Homemade Hair Relaxer

This homemade hair relaxer recipe conditions the hair and makes hair very soft and manageable, very good for loosening the curl pattern of natural hair; it can be used as a deep conditioner after a sulfate free shampoo wash.


4 Ripe Bananas (very ripe is best)

4 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons castor oil

4 tablespoons coconut cream

2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1 teaspoon lavender oil

1 teaspoon rosemary oil

6 tablespoon water (you will add more or less according to consistency)


1. Blend banana until smooth-ensure that there are no chunks. Put banana through a sieve even if it looks smooth. If not you may find that after the mixture sits on the hair for a while little clumps of banana will be left on the hair and it becomes a pain to wash out.

2. In a blender put banana puree, honey, castor oil, molasses, coconut cream and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth, adding water if it gets too stiff. Add water a little at a time.

3. Add lavender and rosemary oil to your mixture, which should be creamy in texture.

4. Put in a container and cover.

5. Part hair in sections and add to the root of hair and then work your way down to the ends. Make sure that all the hair has gotten the mixture. It goes on better if the hair is damp. Mixture should not be dripping.

6. Cover with a plastic cap and leave on for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Note: I have tried this recipe or a variation several times when my new growth is overwhelmingly thick and people actually assumed that my hair was just relaxed. One variation is to use coconut or olive oil instead of castor oil. You can omit the molasses if you do not have any and still get great results. The banana is the key to the softness you will feel (make sure that it is smooth).

Another alternative is to add a cup of your favorite deep conditioner (mine is Motions CPR, add any of the oils (coconut, castor or olive), add honey, apple cider and banana and you will get amazing results. Frankly you can play around with this recipe and create several. Have fun.

Put leftovers in fridge and heat up in a sauce pan when you are ready to use it again.


  • Tracy said:


  • sha-sha said:

    do you deep condition your hair after or wash it with shampoo?

    • Brenda said:

      I wash my hair first. This is like a deep conditioner, rinse properly and then style after.

  • Ima umana said:

    Will unripened bananas work as well?

    • Brenda said:

      Hi Ima,
      I doubt it. The ripe banana has the properties/nutrients to make hair smooth and silky, the unripe version would be stiff and starchy. Not sure how that would work out for the hair.

  • Melina said:


    So when people thought your hair was relaxed where you straightening with heat from a blow dryer or flat iron? I’m growing out my Japanese thermal straightener and I have sworn off heat for now I am in desperate need of something natural to relax the kink of my hair. I have done a coconut cream and lime mixture three times no difference yet. I will try this mixture.

    • Brenda said:

      Hi Melina my hair is relaxed. I do not use heat if I can help it on my hair. The results from these natural relaxers vary greatly.

  • Martina Young said:


    I am very interested in this natural relaxer. My question is if you use chemical relaxers what is the result of you going to this natural relaxer or is it even recommended. I saw that you stated that you do use relaxers, but are you just using the natural relaxer. The reason I perm my hair is because it is thick and to make it a little more manageable, but I would love to use something natural if it was available to do this if possible. Thank you for your comments. I have found your website to be very interesting and will be trying some of your finds on my hair.

    • Brenda said:

      Hi Martina,
      The natural relaxer is said to loosen the curl pattern of the hair, not a whole lot but enough to make it a bit more manageable. I use no-lye relaxers, Affirm was my main relaxer for years but I have decided to start tex-laxing my hair (not fully breaking down the hair bonds) and I use ORS Olive Oil relaxer for that at home. There are some natural suggestions in this article that will guide you an idea of the natural offers in the market Alternative To Relaxers For Straighter Hair or Defined Curls

  • HattieTottie said:

    I am African American and I used to straighten my hair with a relaxer. I used the Shielo Antioxidant Leave In Protector after washing and conditioning and it helps keep the moisture in my hair. After using a blowdryer to straighten, it comes out soft and straight.
    Now I am natural and still use the Shielo Antioxidant Protectant on my curls. They are soft after adding it to my wet hair and it retains the curls and coils I have.

  • Cleopatra said:

    Hi, I came across your website from google. I had a quick question, I was wondering if it would still be ok without the “Lavender oil” and the “Rosemary Oil” and also the “Coconut Cream”. I don’t have either of those but have everything else, can I still go ahead with what I have and get good results?

    Also, I recently just did the Organix Brazilian Keratin Treatment, here at home, just like 2 days ago. Would it be ok to go ahead and do the homemade relaxer or should I wait till the Keratin treatment fades away from my hair, which would take 30 days according to the instructions on the box.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Cleo, you can omit the three and your hair will feel soft, for super softness add some of your regular conditioner to the mix and leave in for a couple of hours.

  • Isabella said:

    Hi, How long does this relaxer last i have very curly thick hair and when i straighten my hair i want my hair to be less fluffy with this mixture help my hair to be more straight and soft. And how often will i need to do this???

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Isabella, the results for this homemade concoction varies. Some readers have complained that it does nothing for them and that it is a glorified conditioner. I tried it on my new growth and it really felt soft, there was no discernible ‘straightening’ just a general feeling of manageability. Maybe you should try it if you have the ingredients handy and then see if it works for you. You can share your findings with us.

    • Hannah said:

      Do you know if there are any alternatives to apple cider vinegar? I have an extremely sensitive scalp and vinegar is the last thing I want to put on my head.
      Also, Do you think that the Cassia Obovata treatment will work well if I combine the two together? I’m making the Cassia Treatment from scratch.
      Onel last thing (!): Do you think that this relaxer will work better than the Cassia? Or should I try one first, then the other?
      I just want my hair to be longer, smoother and straighter. I tryed most other DIY Homemade ‘relaxers’, but they just seem to keep defining my curls, which is hell when i try to do my hair – even putting it up in a bun takes about 20 minutes!
      ?????WHAT SHOULD I DO?????

      • Brenda Barrett said:

        Hi Hannah,
        Your Cassia Obovata treatment can work well with apple cider vinegar or any other mild acid, essential oils or herbal teas. It also works very well with yogurt. The Cassia is a great conditioner just like this recipe. How either treatment works depends on your hair type. If your hair is extremely curly this recipe may just make your curls defined and not give you the straight effect you are looking for. I think you should give both the cassia treatment and this a go and see how well it works for your hair.

        • Georgina said:

          Hi Brender can I go ahead with the olive oil,honey,banana,with out the remaining and still get a good result?

  • Eugenia Hubbard said:

    What are ripe bananas? Is it necessary to use the exact the ingredients, that were listed above?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hey Eugenia, bananas are a long curved fruit that grows in clusters and has soft pulpy flesh and yellow skin when ripe. No it is not necessary to use the exact ingredients above, you can play around with it, most of the ingredients above combined will make the hair super soft. It all depends on your hair though, some people have used this and claimed their hair became wavy, it softened their curls. Others say it didn’t work at all. Try it and let us know.

  • Marianne Delicieux said:

    I am going to try it. I hope it works for me.

  • verissa said:

    Hello Brenda. This is really wonderful stuff. I have a question,how long can you preserve it? What is the alternative for apple cider vinegar? For how long can it stay on hair ? I am pure African,and would like to know if there may be other ingredients i would need to add for super results?
    Thanx a lot?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Verissa,
      Thanks for stopping by. This homemade concoction will last up to three weeks or more if you put it in the refrigerator. I think the ACV in this recipe would soften the hair, I am not comfortable recommending anything that I have not tried or researched, not sure how it would all work together without the ACV. For super results maybe you could check out this article Alternative To Relaxers For Straighter Hair or Defined Curls There are some products on the list that promise fabulous results without chemicals.

  • Desiree said:

    Im afraid of not being able to get the bananas to the right consistency. So can I use a deep/leave in conditioner instead as the base and still add the other products to it?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Yes Desiree, I understand the fear with the bananas, first time I did it I had stuff in my hair for days because it wasn’t smooth enough. Let us know how it turns out for you with the conditioner. Tell us if it really made your hair straighter.

  • Luci said:

    My trichologist uses nonchemical relaxers. Is this the same thing. I got the idea from howtomakeblackhairgrow.com. A website about black hair.

  • Ronnell Armbrister said:

    How long does the leftover mixture last?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Up to three weeks but it doesn’t look so nice after sitting in the fridge for awhile. Just do enough for one batch and then just whip up a new one when you are ready.

  • Joanne said:


    How do you maintain your hair after. That’s my biggest issue.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Joanne,
      Is your hair relaxed or natural? The after would depend alot on your hair and how you usually comb it.

  • Kirsten said:

    Um, do you know if there are any alternatives to apple cider vinager? Could you use any vinegar?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      White distilled vinegar works just as well as apple cider vinegar. The main difference is that raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains enzymes and minerals that other vinegars might not have because of the processing that they are put through. I am not comfortable recommending any other vinegar but ACV for this recipe though because I have no idea how it will work.

  • Rachel said:

    Hi Brenda, I am interested in making this relaxer but can I use avocado instead of bananas?

  • frederique said:

    I just want to thank you for all these great concoctions. I tried this one 3 times and U’re right the key here is the banana! I am 18 weeks post relaxer and this saved my life. I use 2 bananas,the half of an avocado, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and some conditionner (aubrey organic GPB mixed with Shea Moisture purification masque).Thank you again

  • Renatta said:

    I am transitioning to natural hair. How often should you do this treatment?

  • daveatria said:

    hi i was wondering can i replace the olive oil for vegetable oil since i don’t have any?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Daveatria,
      Most vegetable oils that we buy for cooking purposes are heavily processed. I am not too keen on you using it to replace the olive oil.

  • daveatria said:

    also to is it possible to make my own heat protect cream or oil?

  • Veronique T&T said:

    Hello Brenda! I just finished applying my first homemade natural relaxer. I got all the ingredients expect the rosemary oil..no one had it! So I used the coconut oil instead. I wanted to try leaving it on all night, but I would just try for 3 1/2 hours.

    I started researching ways to relax my hair naturally recently because my last hair dresser combed my hair before relaxing! Yes! I still have a burn in my scalp, more than a month after!

    So I am going to try these homemade natural relaxers for a while!

    I am taking record of the process…will post when i am done achieving the results need for me!

    Thank you Brend!

  • Veronique T&T said:

    Hello Brenda,

    I had let the relaxer on my hair for 3 hours. It did take out some of the kink! However, as my hair is thick at the roots I may have to leave it on longer, maybe over night. It does have some areas that came out straight ..but it was soft and manageable.

    Can I try again this Friday to leave it on over night? As it will be only 6 days since I did it. I have to learn to dry it without heat now. I stopped using heat to dry my hair more than a month ago.

    But I still get some breakage, just not as much..because i used egg yoke twice before relaxing last weekend.

    Let me know if i can relax my hair again this Friday.

    Thank you

  • Vanessa said:

    Hello there.

    I just found this forum/ site and it has given me some food for thought…

    I’ve gone completely natural for about a year and a half now. I no longer shampoo my hair and I only use heat (blow dryer) on my hair maybe 3-6 times a year. For the most part, I’m a wash and go kind of girl. Lately, however, I’ve been sort of bored with my hair and have been looking for a bit of a change. If I try this natural relaxer is it going to permanently straighten my hair? Also, if I don’t want it to be completely straight, just to loosen my curl pattern a bit, how long do I leave it in for and can I style it as per usual afterwards? (in other words, do i need a new regimen to maintain/ style my hair now?)

    I was also wondering how often this method is recommended to be used.



    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Vanessa,
      It won’t permanently straighten your hair. Some persons have reported that it does not straighten their hair or loosen their kinks at all.

  • fatima said:

    i don’t have coconut cream,, so i made it without it,, is that ok?

  • Sher said:


    I am natural, I know you have relaxed hair, but I was wondering do you know if this is temporary and will I be able to see my kinks ever again?!?!

    Thanks so much, and your hair looks soo nice!

  • laddy said:

    it dosent work πŸ™

  • Shan said:

    Good morning,

    I plan to experiment with this homemade relaxer soon. I was wondering if you leave it in or wash it out after the processing time.

  • joanna said:

    hey my hair is wavy …….i do not want to use any chemical so will the above mentioned will work. I want my hair to look like as if I have straightened them

  • joanna said:

    and what is molasses and what is the alternative for coconut cream.
    and I am prone to cold n cough so i wont be able to keep it for so long not more than half an hour will it give the same result?

  • joanna said:

    hey I am prone to cold and cough…….if I only apply this mixture in my hair strands and keep it for 1 hour will I get the same result

  • shirlie said:

    I would like to ask you if natural hair relaxer would burn on hairs or what. I always bought relaxer box from any store because i used to burn my hairs. It sorted of somewhat burned to breath is look like cooing all the times. I just need to know , please dont hesitate to email me back soon.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Shirlie, this relaxer will not burn you. Some people find that it does not even relax the hair but acts as a good conditioner.

  • AvisB said:

    Hi, this sounds interesting. I have fine hair with grey around the hairline which is very coarse. It also seems to grow out a lot quicker than the rest of my hair and needs relaxing a few weeks before the rest of my hair.

    Would this treatment soften the regrowth hair around the hairline? As the hair is so coarse it is making my fine relaxed hair break as it is not quite ready for a retouch (approx another 3 weeks away). Many thanks.

  • Allyssa said:

    Hey do you have to store it in the refrigerator?

  • Allyssa said:

    Hey can I use baby food bananas

  • Carolyn Williams said:

    Hey Brenda, I have almost all of the ingredients to make this relaxer except for the honey, molasses, coconut cream and the essential oils. I have coconut oil and olive oil. Will this relaxer will still give me great results?

  • Grace Peralta said:

    Looking for an alternative to soften my afro I stumble into ur website. I’m a cosmetology student always looking for natural solution to cake for me & my children’s hair which all have natural unprocessed hair. While it’s beautiful to embrace ur natural locks it’s hard to maintain. I can forsee I’m gonna have fun with this mixture for which the oils & ingredients are stuff already i use home. Thanks in advanced for ur recipes keep the knowledge flowing & God Bless.

  • pat green said:

    Hi. I am transitionjng to natural. I’ve had relaxers since I was 10 years old (40 years). i have no idea what my real hair looks like. I’m concerned about breakage and not ready for a big chop. Would this be helpful to transition?

  • mimi said:

    thanks for the tips and also avocado will help too, in place of banana

  • Selena said:

    Hi there. I have a couple of questions. Do you have to have the Castor Oil, Lavender, and Rosemary? I have everything else on that list except for those 3, will I still get the same results or can I just use Coconut Oil or Olive Oil? Thank you for your time and patience.

  • Rochelle said:

    Can I add dye to this, like black walnut powder?

  • Mide said:

    How does the ACV looks like and where can we get it from

  • Eva said:

    Hi Brenda, how should I care for my hair after I use this relaxer, which by the way worked very well except it was a bit runny:)? I don’t like dousing my hair in oil.

    I live in Australia which means products for afro hair are far and few between. Is coconut oil good or should I use the castor oil? Something else?

    Finally, how often would you recommend I relax my hair?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      It worked??? πŸ™‚ Finally somebody who has a positive result!
      Coconut oil is good. You can do this every week or every other week. How does your hair feel after you do it?

  • breanna said:

    What alternative could u use other then bananasim allergic

  • Olivia said:

    Hi I see people complaining about the banana still in hair after days… You can replace the bananas with the banana puree( baby food… I hope it will help.

  • Leslie said:

    My Step daughter is an 8yr old African American and her hair is very dry and coarse. I myself am not African American so I am trying to learn how to care for her hair. I have used the homemade relaxers and conditioners and her hair looks gorgeous she has the most beautiful lil curls and you can actually comb your fingers through it but it seems like as soon as we rinse her hair and it dries we are right back where we started with her hair looking dry and it mads up(it looks as if she just got out of bed or like you took your hand and just rubbed in circles and knotted it up). She is getting to the age where she wants to fix her hair herself, and sadly her hair is unmanageable for her πŸ™ Please ANY and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Tameika said:

    Hi. I did the coconut cream relaxer. It changed my curl pattern. How can I get my natural curls back? Will my hair go back to the original state? Tight curls?

  • Kevonia said:

    Has anyone used this yet? How does it come out? Would like to try this

  • Juan said:

    What is the best product I can use to block out humidity? And how can I get my hair to stay straight for ever?

  • Andrea said:

    This recipe is pure garbage because I tried it in my hair and it made even worse. My hair became dry rough and impossible to manage. Pure frustration and, I regret to have tried this garbage on my hair!!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Andrea,

      Sorry it didn’t work for you! Did you add a little conditioner to the mixture or you just used it as is?

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