These 7 Avocado Hair Masks Will Keep Your Strands Strong & Shiny — Promise
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
There's no doubt avocados command the kitchen, whether you're partial to a loaded slice of toast or a thick, creamy smoothie. They're so versatile and nutrient-dense—what's not to love about those mighty green globes?
In the beauty space, we also know the superfood reigns in hair care: Used for centuries, the fruit is hailed for coating the strands with moisture and helping them shine; as such, you can find plenty of avocado-infused products meant to feed your tresses with its fatty acids and antioxidants.
To that end, may we suggest going straight to the source with a DIY avocado hair mask? Below, find a slew of recipes to help condition and hydrate thirsty hair.
Benefits of avocado for hair.
There's a reason avocado remains one of the most hailed superfoods. First, the fruit is brimming with vitamins (specifically vitamins A, B, C, E, K, and folate1), which can help stave off free radicals and protect the strands from photodamage. Avocados also boast tons of fatty acids, which literally feed the hair with nutrients, condition the cuticle, and enhance moisture and shine.
Specifically, "Avocados are extremely rich in oleic acid and monounsaturated fats," says Muhga Eltigani, founder of NaturAll Club about avocado and avocado oil. "In fact, avocado oil is one of few oils that can actually penetrate the hair shaft and moisturize your hair rather than sitting on top and coating your hair. These fats also strengthen the hair shaft and help prevent breakage."
And while you could opt for a cold-pressed avocado oil, slathering on the whole fruit has some noteworthy advantages: Oils tend to lose water-soluble vitamins B and C during the extraction process, whereas the fresh fruit retains all those good-for-you players. Avocado oil certainly still trumps in the hair care department—don't get us wrong—but don't knock the whole avo itself.
Simple avocado mask.
Since the fruit itself is so nutrient-dense, why not use avocado on its own? For the simplest hair mask ever, mash up an avocado in a bowl, but instead of spreading it on toast, run it through your dry strands. (Perhaps skip the roots if you have finer hair.) Leave it on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing out.
Honey, olive oil & avocado mask.
This once-a-week deep-conditioning treatment "will help restore, renew, and replenish your curls," says hairstylist Miko Branch, co-founder of natural hair care brand Miss Jessie's. In addition to the famed fruit, it has honey (which can help your hair and scalp retain moisture2) and olive oil—another fatty-acid-rich ingredient that's loaded with vitamin E. Follow Branch's recipe below:
- 1 avocado
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. warm olive oil
- Mash ingredients into a bowl until it has a creamy, whipped consistency.
- Section dry hair with hair clips and generously apply the mask to each section—coating from scalp to ends.
- Cover your hair with a plastic wrap (like a shower cap) and top it with a warm towel.
- Leave on for at least 10 minutes, then rinse and style as usual.
See here for full instructions.
Avocado oil scalp treatment.
Avocado oil deserves honorable mention: It retains all the vitamins and nutrients3 from fresh avocado (save for vitamins B and C, as we mentioned above), and it rapidly absorbs into the skin and hair without weighing down the strands. These properties make it superb for a stimulating scalp massage.
Says Eltigani about the oil: "Massage pure avocado oil into your scalp and on your edges to promote blood circulation, moisturize the scalp, strengthen the roots, and encourage growth." Follow along here for our full scalp massage guide.
Avocado oatmeal mask.
With antioxidants like vitamin E, avenanthramides (an active in oats with major anti-inflammatory benefits), and ferulic acid, oatmeal can soothe an irritated, angry scalp and help strengthen your tresses. Paired with the antioxidant power of avocado and honey, it's one calming, hydrating mask. (Bonus: It doubles as a face mask, too.)
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. oatmeal
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 to 2 drops lavender essential oil (optional; feel free to skip if you have any sensitivities to EOs)
- Mash the avocado and oatmeal together in a bowl.
- Once combined, mix in the honey, then add in your essential oils (if using). Rake the goop from root to tip, let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
Avocado coconut mask.
Coconut oil makes a fine hair mask all by itself—just ask Branch, who told us all about her favorite coconut deep conditioning treatment. See, the oil has a low molecular weight4, which means it's able to penetrate easily into the hair shaft and absorb better than other common oils; it can also help the hair hold on to protein5. Add some avocado to Branch's recipe, and it becomes even more nutrient-rich for dull, dry strands.
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. warmed coconut oil
- 1 mashed avocado
- Mix the warmed coconut oil (melted over low heat) and mashed avocado in a bowl until well combined.
- Apply the mixture to hair section by section, massaging into the roots and saturating hair throughout the tips.
- Cover hair with a shower cap or warm towel, and let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes. Wash thoroughly with warm water (coconut oil can cause buildup if you let it linger) and follow with a quick cool-water rinse.
Avocado egg mask.
Eggs are chock-full of protein and amino acids, and when applied to the hair, these amino acids can help smooth the follicle, nourish your scalp, moisturize the strand, and counteract damage. To hydrate and strengthen the hair, try this avocado and egg hair mask—it's like a satiating feast for your strands. Although, you may want to use this mask sparingly (like once or twice a month) since too much protein without enough hydration can actually damage those strands—a concept that doesn't have too much scientific data but is anecdotally known by hairstylists as "protein overload."
- 1 mashed avocado
- 1 to 2 eggs, depending on your hair's length.
- 1 to 3 drops essential oil (to mask the eggy scent, if it irks you)
- Whisk the eggs together in a bowl and mix with mashed avocado until well combined.
- Cover the hair from root to tip and let it set for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Rinse with cool to lukewarm water before shampooing. (Don't use hot water, or you might scramble the eggs!)
Avocado banana mask.
Bananas are rich in silica6, a natural molecule that closely resembles silicone (which is often used in market hair products to smooth frizz by sealing down the cuticle). There are no studies yet to back up the claim, but the popular theory is that silica from bananas can provide similar benefits. Not to mention, bananas are full of antioxidants and even have antimicrobial properties7 to help balance a flaky scalp.
With the fatty acids from avocado and olive oil? It's a dream for those with damaged, dry hair. "The combination of these ingredients helps to hydrate, condition, and seal in moisture for your precious strands," Brittany Johnson, a licensed hairstylist and senior content manager for Mayvenn Hair, once told us about the recipe.
- 1 banana
- ½ avocado
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Place all ingredients in a blender and whir until smooth.
- Apply to slightly damp or dry hair, top with a shower cap, and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing.
For a nutrient-dense kick, try these avocado hair masks to coat your strands with the fruit's laundry list of benefits. As always, you should patch-test before applying it on your hair and scalp and skip any recipes with known allergens—other than that, slather on.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.