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How to Repair Damaged Hair with Items You Already Have at Home

These inexpensive at-home tricks will remedy your brittle, damaged, dry locks, leaving you with gorgeous, healthy hair.

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Repair damage with an avocado

Here's how to repair damaged hair with a common fruit you most likely have in your kitchen. Mash a ripe avocado (pit removed) with one egg, then apply this home remedy to wet hair. Avocados are rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids, and minerals that will help restore luster to your dry hair, says Stephen Sanna, expert colorist at the Pierre Michel Salon in New York City. Leave on for at least 20 minutes, then rinse several times. Repeat once a week for damaged hair and once a month for healthy hair. These are the absolute worst things that you can do to your hair.

knife slicing butter on a white boardFortyforks/Shutterstock

Massage in butter

Try this home remedy: Treat dry, brittle hair with a small amount of butter for a glossy shine. Massage it into your dry hair, then cover your hair with a shower cap for about a half hour. Shampoo as usual, and rinse all the butter out. Doug Macintosh, a senior colorist at Kieran McKenna Salon in New York City says that if you try this technique you might want to first melt the butter, let it cool, and skim the fat off the top to clarify it. Here are some more ways to repair damaged hair if you scorched it in the sun this summer.

Olive-oil in a bowl with black olives on the sideMaria Uspenskaya/Shutterstock

Condition with olive oil


You can create a homemade hot oil treatment with olive oil, says Macintosh. Warm up half a cup of olive oil (do not boil it), and then rub it into your hair. Cover tresses with a plastic bag, then wrap everything in a towel. Let this home remedy do its thing for 45 minutes, then shampoo and completely rinse.

two cups filled with tea on a tableAmarita/Shutterstock

Rinse with tea


You may think of tea as a sore throat remedy, but you can also use it to give dry hair a natural shine. Use a quart of cooled, brewed tea as a final rinse after your regular shampoo, Macintosh suggests. Tea can enhance hair color, so make sure to use a tea that works with your hair color. Blondes should use chamomile tea; black tea may darken their tresses. Brunettes should use black tea to enhance shine and enrich color. This is what your hair is trying to tell you about your health.

Apple-cider-vinegar in a bowl with glass of vinegar and an apple in the backgroundMadeleine Steinbach/Shutterstock

Restore shine with apple cider vinegar

An apple cider vinegar mist can restore luster, Macintosh says. "The vinegar neutralizes the hair's pH and closes the cuticle," he explains. "It's like doing a clear gloss at home." He suggests mixing one part apple cider vinegar to 10 parts water in a spray bottle and misting on clean, damp hair once a week. Since the mixture is slightly acidic, you don't want to overdo it.

woman cracking eggs into a bowlNarattapon Purod/Shutterstock

Make a egg mask


Strengthen fragile hair with an egg mask. Jet Rhys, owner of Jet Rhys Salon in Solana Beach, California, suggests whisking half a cup of full fat yogurt, three tablespoons of honey, and one egg yolk and applying it to your hair and scalp. Cover it with a shower cap and leave on for 15-30 minutes before shampooing out. These are 38 secrets your hairstylist won't tell you.

Almond-oil in a jar with bowl of almonds and scattered almondsSea Wave/Shutterstock

Treat with natural oils


Available at health food stores, olive, avocado, coconut and sweet almond oils are all wonderful elixirs for damaged hair. If your hair is thick and heavy, coconut oil works well. Macintosh suggests applying small amounts of the natural oil until your hair is thoroughly covered. Top off with a shower cap and warm towel for about 30 minutes, then rinse and shampoo your hair out.

Sandalwood-oilAmyLv/Shutterstock

Try jojoba oil

Jojoba oil is similar in composition to the body's own sebum, so adding a few drops of the oil to your hair is a natural way to condition it, says Adam Livermore, an international educator for Oribe Haircare and a celebrity hairstylist. Mix a few drops with sandalwood oil, rub the mixture between your palms, then smooth it through the ends of your dry hair for instant sleekness and a way to curb and condition brittle, flyaway hair.

Woman-washing-hairPhotoMediaGroup/shutterstock

Condition naturally when swimming


Before the beach or after a swim, protect hair from harsh elements or chemicals with a homemade rinse of 1/4 cup apple cider mixed with 3/4 cup water to help cleanse hair, recommends Susie Galvez, author of Hello Beautiful: 365 Ways to Be Even More Beautiful, then follow with conditioner. These are hair washing mistakes you didn't realize you're making.

woman wearing a towel, looking in the mirrorArtem Varnitsin/Shutterstock

Wrap wet hair dry


Instead of rubbing your hair after you get it wet, wrap up your damaged hair, and let the towel absorb the moisture for a few minutes. Livermore explains you want to avoid excess rubbing or friction to avoid damaging your hair. "It's better to squeeze and blot your hair with a towel," Livermore says. This helps protect against further split ends.

Humidifier pumping out steamYury Stroykin/Shutterstock

Use a humidifier at night

Your home heating probably keeps the air very dry, especially in winter, Macintosh says, and that can dry out your hair. Putting moisture back into the air will help your hair from becoming more dry and damaged. Follow these healthy hair tips to prevent damaging your hair in the first place.

woman walking and drinking coffeeNatalia Grabovskaya/Shutterstock

Let your hair down


If you usually wear your hair in a ponytail, take it out for a few hours a day to give your hair a break. "Don't pull your hair tight," Macintosh says. "You will start to lose hair at the front hairline, it's best to wear your hair loose when you can." Macintosh advises wearing your hair down as much as possible and when you do wear your hair back, secure it with a fabric hair tie. Avoid these everyday mistakes that are aging your hair.

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Medically reviewed by Jessica Wu, MD, on October 29, 2019