Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Homemade Hair Care: Coconut Oil Mask

Over the past few years I've experimented a lot with lightening my hair at home. But as a naturally almost-black brunette, it hasn't exactly been easy on my hair.

I've done the bleached streak

the peekaboo underlayer

the harsh dip dye

the ombre/balayage/colour melt

All the while trying to achieve hair light enough just so I could use fashion colours and pastels.

My hair tends to withstand bleach well until it gets to the brassy orange stage. This is when it starts to go knotty, gummy, dry and break off so much I lose inches in length. This is also when I usually panic, dye it back to my natural colour and let it strengthen again. 

This time I've bleached a good few inches from my roots and am in the process of lightening it past the brassy stage. my hair is stubborn and it's taking a super long time so at the moment I'm disguising the damaged mess with a lot of violet hair dye, which is helping to tone it out in the mean time. I'm aware it's a mess and I'm aware it's fried to bits, but salons are expensive and I, admittedly, do not trust anyone with my hair. 
I'm also currently going through the dreaded post partum hair loss, which basically means the hormones leaving my body are taking the extra hair they made with them. I mean it's coming out in huge clumps and I'm finding it everywhere; on my clothes, on the floor, in every room of my house, I'm even finding it between Eden's toes it's so bad. And I have really thin hair so every strand lost is dearly missed. So I'm trying my best to take the lightening process slow and condition my hair lots in between bleaching and toning. 

So this is a mask I mixed myself and I'm really happy with the results...

If you have dry, colour damaged hair or even if you just want to treat your hair to something a little more intensive, this is what you will need:

- Pure coconut oil
- Any moisturising conditioner that you don't mind using a lot of, I used TRESemme 
- A cleansing conditioner or treatment, I used WEN because it's brilliant
- A repairing serum, argan or morrocan oil is fine too.
- A measurer
- Mixing bowl
- Application brushes (Optional) 

I started by scooping out and measuring the coconut oil. Pure coconut oil comes in solid form so you have to melt it down. You can do this either in the microwave or in a pan. But just remember, it's oil and it gets extremely hot so be careful. I had just over an ounce of coconut oil once melted.

I added this to the mixing bowl, along with a few pumps of serum. I used the Garnier Ultimate Blends Strength Restorer Serum. I absolutely love it. It smells incredible and it works wonders on my hair. I was so surprised to find a high street product like this actually worked, but it does. And I'm actually kind of reluctant to tell people about it because I love it so much and want it all to myself!

Next, I added about an ounce of the Wen cleansing conditioner. I probably would have added more but I'm coming to the end of the bottle and it was all I could squeeze out.

You could probably leave this ingredient out to be honest because I know WEN is hard to get your hands on. But it's genuinely like nothing else and I added it because it's a cleanser (hence the name) which is great for bleached and damaged hair. There's also a conditioning treatment in this Sweet Almond Mint scent which is hands down the best hair mask I have ever used. 

Then I squeezed in the TRESemme. I only really used that particular conditioner because it was a large bottle and I didn't mind wasting it on a one off treatment. Any moisturising conditioner will do, or if you want to use something a little more special I'd recommend Lee Stafford's Breaking Hair conditioner. I didn't measure how much I put in, I just squeezed enough to stop the oil from curdling the mix, which it will do so don't panicYou have to stir an awful lot for the curdling to stop, be persistent, it will end up a nice creamy consistency like this. 

Also, if you have very light hair, you could add a few drops of whatever colour hair dye you wanted to this, something like Directions, Pravana or Crazy Colours to create a soft pastel tone. Remember the mix should always look a shade or two darker than the colour you're going for.

So here's some before pictures:

It doesn't actually look too bad on these pictures. But I can promise you it was. I couldn't run my fingers through it without ripping out half of my hair, the ends are split and fried. Overall it's extremely dry and I know, I know, the colour's all over the place right now. I'm in the middle of fading out the violet. 

I washed my hair as normal with my favourite shampoo and conditioner (you can apply this dry, but for me I feel my hair turns out better if I wash it and apply the mask to towel dried hair). Then I applied this with an application brush, sectioning and applying like I would a hair dye or bleach. You can just whack this on with your hands but for some reason, I always struggle to fully saturate my hair so I found brushing it on in small sections made sure it was completely soaked in the mix. 

Then you can basically leave it on for however long you want. And to be honest, the longer the better. If you can only afford a few hours, like me, then great. But if you have a shower cap or cling film, sleep in it. Heck, if you have a weekend with nothing to do, apply it the friday and wash it off Sunday night! You get my point...


I left mine on for about four or five hours before rinsing. Remember that coconut oil can be stubborn so make sure it's thoroughly rinsed out or your hair will be sticky and not very nice at all. If you have added dye to the mask then remember to rise with cold water. 

And here's the after.. 

Of course it's still insanely damaged, but it brushed through easier and had a natural shine. I've been getting huge knots in the back of my hair after washing it and I didn't have that at all after this.
The only thing I would say is that the top of my hair which is untreated with colour and bleach needed extra washing as the treatment was a little too rich and left it a little on the greasy side. In future I probably wouldn't apply directly to my roots. 

I loved doing this and will be sure to log my future hair care experiments, thanks for reading! 

Leigh xo


Instagram: leighgoodall

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