A hair mask is a deep conditioning treatment for your hair. It can help to restore moisture, strengthen strands, and diminish damage, among other hair health benefits. Manuka honey, a particular kind of honey that’s fairly young as a natural health remedy, can be used in hair masks to improve both the texture and appearance of your hair.
One of the wonderful aspects of at-home hair treatments is that you can use ingredients particular to your individual needs. Manuka honey can benefit all hair types and is especially effective when used in hair masks. Here, we’ll dive into more specifics about manuka honey, then explore honey hair mask recipes that you can whip up right at home.
What Is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and is a product of bees that pollinate the manuka bush. It’s a special honey variety because it’s a wonderful natural remedy for healing wounds and skin conditions, easing digestive discomfort, and even reducing cold symptoms like a sore throat.
Manuka honey has also become a phenomenon in natural skin and hair care products. As more people become aware of the innate benefits that manuka honey can provide, more recipes for DIY manuka honey health products are surfacing.
Benefits of Manuka Honey for Hair
Manuka honey has these five key qualities that can significantly improve hair health:
Honey and other forms of sugar are hygroscopic, meaning that they naturally have extremely low water content. But, hygroscopic compounds can easily absorb a high amount of moisture when exposed and unsealed.
Honey’s hygroscopic property is a reason behind its antimicrobial effects, too. Microorganisms generally die in environments with very low moisture content, so honey can also go for an exceptionally long time without perishing.
Manuka honey has anti-inflammatory properties, which can largely heal and reduce unpleasant side effects from an inflamed scalp. This is especially helpful for sunburned scalps or those with sensitive skin.
The antioxidant properties of manuka honey help minimize the effects of free radicals on the skin and hair. Free radicals can harm your health, from tissue damage to hair loss. Manuka honey hair treatments can help to reduce these effects for healthier hair follicles and improved hair health overall.
When a drug, cream, formula, or other form of medical treatment is antimicrobial, it means that it has the ability to fight infection. Infections are caused by the growth of pathogenic microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses. To help our bodies fend off infections that made us sick or cause skin conditions, antimicrobials can be especially helpful.
Manuka honey is a natural antimicrobial, giving it a massive advantage as an ingredient in homemade hair and skin treatments. With the capacity to stop an infection in its tracks, manuka honey can even be used in wound treatment to keep the cut, scrape, scratch, or blister clean.
The antibacterial qualities of manuka honey overlap with its antimicrobial benefits, but are worth expanding on nonetheless. Methylglyoxal, or MG, is the crucial antibiotic component of manuka honey. This compound is found in a higher amount in manuka honey than other honey varieties because of its high concentration in manuka flowers. MG’s effectiveness in curbing bacterial growth has led it to be considered as an alternative to preservatives in cosmetic products.
Recipes for DIY Manuka Honey Hair Masks
Manuka Honey and Coconut Oil
Combine 2 tablespoons manuka honey and 2 tablespoons coconut oil.
One of the most commonly used manuka honey hair mask recipes simply includes equal parts of coconut oil and manuka honey. Coconut oil is especially moisturizing for the scalp and can help reduce frizz, improving the overall texture of your hair.
Avocado, Manuka Honey, and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Combine 2 tablespoons manuka honey, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and one mashed avocado.
Olive oil is a fabulous source of antioxidants and can provide a major boost to hair growth. Coupled with avocado, which is full of healthy fats and oils to make your hair appear fuller and glossier, this mask will leave your hair soft and glowing.
Manuka Honey, Aloe Vera Juice, and Coconut Oil
Combine 2 tablespoons manuka honey, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 3 tablespoons aloe vera juice.
Aloe vera is one of the best, most simple solutions for easing burned, damaged, or irritated skin. So, it makes a great addition to any hair mask because it will effectively soothe your scalp.
Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil
Combine 2 tablespoons manuka honey and 2 tablespoons mafura oil.
Mufura oil has a similar effect on hair to coconut oil and has an extended shelf life
Manuka Honey and Jojoba Oil
Combine 2 tablespoons manuka honey and 2 tablespoons jojoba oil.
Jojoba oil is packed with vitamins and minerals to improve the health of your hair.
Tip: Add Egg Yolks
To give your hair an added boost of gloss and shine, add two egg yolks to any of the DIY hair mask recipes listed above. Egg yolks contain a whole host of vitamins to help your hair grow stronger and more beautiful, including iron, biotin, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
Instructions for Applying a Hair Mask
- Before applying your hair mask, first wash your hair with shampoo, then dry it thoroughly with a towel.
- Take an ample amount of the mask (a full recipe if you use the ingredient amounts listed above) and massage it into your hair. Create an even layer of the mixture through your hair; run your fingers through your hair to ensure to smooth the mask out.
- For the best, most lasting results, cover your head in a hot towel and wait with the mask in your hair for a minimum of ten minutes. The towel will help the mask reach your scalp and provide the maximum moisturizing effect.
- The mask may be left on for as long as 20 minutes. After that time, run cold water through your hair, then rinse the mask out of your hair completely.
The frequency at which use apply hair masks will depend on your hair goals (and, of course, how much time you have in your schedule for hair treatment!). Once per week is a good amount to aim for when you incorporate a hair mask into your regular hair care routine.
Manuka honey may not be the most mainstream ingredient at your local grocery store, but it’s gradually gaining its time in the spotlight as a natural health product. The benefits that manuka honey can provide for your hair are undeniable, between its remarkable hydrating effects, antibacterial properties, and antioxidant effects, among others. So, when you need to give your hair extra TLC, reach for a jar of manuka honey and create one of the luxurious DIY hair masks listed here. With the best manuka honey and organic ingredients, you’ll be left with soft, shiny, and voluminous hair, without ever having to book an appointment at the spa!