurt will [also] help to gently remove product build up," she added. However, she cautions against using this on fine hair because all the fats can weigh hair down.

2. Coconut oil

Coconut oil hair mask
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We all know coconut oil is the elixir that keeps giving, right? In addition to keeping our bodies healthy when used as an awesome substitute for vegetable oil and butter, it does wonders for dry, damaged hair. Coconut oil can be applied alone to soften locks or, alternatively, you can mix 1/4 cup of coconut oil with one avocado and apply generously to hair, concentrating most of the mixture on the ends of hair to avoid a greasy scalp.

More: Here's what happened when I shaved with coconut oil

Wolfer adds that you can even use coconut oil as an anti-frizz styling treatment. But given all the grease involved, remember that a little will go a long way with this tip.

3. Honey conditioner

honey hair conditioner
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"Raw honey is a great humectant, both hydrating on its own and boosting the efficacy of all other moisturizers," says Wolfer. She suggests adding 1/4 teaspoon of honey per tablespoon of conditioner. Then, starting 2 inches away from your scalp, apply the mixture all the way to your ends. The conditioner will make it easier to rinse out. Wolfer really stresses using raw honey.

You can also add 1/4 cup of raw honey with enough water (alternatively, you can mix it with 1/4 cup of olive oil you make it slightly less viscous because you can imagine the mess). According to Wolfer, you should not put olive oil within two inches of your scalp unless you have very coarse hair, so let this mask work its magic on your ends.

Add the mixture to your hair — again, concentrating on the ends. Leave the conditioning treatment on for 30 minutes and wash it out well with warm water.

4. Apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar for hair
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Raw, or unfiltered, apple cider vinegar may help restore the natural pH balance of your hair. It also contains alpha-hydroxy acid, which helps exfoliate your scalp — so, it's basically a heavenly hair ingredients. Wolfer says, "Apple cider vinegar is a great balancing treatment for your scalp." She points out that it's more effective on your scalp than it is on the hair itself. "That said, it's an oily scalp that's leaving you with oily hair, so treating the scalp will ultimately treat your hair too." Similarly, a dry scalp can impact hair health. So combating a dry, flaky scalp could lead to healthier hair.

More: 10 Beauty benefits of apple cider vinegar you're missing out on

Wolfer says, "Apply it to your scalp with cotton rounds to combat any dry/itchy/flaky scalp issues. This does leave your hair smelling a bit like salad dressing, so be forewarned!"

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