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What are the Best Home Remedies for Dry Hair?

H.L. Roberts
H.L. Roberts

Many of the best home remedies for dry hair use common kitchen ingredients like olive oil, sesame oil, and egg whites to strengthen and moisturize individual follicles. Rubbing these ingredients into the hair and scalp regularly can help maintain balance and shine, and might also prevent future damage. Vinegar is another common treatment, though it usually must be used somewhat sparingly to avoid damage. People looking for a more intensive at-home therapy might try a mask, which is a combination of ingredients — avocado and coconut milk is a popular pairing, for instance — that is meant to sit on the hair for a long period of time in order to really soak in before rinsing off. Most at-home remedies are affordable and easy to prepare, and are often very effective.


Vinegar promotes shiny hair.
Vinegar promotes shiny hair.

Standard olive oil is one of the most common home remedies for dry hair. There are a lot of different varieties, from cold-pressed to extra virgin, but this isn’t usually important when it comes to hair. People looking for moisture are usually most concerned about the oil’s high concentrations of vitamin E and its abundant antioxidant content, which occurs no matter the precise variety or preparation method.

A mix of egg yolk, mashed avocado, and coconut milk helps repair damaged hair.
A mix of egg yolk, mashed avocado, and coconut milk helps repair damaged hair.

The oil works by helping to seal the cuticle, or outer layer, of each hair follicle. One of the easiest ways for people to get started is to apply the oil directly to damp, clean hair, after shampooing, for instance. Ideally it should be allowed to soak into the strands, but should be rinsed out to avoid a greasy, slick buildup on the hair. Some people will hop out of the shower and do something else while the oil rests; putting the oil on at night and waiting till the morning to rinse is another common strategy.

Plain yogurt can be used for conditioner.
Plain yogurt can be used for conditioner.

Sesame oil works in a very similar way, but tends to be lighter — that is, it isn’t usually as thick or rich — which means it can sometimes be left on for longer, or even worn as a leave-in conditioner in some cases. Some people add a few drops of sesame oil to their conditioner for daily use, or can use it for a weekly or bi-weekly scalp massage, which can provide more intensive moisture by targeting the roots of each strand. Sesame oil mixed with grated fresh ginger can also help prevent dandruff and provides some protection against sun damage. Jojoba and sweet almond oils aren't as common around the house, but often get the same results, often with the bonus of a light, pleasing fragrance.

Egg Whites

Olive oil may help dry hair.
Olive oil may help dry hair.

Another simple remedy involves beating an egg white until it froths, then covering the hair and scalp with the bubbles that result. Egg whites are mostly water and are high in various proteins and minerals. These can not only soothe dry, damaged hair, but can also make it stronger by reinforcing the bonds and fibers that hold the strands together on a cellular level. People usually need to be sure to thoroughly wash egg out of their hair, though, since it, like olive oil, can leave a greasy, sticky residue.


Dry shampoo may help prevent dry scalp.
Dry shampoo may help prevent dry scalp.

Vinegar is another relatively simple way for people to increase moisture and shine. A mixture of apple cider vinegar and cool water will often remove dulling and damaging build-up while smoothing the outer surface. Vinegar makes hair easier to comb, too, reducing the likelihood of damage caused during styling. It is an acid, though, and repeated use can actually have a somewhat harmful effect — people who regularly apply vinegar to their hair often find that it is more prone to breakage and damage than it was before. As a result, these sorts of treatments should usually only be used a few times a year. This is enough to boost the hair’s natural defenses without causing lasting damage.

Masks and Combination Treatments

Eggs may be used as a mask to help repair dry, damaged hair.
Eggs may be used as a mask to help repair dry, damaged hair.

Many of the most effective home remedies for dry hair are actually combinations of multiple ingredients blended together to form what is known as a “mask.” Masks for the hair are usually pretty similar to masks for the face, in that they are thick, creamy, and designed to completely smother all surfaces. Most people apply them to dry hair and leave them on for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, thorough rinsing is really important to remove residues that can block pores. Clogged or blocked pores often lead to oil build-up that can make dry hair worse over time.

Sesame oil can be used to tame dry, unruly hair.
Sesame oil can be used to tame dry, unruly hair.

An easy mask is little more than olive oil, warm water, and a lightly beaten egg yolk. Mixing an egg with a small amount of plain, unflavored yogurt can also make a powerful moisturizing conditioner. An effective but more complicated home remedy calls for a combination of egg yolk, mashed avocado, and coconut milk. The ingredients are combined into a thick paste and massaged into clean, dry hair. Each of the oily ingredients smoothes and repairs the hair, while the plentiful antioxidant content can help prevent damage in the future.

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Discussion Comments


Thanks for this helpful article. I have dry hair and I'm always in search of remedies with effective results. I also got some ayurvedic home remedies online that also work well without any side effects.


Avocados or bananas! I recommend the pro naturals hair repair argan oil hair mask, too.


@croydon - That's definitely a good thing to try, but it depends on your hair type as to whether it's the best solution. There are a lot of people who have relatively greasy hair as well as dry ends and just using conditioner might completely weigh down their hair.

I think it's important to experiment until you're comfortable with a routine. Hair is something people notice.


Honestly, I think the best home remedy for dry hair is to stop using shampoo. I did this a while ago and have never regretted it. I didn't realize how horribly frizzy and dry my hair was until it calmed down and stopped being like that.

Apparently there is pretty harsh detergent in all shampoos, no matter how expensive they are. It strips away natural oils from your hair. If you use conditioner only, it washes away any dirt without washing away the oils. It doesn't end up smelling bad or anything (I've never noticed any difference anyway).

I try to use natural hair products, but even the worst conditioners are better than the best shampoos in my opinion.


Mayonnaise is one of the best at home remedies for dry hair. It contains both oil and eggs. You don't even have to mix it with anything to reap the benefits!

It is very moisturizing. I put it on my hair after I've washed it, and I let it soak in for twenty to thirty minutes.

After that, I wash it out with shampoo and apply a light conditioner. It makes my hair shine like it has just received a salon hot oil treatment.

Mayonnaise is awesome, because it's so cheap in comparison to hair products. I always have some around the house to put on sandwiches and to use in coleslaw, so I don't have to purchase it especially for my hair. It doesn't take much to comb through and coat all the strands.


@JackWhack – You can use a gentle shampoo like the kind made for babies or shampoo for dry hair to wash out the treatment. Both are more gentle on hair than regular shampoo or the clarifying kind.

I'm with you. I wouldn't want to walk around smelling like eggs! Also, any type of oil that you put in your hair will make it look like you haven't washed it in days.


Are you supposed to leave smelly oils and eggs on your hair, or do you have to shampoo them out? It seems to me that the shampoo would counteract the moisture and defeat the whole purpose. However, I wouldn't want to walk around smelling like oil, eggs, and vinegar!


@ysmina – These are all good home remedies for very dry hair. I also swim in the pool every day during the summer, and I have found that prevention is better than treatment in this case.

I dampen my hair and spray leave-in conditioner all over it before entering the pool. I have read that if your hair is wet and full of product before you enter the water, the chlorine will have a harder time getting into it.

The conditioner provides a barrier that keeps my hair much healthier. Before I started using it prior to getting in the pool, my hair looked like hay when it dried!

Also, you need to wash the chlorine out of your hair as soon as possible after leaving the pool. Even with conditioner on, a little bit of chlorine does soak into your hair.


How much olive oil should I use with the egg yolk and warm water?


Has anyone used coconut oil on their hair? I've heard that coconut oil can be used as a hair moisturizer. Does it really work?


There are some ways you can prevent hair from drying out in the first place. One thing that damages hair and causes it to dry out is shampoos. There are shampoos for dry hair, but I don't think that it is necessary. Only our scalp produces oil and needs to be properly cleansed. So concentrate on shampooing your scalp and not the ends of your hair. Washing your hair with extremely hot water also has a drying effect. I make sure that my water is warm, neither too cold or too hot.

Blow drying, using flat irons and curlers also dry out hair. If the weather is warm, I always let my hair air dry. If I have to blow dry, I use the low heat option. Try to use flat irons as little as possible or use a protective product so it doesn't burn your hair.

If you dye your hair often, this also dries out hair. The general rule is, there should be at least 3 weeks between colorings to prevent burns and drying. You can also apply oils as natural treatments in between.

Something that applies to swimmers and when you are on vacation is the drying effect of chlorine and salt water. I apply oil to my hair more often during vacations. If you are swimming every day or wash your hair very often, you can skip the shampoo once in a while and only apply conditioner.

These are my tips that I always follow. I hope it helps!


Coconut oil is my favorite home remedy for dry and damaged hair. I was introduced to it by my Indian friend about five years ago and have been using it regularly ever since. Depending on how dry and damaged my hair is, I apply coconut oil to my hair, concentrating on the ends and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. I read somewhere that coconut oil is one of the few oils that can enter hair follicles and nourish them. I've found it very beneficial. My hair is not as damaged and grows faster.

You can find coconut oil in Indian and Asian stores. Regular stores will probably have it too, I don't think there is any difference between them. Before you apply the oil, you have to place the bottle in a cup of hot water so that it melts. Coconut oil has a very low heating point, so it freezes quickly but also melts quickly. It will be ready in a minute or two.

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