As young, poor students we often don’t have the financial resources to buy fancy face masks and hair treatments (disclaimer: this doesn’t mean that I don’t treat myself to a Lush fresh face mask when I’m sad). I bleach my hair within in an inch of its life, so I’m constantly in need of anything that will make my hair look, uh, alive.
So, here are some pretty easy and cheap ways to revive damaged hair or skin that are, actually, just as good as that €13 treatment in Boots, and way more therapeutic.
Note: All ingredients listed were bought in Tesco and are of Tesco brand unless stated otherwise.
Coconut Oil Mask & Egg Wash
Ingredients: Coconut oil, eggs (duh)
Coconut oil is a lifesaver. My mum spent a year in India as a nurse when she was in her twenties and, according to her, the women in the village she was in doused their entire bodies in this stuff. I tried this and, well, it made me greasy. So, no thanks. But it was amazing for my hair.
My hair only reaches my chin but I still use two heaped tablespoons of this for Maximum Oiliness; you might want to adjust this amount depending on how much hair you have, how damaged it is and how oily you can stand being.
Coconut oil comes as a solid, so melt your desired amount of coconut oil in the microwave until it’s a liquid and spread it from the roots to the tips of your hair. I leave it in for 24 hours (if I’m sure I’m not going anywhere – it looks pretty disgusting. Overnight will be fine, I’m just an overachiever).
But it’s oil!!!! It sticks!!!!! Follow it with an egg wash to avoid any gross oiliness post-shower – the protein in eggs will cling to the oil and break it down (or something, I don’t know, I’m an art student, ask someone else).
The egg wash is worse, but bear with me. Beat two eggs in a bowl and spread the mixture throughout wet hair. Leave it for 10 minutes and then rinse using LUKEWARM water. If you use hot water, the egg will cook and you’ll end up with scrambled egg in your hair. And in your shower. And it’ll clog your drain. And your bathroom will stink of eggs for a month. Just use lukewarm water.
When you’ve rinsed, shampoo and condition as normal to make sure the oil is out, as well as the smell of the egg. Your hair will feel crazy soft.
- Coconut oil (300ml): €3.99
- 6 pack of eggs: €1.05
Ingredients: 1-3 bananas, whole milk or coconut milk, honey (optional)
This one isn’t as lengthy a treatment as the last, and doesn’t feel as gross! Well, it still feels pretty gross. Anyway.
Get between 1 and 3 bananas depending on the length of your hair (me and my bob use 1). Peel and mash the banana(s) in a bowl with a fork. Experts will say use a blender, but blenders are lame. Mash until there are no chunks.
Drizzle in whatever milk you’ve chosen while stirring until it’s the consistency of any regular conditioner – so kind of gloopy but it will still cling to your hair. Then, if you want, just add a dollop of honey, which is really moisturising.
Apply the entire mask over dry hair and leave it in for 25 minutes. During this 25 minutes you can take a bath, shave your legs, write that essay you’ve been putting off for weeks, call your parents, whatever. And whatever’s left, drink it!!!!! Do not attempt this with regular conditioner. After you’ve washed it out, shampoo and condition as normal.
Your hair will be left super smooth and glossy. Cool.
- 5 pack of bananas: €1.99
- Premier whole milk 1l: €1.05
- Coconut milk 400ml: €0.99
- Clear Honey 454g: €2.19
Ingredients: 1 avocado, 2 eggs, honey
You’re in luck!!! This includes a lot of the same ingredients as the other two hair masks, so that’s a bit of money saving. This one is great for fighting frizz.
Mash an avocado in a bowl, then beat two eggs, pour them in and mix it all together. Then dump in a tablespoon of honey and spread it throughout your hair till it’s coated. Leave it in for 25 minutes, relax for a bit and wash it out, then shampoo and condition as normal. Technically you can eat this one, too. Can you eat raw eggs or will you get a life-threatening illness?
Ingredients: 1 avocado, honey, plain organic yoghurt
Tagline: Like the one for your hair, except on your face! And with yoghurt. But it feels so nice and it smells great and you’ll feel like a changed person. This is super good for dry skin.
Back to the old grind, my friends, mash that avocado using the mashing skills you have perfected by now. Pop in a tablespoon of honey and another of yoghurt and mix it until it’s a paste, spread it across your face and relax for 15 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and ask the person who’s closest to you to feel your face. It’ll make you both happy.
- Killoween natural yoghurt 125g: 69c
Banana & Porridge
Ingredients: 1 banana, 1 apple, lemon juice, honey and cooked porridge
I have huge pores!!!! It sucks, and this one allegedly cleans them out and lifts your skin. I haven’t actually tried this one, but I’m dying to (I just need to get over the idea of putting porridge on my face).
So more mashing. Mash a peeled banana and half an apple (minus the core) in a bowl and add a teaspoon of lemon juice and 4 teaspoons of honey. Mix in some cooled porridge and spread it all across your face, leave it there for 15 minutes then wash it off and you’ll feel (and smell) amazing.
- Apple (6 pack): €1.99
- Jif squeezy lemon juice (55ml): 95c
So, there are some cheap and easy DIY hair and face masks to keep you feeling great without breaking the bank. Enjoy.
I'm Caoimhe, a 2nd year Contemporary Visual Culture student and I like face masks and the sun (not the newspaper).