If you have dry hair like me, you’ll know the struggle of really loving your wet hair straight out of the shower, only to become less excited about it the more it air dries. The more the hair dries up, the more it exposes problems we have with our hair – frizz, split ends, and generally lifeless hair.
But what if there was actually a way to remedy this situation?
All we need to do is make sure our hair can stay moisturized for longer to prevent it from drying.
And what better option is there than leave-in moisturizers?
Unlike typical conditioners that have to be rinsed out, leave-in moisturizers stay in the hair until the next time you wash it – which also means you get to enjoy soft and hydrated hair for a longer period of time.
In this post, we’ll look at different methods we can use to make a homemade leave-in hair moisturizer.
What Are Leave-In Moisturizers?
Leave-in moisturizers are hair products typically applied after washing the hair, and prior to any form of styling.
Moisturizers keep the hair hydrated within the hair strands.
Moreover, your hair and scalp have more time to soak in the good nutrients the moisturizers provide.
Leave-in moisturizers come in different forms – they range from sprays to thick creams, depending on the user’s preference.
Why Use Leave-In Moisturizers?
Using leave-in moisturizers is ideal if you want to take your hair care routine up a notch.
Besides hydrating the hair, leave-in moisturizers are also great detanglers.
People with curly hair can especially benefit from this, as it helps prime the curls before combing or brushing.
This protects the hair from further breakage and damage.
Since wet hair is most susceptible to damage, putting leave-in moisturizers before doing anything to the hair helps protect it from damage.
How To Apply Leave-In Moisturizers
It is best to apply leave-in moisturizers immediately after washing your hair before you do anything else with it.
During application, make sure to start with the ends first, working your way up to the roots and the scalp.
This way, you can focus on the areas of your hair that are more susceptible to drying and breakage (the ends).
Make sure that the scalp isn’t overloaded with extra moisture that can lead to product build-up.
How To Prepare Homemade Leave-In Hair Moisturizer
There are different ways you can apply leave-in conditioners to your hair.
You can opt for a quick fix using spray-on ones, or you can opt for creamy leave-in moisturizers that you can easily work into your hair.
Let’s talk more about each one:
Spray-On Or Liquid Leave-In Moisturizers
A conditioner-based leave-in moisturizer is a good place to start since you’re using a product your hair is already familiar with – your go-to conditioner.
Using a recipe that includes your favorite conditioner allows you to harness its good effects on the hair, while also getting the benefits and nutrients that additional oils can provide.
Only use this if you’re sure your current conditioner is the one for you, though!
Two tablespoons of conditioner
Adding your favorite conditioner to this recipe lets your hair be exposed to a product it knows.
What’s more, this is a product that you’re sure can help your hair!
Diluting your current conditioner with oils and aloe vera juice ensures that you avoid product build-up in the hair (since you’re not rinsing it off your hair this time!) while also getting all the good stuff it brings your hair.
Two tablespoons of avocado oil
Avocado oil is a usual favorite for the hair.
Packed with different vitamins, such as vitamins A, B, D, and E, along with amino acids, avocado oil helps lock in moisture in the hair and scalp, while also repairing breakage.
Ten drops of essential oil (can be divided into five drops each of 2 different oils)
Using essential oils lets you fashion your leave-in moisturizer to something that can also target other concerns you have with your hair.
Some essential oils really target a specific problem, so you can use those to your advantage!
For example, using lavender oil can help cleanse the scalp, and using tea-tree oil can help with fighting dandruff.
Playing around with essential oils can get you the fragrance you’d like to achieve as well!
One cup of aloe vera juice (if not available, can be substituted with distilled water)
Aloe vera, in general, is a great remedy for anything skin or hair-related.
In the same way that aloe vera gel is good for the skin, so is its juice for your hair!
Aloe vera juice does not only help dilute your conditioner but also provides benefits of its own to your hair.
This provides your hair and scalp with vitamins that facilitate hair growth and repair.
Distilled water is also an option to dilute the conditioner, but you won’t get all the hair-repairing goodness that aloe vera juice has to offer.
Still, if you don’t have access to aloe vera products, or if you’re just in a rush to try this moisturizer, distilled water works decently as an alternative.
- Put all ingredients into a spray bottle.
- Shake the bottle in order to thoroughly mix the ingredients
- Spray onto wet hair, making sure to start with the strands and to spray minimally near the scalp.
- Store the container in a dry place. Make sure to shake before every use, and to spray only after washing the hair.
Coconut Oil-based Spray-on
This one is for extremely dry hair that has gone through a lot of damage.
It’s filled with products that help in repairing damaged hair.
Therefore, your mane will get stronger and shinier hair in no time.
1 oz. coconut oil
Coconut oil is a holy grail product for most people with dry hair.
It works by preventing dryness and locking moisture in the hair.
The result is softer, shinier hair with moisture effectively locked in.
Not to mention, it helps protect hair from breakage and keeps it from getting brittle.
2 oz. aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel is a lightweight product that provides a ton of benefits for the hair.
Packed with vitamins and minerals, aloe vera gel can help hair grow healthier and repair it from the inside out.
1 tablespoon of avocado oil
With different vitamins that are all good for the hair and scalp, avocado oil works with the other ingredients in this leave-in moisturizer formula to make the hair hydrated and moisturized.
1/3 cup of distilled water
Using water helps dilute the ingredients above, while also retaining a good consistency for spraying the mixture into the hair.
Water also acts as a source of moisture for the hair, which can effectively be locked in the scalp by the oils included in this moisturizer.
- Start by mixing the oils (coconut and avocado) in one cup
- Pour the aloe vera gel and water into a spray bottle and shake well
- Add the oils to the bottle. Close and shake vigorously.
- Spray into the hair.
- Shake before every succeeding application, and store in a warmer place where coconut oil won’t solidify. If it does, warm the mixture by placing it in a container with hot water until it liquidifies
Creamy Leave-In Moisturizers
These have a thicker consistency than spray-on moisturizers.
Rather than spraying them directly to the hair, you simply put a small amount on your hand and apply it to your hair.
You can work your way up the scalp using creamy leave-in moisturizers, as you ensure that you control how much of it you apply from the tips to the roots of your hair.
Here’s a great recipe you may want to consider:
Honey and Shea Butter Combo
1 oz shea butter
Shea butter is an excellent, versatile natural product that has moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-aging properties.
With its high fatty acid content, shea butter penetrates easily and deeply into the scalp, which makes it an excellent choice in locking in moisture and preventing hair breakage.
It’s filled with Vitamins A and E, and has anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to reducing irritation and redness of the scalp, and may even help fight dandruff.
1 oz coconut oil
Like shea butter, coconut oil helps prevent hair damage by keeping the hair healthy and hydrated.
With the proteins present in coconut oil, it is a great protective oil against heat, UV rays, and other external factors that cause damage to the hair.
One tablespoon of honey
Honey in itself has a host of amazing dermatological benefits.
For the hair, honey has been touted to help with hair conditioning.
It restores moisture to the hair, given the many vitamins and minerals it contains.
The amino acids and antioxidants present in honey also help keep the hair healthy and protect it from damage.
It has the ability to smooth the hair follicles, as well as bond with water molecules to add moisture to dry strands.
This helps to keep the hair healthy, shiny, and moisturized!
It’s even believed to help facilitate hair growth, too!
2-3 drops of essential oil
Change up this recipe a bit by adding your own twist to it.
With many essential oils to choose from, you’re free to choose exactly what fragrance you want your leave-in moisturizer to have!
You can go with calming and relaxing scents that can soothe you as you apply the moisturizer to the hair – lavender oil is a primary candidate for this!
Other options are cedarwood, tea tree, or even peppermint oil. The choice is up to you!
- Put the coconut oil and shea butter in a bowl. Melt together using a double boiler or the microwave.
- Add honey and essential oil of choice to the container. Mix thoroughly.
- Refrigerate or store in a cool place for a thicker consistency.
- Get some of the mixture and apply it to the hair, starting from the ends and working up to the roots.
- Return the mixture to the refrigerator after every use.
There are other recipes you can explore if you want to prepare a homemade leave-in moisturizer that target other problem areas such as dandruff or psoriasis, or even hair growth.
Whatever it is, getting that healthy, shiny hair doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult.
You can definitely work with ingredients you can find in your pantry (and your bathroom, if you want to add your conditioner) to achieve the hair results you’ve always wanted.
All it takes is a bit of patience in ensuring you apply everything religiously, and taking extra care of your hair while at it.