How to Make a Homemade Banana Hair Mask

flat lay of bananas, small olive oil, honey in glass jar with dipper, and comb on table

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes - 1 hour
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5-10

While it may seem strange to cover your head with a smushed banana concoction, banana hair masks are in fact great for reviving dry, damaged hair. A ripe banana has high moisture content and is loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, B6, C, and D, calcium, and potassium. These nutrients help to strengthen the hair while also leaving it soft, shiny, and more manageable. An added benefit is the moisturizing effects that not only benefit your hair but also your skin. This means your homemade banana hair mask will also condition your scalp, helping to prevent and control dandruff.

Below are two variations of an easy DIY banana hair mask, both of which can be great additions to your hair care routine. Using ingredients you have on hand makes this recipe simple, and using bananas that you might consider too ripe to eat is a great way to eliminate food waste.

Treehugger Tip

The amount of each ingredient used will depend on the length and density of your hair. The amounts listed are just a starting point. Start with a smaller amount to avoid food waste.

What You'll Need

Tools

  • 1 blender or fork
  • 1 bowl

Materials

  • 1 to 2 ripe banana(s)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (if not honey)
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp honey (if not olive oil)

Instructions

  1. Blend or Mash the Bananas

    hands mash banana in white ceramic bowl on wooden cutting board

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Blend or mash until smooth. Blending will take 1-2 minutes. If you use a fork, make sure all the lumps are worked out. It is helpful if you start mashing the banana with your hand while removing it from the peel.

  2. Add the Oil or Honey

    hand adds olive oil to mashed banana mix in white bowl gif

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Once the banana is a smooth consistency, add the oil or honey depending on your mask of choice. Blend or whisk for another 10-30 seconds. The honey version will create more of a paste consistency.

  3. Apply the Mask to Your Hair

    woman applies banana hair mask to dry hair with Christmas lights in background

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Separate your hair into at least four sections. Apply the paste from roots to ends; if your hair tends to be curlier, apply from ends to roots. If you want the benefits the mask can give to your scalp, make sure you apply it there as well.

  4. Cover Your Hair and Wait

    back of woman wears shower cap with towel wrapped around it while reading book

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Use a shower cap to cover hair and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Covering hair with a towel will help the nutrients penetrate the hair by keeping it warm and opening the hair shaft.

  5. Rinse Hair

    two hands use brown comb to run hair mask through hair in tiled shower

    Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

    Rinse hair thoroughly with cool to lukewarm water. You may need to use a wide tooth comb to make sure all of the banana is out of your hair. Debris left in hair can cause irritation.

Benefits of Oil and Honey

flat lay of bananas, olive oil, wooden dipper, honey, and comb on wooden board

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

The addition of oil and honey to your hair mask are for more than just thinning the mixture and making it easier to apply. Honey has long been lauded for its antibacterial and fungicidal properties. It is also moisturizing and can regulate the pH of the skin making it great for the hair and scalp.

Olive oil is another great moisturizer for the hair. The phenolic compounds within the oil also make it antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antiviral. The combination with bananas have the potential to make a powerfully hydrating hair mask.

Variations

There are multiple ways you can vary these recipes and still have the same benefits. Some of these ingredients will even give the mask additional advantages.

Change Up The Oils

a variety of oils (coconut, olive, jojoba) in glass containers on table

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

The olive oil can be substituted for other conditioning oils such as coconut oil or avocado oil. Combining all of them together is also an option. Keep in mind that the more oil you have in the mixture the runnier it will be. The oil can also cause the floor of the shower or bathtub to be slippery so use caution when rinsing out your hair.

Add Avocado or Aloe

bananas, glass jar of honey, jar of olive oil, and avocado cut in half on table

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Fruits such as avocado or the aloe plant are also known for their moisturizing properties. Avocados are rich in protein, fat, and have many minerals. The oils from avocados have the ability to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin to really condition the scalp. In addition, it stimulates the hair follicles improving blood circulation.

Aloe contains anti-inflammatory components making it useful for the treating of scalp conditions. Like avocado, it improves blood circulation in the scalp and can help promote hair growth. Aloe can also leave fibers in the hair, so it's important to blend it well and make sure it is thoroughly rinsed from the hair. Straining the mixture will also assist with removing the larger pieces.

Add Yogurt

hand with wooden spoon adds dollop of thick yogurt to mashed banana hair mask

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Adding yogurt to the mixture will add to the conditioning elements of the mask. The proteins in yogurt also help to keep the hair healthy and strong. For vegans, coconut milk can be used as it contains a fair amount of coconut oil. Coconut milk also possesses iron and potassium. These nutrients will reduce hair breakage.

View Article Sources
  1. Kumar, K.P. Sampath, et al. "Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Banana." Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, vol. 1, no. 3, 2012, pp. 51-63.

  2. Gorini, Ilaria, et al. "Olive Oil in Pharmacological and Cosmetic Traditions." Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 18, no. 5, 2019, pp. 1575-1579., doi:10.1111/jocd.12838

  3. Barve, Kalyani and Dighe, Apurva. "Hair Conditioner." The Chemistry and Applications of Sustainable Natural Hair Products, 2016, pp. 37-44., doi:10.1007/978-3-319-29419-3_4

  4. Barve, Kalyani and Dighe, Apurva. "Hair Oils." The Chemistry and Applications of Sustainable Natural Hair Products, 2016, pp. 5-24., doi:10.1007/978-3-319-29419-3_2

  5. Muhammud, Adida, et al. "The Effectiveness of Coconut Oil Mixed with Herbs to Promote Hair Growth." The International Journal of Ethics in Engineering and Management Education, vol. 1, no. 3, 2014, pp. 27-30.