Best Vegan Hair Masks (Store Bought & Homemade)
For years now, women have used hair masks to improve the texture, vibrancy and overall health of their hair. However, these masks contain ingredients that vegans, for many reasons, find unacceptable.
So what do we do? Are we stuck with stringy or lifeless locks? Do we have any choices? Of course, we can google it and get hundreds of options, but do they work?
Here, I review two vegan hair masks that claim to work equally as well as any non-vegan product, providing us with the same beautiful, healthy hair as anyone else.
Not into using products that you haven’t made yourself? That’s fine too.
I’ve also gone ahead and discussed three of my all time favorite homemade vegan hair masks for dry hair, oily hair, and general strengthening. Each mask uses less than five ingredients, all of which can be found at your local grocery store or even at a local farmer’s market for you organic folks!
Vegan Hair Masks You Can Buy
AYA, another top company in the vegan beauty industry, centers its products around being all natural and free of harsh chemicals. Their deep conditioning vegan hair mask is paraben and sulfate free, making it a great option for those with dry and/or color treated hair. AYA’s hair mask focuses on the use of natural oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, and argan oil to aid in the healing of damaged hair that needs a little TLC. Being fragrance-free, dye free, and alcohol-free, the all-natural hair mask is also great for anyone with sensitive skin.
What We Love: The deep conditioning hair mask is PETA certified vegan and cruelty-free and works miracles on knots and tangles. Users also appreciated the smell of the mask and noticed a real difference in the softness of their hair over time.
Downsides: The product is a little difficult to rinse out since it is fairly thick.
Giovanni is one of the leading vegan skin and hair care companies on the market today. The company is known for their variety of 100% vegan product lines, all tailored to specific hair care needs. Giovanni’s 2Chic Ultra Repair Hair Mask is a newer product that is formulated to help reduce frizz, aid in strengthening from root to tip and reduce damage from over-processing or coloring.
Their Ultra Repair Hair Mask contains a multitude of vitamins including Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A, all of which are needed for healthy hair growth. The herbs and oils found in this product also play a part in moisturizing your hair, penetrating deep into each strand for a permanent fix.
What We Love: The combination of vitamins and nutrients leaves your hair feeling soft and smooth, while users also noticed a change in the overall strength of their hair (less breakage and frizz) over time.
Downsides: A couple of users felt that product did not live up to their expectations, claiming it was too basic and didn’t do much more than moisturize their hair.
Vegan Homemade Hair Masks
If you like knowing exactly what is in your beauty products, then I highly recommend you take the time to make your own hair mask.
Now, a simple Google search will bring up dozens of vegan homemade hair masks, but speaking from experience, that is all kinds of overwhelming!
On top of that, knowing which products are best for your specific needs can be even more confusing. So how about I break it down for you?
What Ingredients Are Best for Homemade Hair Masks?
When deciding which products you want to use on your hair, it’s important to know what it is you are trying to treat. Dryness, for example, is best treated with avocado or coconut oil due to their moisturizing properties. That being said, let’s discuss a few of the most common ingredients in homemade vegan hair masks and why they are ideal in aiding in the health of your hair.
Avocados are one of the most common ingredients you will come across in homemade hair mask recipes. This is due to a number of certain vitamins found in this tasty... fruit? Vegetable? Whatever it is. Vitamins found in avocados, such as Vitamin E and Vitamin B are essential for hair growth, working together to strengthen your hair at the root and protect it from common sources of damage such as processing from hair dye or heat from a straightener.
Another common ingredient in many hair masks, bananas not only work magic on your body when ingested but also when placed directly onto your hair. Bananas contain plenty of Vitamin B6, which helps restore your hair’s natural shine and strengthen each strand. Bananas are also high in Biotin, which is the key component in having beautiful, healthy hair.
3. Lemon Juice
When coming straight from the source, a little bit of lemon juice will go along the way when applied to the roots of your hair. One of the most important aspects of having healthy hair is actually blood flow, which lemon juice aids in regulating. Having good blood flow insures that your roots are producing the oil your hair needs to be strong and healthy. Lemon juice is also known to reduce dandruff when applied directly to the scalp.
4. Coconut Oil
Several types of oils have been studied for their effects on human hair, but coconut oil always seems to prevail compared to its competition. Here’s the thing, what many people do not know about common hair products is that they are designed to only coat the outer layers of your hair. This means that the product isn’t actually making any permanent changes to your hair’s overall health, it’s just acting like a bandaid - a temporary fix.
Coconut oil is the only type of oil that actually penetrates deep into each strand of hair, insuring that the cortex (mainly where all of your hair’s vital nutrients are stored and dispersed) is receiving the benefits for permanent change.
Okay, I’m sure this is not an ingredient you expected to see because I certainly didn’t! I was surprised to learn that strawberries actually have a multitude of benefits for your hair, both when consumed and when used raw in a hair mask. Due to their high level of Vitamin C, strawberries aid in strengthening your hair and helping it grow, while a deficiency is this vitamin has also been shown to result in split ends.
Which Combination(s) Work Best For My Hair?
Purchasing a hair mask at the store is easy, mainly because the product often says what type of hair or hair concern it is best to treat. Making a hair mask from scratch requires a little bit more research, which I have already done for you. Below are three of my personal favorite homemade vegan hair masks, as well as what each one is best for treating.
Oily Hair and/or Dandruff
I have naturally oily hair that is also very thin, so I like to do a hair mask once/week that will take away some of that excess oil. I have found that the combination of strawberries, lemon, salt, and tea tree oil works best in this situation. Here’s what I use (note* my hair is color treated, short - jaw length, and fine):
- 3 strawberries
- ¼ tsp of salt
- Juice from ½ lemon
- ¼ tsp of tea tree oil
- All you need to do is mash up the strawberries (I use a fork), and stir in the salt, lemon juice, and tea tree oil until it is all well incorporated. The consistency should be smooth, but a few lumps from the berries is fine.
- Spread the mask evenly over your hair - preferably freshly washed or product free.
- Massage into your scalp for a few seconds (10 or so).
- Let the mask sit on your hair for five minutes, rinse thoroughly, making sure no residue is left behind.
Dry Hair and/or Frizz
During the colder seasons (fall, winter), my hair tends to get very dry, making it also very frizzy, two annoying problems at the same time. After a lot of trial and error, it seems like the best combination for dry hair and/or frizzy hair is a mix of coconut oil, lemon juice, and avocado. The amount of each item will vary based on the length of your hair, but here are the proportions for mine.
- ¼ avocado
- 2 tbsp (non liquified) coconut oil
- Juice from ½ lemon
- Once you have your ingredients, all of which can be found fairly cheap at your nearest grocery store, simply mash up the avocado until it’s smooth and mix in your coconut oil and lemon juice. The result should be smooth, but a few remaining lumps won’t cause any problems.
- Smooth the product onto your hair and massage it into your scalp, leave it on your hair for 5-10 minutes and rinse thoroughly.
- When putting the product on your hair, I recommend wearing a towel around your neck or standing in the bath/shower to avoid a mess!
Damaged, Color Treated Hair and/or Strengthening Treatment
My hair has been dyed more times than I can honestly remember, so finding a hair mask that wouldn’t fade my hair dye, but would still act as a strengthener for my damaged hair was crucial. The combination of avocado, banana, coconut oil, and almond milk (aids in the rejuvenation of cells) seemed to do the trick here.
- ½ avocado
- ½ banana
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp almond milk
- All you are going to do here is mash together the avocado and the banana and then follow that up by mixing in the coconut oil and almond milk.
- Once everything has been thoroughly combined, go ahead and slowly start adding the mixture to your hair, working root to tip.
Side Note: This is meant to be a larger mask because you want to focus the product on your strands, really saturating them in the mixture.
- Once you have saturated your hair and massaged your roots a bit, let it sit in your hair for 10-15 minutes depending on the length of your hair.
- Now rinse everything out thoroughly.
Healthy Hair, The Vegan way
With the vegan lifestyle vastly growing in today’s society, beauty industries are being forced to either make changes to their current products or incorporate a line of products suitable for vegans.
Hair care companies like Giovanni and AYA have stepped up to the plate and made the necessary changes to appeal to a new type of consumer, incorporating vegan hair masks into their product lines.
I highly recommend giving those two companies a shot, or if you are more of the DIY-type, play around with my three homemade vegan hair masks and see if any of them suit your needs.
Your options are endless, even if you can’t find what you are looking for in the store, you can probably find it in your cabinets!