Healthy hair is characterized by looking and feeling soft, smooth and silky. Certain elements in our routines (like excessive heat styling) or environmental factors (like dry winter weather) can have damaging and drying effects on our tresses.

During my high school and college years, my sisters and I had a blast experimenting with different homemade do-it-yourself hair treatments. Over the years, I have determined which ones work best for making my hair soft and silky smooth.

Olive oil treatment

Put about 2 tablespoons or so (Depending on hair length, use less or more.) of olive oil in a small bowl. There are a few options for the oil: you can warm it up and do a hot oil treatment, or just use it at room temperature. I usually just use it at room temperature. I personally don't like the smell of olive oil, so I add essential oils. I add a drop or 2 of lavender and mix it together as much as I can. Then, I pour small amounts of the oil into my hand; and, starting at the middle of my hair, I pull the oil through it like I am wearing a ponytail. I completely cover my hair and massage my scalp. Then, I clip my hair up and put a shower cap on.

Olive oil contains emollients, which are lubricants that soften and moisturize. I usually do this treatment in the evening and leave the oil in for 30 minutes to an hour. Some like to keep it in overnight, but it tends to be messy. After 30 minutes, I shower, shampooing and conditioning as usual, sometimes shampooing twice. Your hair may be bit oiler than usual, but afterwards you should notice significantly softer and smoother hair. I use this method 2 or more times a month.

Coconut oil treatment

The coconut oil treatment is very similar to the olive oil treatment. Just instead of using olive oil, use coconut oil. Use about 2 tablespoons or so. Place it in your hands and let your body heat melt it. The smell of coconut reminds me of a tropical paradise, so for me there is no need to add essential oils. Cover your hair in the oil, and put a shower cap on. Leave the oil in as long as you like or for at least 30 minutes. I use this method a few times a month as well as the olive oil treatment. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer and can be used for many uses over your whole body.

Apple cider vinegar rinse

Dilute a ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water into a spray bottle and bring it into the shower with you. After your normal shower routine, mist it on your entire head. Let sit for a minute or so. Then rinse it out with cold water. This rinse works to remove build up from products, like hairspray, and restores your hair's pH. Only use this rinse once or twice a year because it is very intense on hair due to the acid content.

Yogurt and honey mask

Take 3 tablespoons of thick, plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons of honey, and mix them together. This treatement can be a bit sticky and messy, so I'd recommend the three other tips first. But if you want to give this a try, apply the paste all over your hair and keep it in for 20 to 30 minutes. Then rinse your hair with warm water. Feel free to shower and shampoo or condition afterwards. Yogurt restores moisture to the hair while also helping with dry, itchy scalp or dandruff. Honey adds shine.

And my last tip-avoid mayonnaise and banana hair treatments. They both are difficult to wash out, leave after-scents in the hair and don't moisturize as well as olive or coconut oil.

Enjoy your incredibly soft, silky and smooth hair after these natural homemade tricks!

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