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Niche Topics (Beauty and Wellness) is all about a natural approach to healthy skin, hair and nails. You'll love our collection of organic homemade beauty, bath and body treatment recipes using natural ingredients that nourish, pamper, cleanse and protect your skin. Harness the healing powers of Mother Nature's bounty to make yourself beautiful naturally.

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I really don't know what I am going to do with my naturally frizzy long hair. It feels terribly dry and rough to the touch, and also very difficult to style. I either put it in a loose ponytail or braid my hair to keep it neat and tidy for work. Any suggestions/tips on how to make my hair softer and smoother so that I have more styling options? I am on a very tight budget at the moment so pricey hair products like WEN are definitely out for me. Thanks! – Tina, New York.



Banana Oatmeal Hair Mask to Soften Rough Hair


Hi Tina,

Although WEN products may seem a tad expensive compared to cheaper drugstore brands, some friends I spoke with said they are worth every penny spent. According to these happy customers, WEN by Chaz Dean hair products are of the best quality and remarkably effective. They leave coarse, out-of-control frizzy hair feeling beautifully soft and silky smooth.

However, everyone is different. Some things work incredibly well for some folks, and at all for others so I would suggest you go to wenhaircare.com and have a look when you have a bigger budget.

Of course, there are many simple, budget-friendly things that you can use to moisturize and soften dry rough hair naturally without spending a bomb. Common kitchen foods like avocado, sour cream, yogurt, honey, real maple syrup (or molasses) as well as beer can improve and smooth rough hair texture.

Argan oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil and kukui oil (also known as candlenut oil, kemiri oil) are great for overly dry, lackluster locks that needs a more intensive moisture boost. These Vitamin E rich oils will help smooth out frizzy hair and protect dried out hair from damage.

I am especially fond of this easy-to-make dry hair mask recipe. It has natural moisturizing properties from banana, oatmeal and eggs that penetrate deep into your hair's cuticles, making dry hair much more manageable and feeling silky smooth and revitalized all the time.

Banana strengthens brittle hair and prevents split ends while adding a healthy shine and softness. It also helps control dandruff problems.

Oatmeal is a popularly known gentle cleansing agent that stops scalp itching and protects hair from dryness, leaving it feeling soft and looking shiny.

Eggs are rich in protein that support weak hair shaft and reduce hair breakage, leading to a strong, glossy and thick head of hair.

Use this homemade oatmeal banana hair mask once a week, preferably twice a week if you want to restore dried out summer hair. You will get the best results if you use it immediately after cutting your locks as this allows for better nutrient absorption. Hopefully, in no time at all, your tresses will go from dry and unmanageable to touchably soft and totally revitalized!



Banana Oatmeal Hair Mask Recipe for Rough Dry Hair

1. Place 2 tablespoons plain oatmeal, 2 teaspoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons whole milk in a bowl. Mix thoroughly to form a thick paste. If you hate the smell of olive oil, try coconut oil instead.

2. Add 1 large egg (optional) and 1 whole banana (mash with the back of a fork until there are no lumps, or puree in a food processor) to oat mixture. Stir until well blended.

3. Detangle hair with a wide tooth comb, and apply your homemade oatmeal-banana-hair-mask evenly to your hair in small sections, smoothing from roots to ends.

4. Wrap hair in an old shower cap, or put a large plastic bag over your head and fasten well. Wait for about 20-30 minutes and then wash off with cool water only. Warm or hot water may cause the egg to cook in your hair. Shampoo and style as usual.

Try L’Oreal Professionnel Serie Nature Douceur Shampoo. It is a gentle, silicone and paraben-free shampoo that is designed to tame dry and unruly hair. It contains olive oil, well known for its hair nourishing properties and a source of essential fatty acids, and rice bran oil, a hair softening agent that leaves rough, dull-looking hair smooth, shiny and soft.

I would also suggest you use a leave-in conditioner (spray) on your braids everyday to keep your hair moisturized and nourished.



What You Can Do to Make Dry Rough Hair Soft and Silky

1. What you eat always shows on your mane. You should consume a well balanced diet that provides your body with adequate amounts of high quality protein and B-Vitamins, particularly biotin (Vit H or B7) to strengthen and promote healthy hair growth.

You can find biotin in foods such as Swiss chard, cauliflower, cucumber, halibut, eggs, milk, berries (strawberries and raspberries) and nuts (almonds and walnuts).

Flax seeds, pine nuts, and oily fish like salmon and tuna also benefit your hair in a huge way. They contain omega 3 fatty acids, which help moisturize your hair from the inside out, making it feel luxuriously soft and satiny smooth to the touch.


2. Sufficient fluid intake is as important as a hair-friendly diet. If you are not drinking enough fluids, your hair becomes bone dry, brittle and more prone to breakage. Therefore, make sure to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.


3. Cleanse with soft water. The mineral deposits (lime stone and calcium) and chlorine in unfiltered tap water (hard water) can be harmful and drying to your tresses. They can leave your mane feeling rough and brittle, and unmanageable. Consider a faucet mount water filter to remove harsh chemicals and mineral deposits from tap water.


4. Allow your locks to dry naturally as often as possible. If you have to blow dry your hair, turn your blow dryer to the cool setting to protect your crowning glory from heat damage. Use hair care products with UV protection to block harmful UVA and UVB rays and repair damaged hair.



By Tiffany Moore


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