By Christina of The Mane Objective

I’m a huge fan of DIY when it comes to hair care. Not only does it allow you to save tremendous amounts of money, but you have more control over what ingredients go in (or on) to your hair. Plus to me, it’s fun to experiment, blend, and test out. If you peruse the web, you can find tons of recipes for everything from deep conditioners to styling gels. And for the most part, they’re pretty awesome. But there are those recipes (especially for deep conditioning and repairing) that make some claims that can seem pretty lofty…at least for food. We’re going to explore four of the most popular food masks here.

Oat Flour

Oat flour masks, conditioner mix-ins, and more are touted across the interwebs as an instant hair thickener.

How it’s Done: Mix in a few tablespoons of oat flour (I tried Bob’s Red Mill) into your favorite conditioner, or make a pre-poo mask with oat flour, and some of your favorite oils (or water).

What it’s Supposed to Do: Allegedly, the lipids and the protein in oat flour bind to the keratin in your hair, making it thicker and shiny.

Does it Work?: Sounds good, right? Simple, inexpensive, and miraculous. Unfortunately, this food additive works in theory only. On the molecular level, the particles of protein within oat flour are too large to penetrate the cuticle of hair. Translation: the protein won’t stick to or thicken your hair. All the good stuff goes down the drain. However, a product with hydrolyzed oat flour or oat protein has an altered molecular structure that allows for penetration and promotes thickening of hair. Spare yourself, and leave the oat flour in the kitchen.

If You’re Going to Try it: Be prepared to do at least two or three washes or co-washes. Walking around with little brownish-white granules in your hair probably isn’t such a great idea.

Banana

Even Dr. Oz’ fan site promotes the banana hair mask as the miracle that will moisturize and reverse damage to hair. And let’s face it, who doesn’t at least trust Dr. Oz a smidge? Besides, how terrible could a banana be?

How it’s Done: Pulverize a banana in a mixer, magic bullet, food processor, whatever. It is recommended to mix in supporting ingredients like honey, oils, and/or yogurt.

What it’s Supposed to Do: Moisturize, nourish, impart shine, soften hair, and control scalp issues like dandruff.

Does it Work?: In theory, I could understand how all of the vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes could work to nourish and soften hair. In all of my research, I found no evidence to refute any of the claims made. For now, I’ll file this one under yes. However, it may not be worth the hassle.

If You’re Going to Try it: You may be better off with something pre-mixed, like baby food bananas. In my experience (and there are a plethora of people on the web who share the same story), what seemed like a great idea became an impossible task. Despite how well whipped my banana mask was, I ended up with bits of banana stuck all up and through my hair. Like, hopelessly stuck. Stuck as in even a fine-tooth comb and fingernails couldn’t help. Stuck as in I had to wash my hair several times over the course of two days to get all of it out. Of course after so much post-washing, any benefits I might have gained had long gone down the drain.

Avocado

This creamy green fruit has found its way onto many a head of hair over the years, and is a touted ingredient in tons of moisturizing hair products.

How it’s Done: Mash an avocado into a paste, and add enough water (or anything you like, really) to make a creamy mask.

What it’s Supposed to Do: Moisturize, soften and shine hair.

Does it Work?: In one word — YES. The oils in avocados are one of the few that can penetrate the cuticle and actually moisturize hair. Therefore, the ability to soften and moisturize hair doesn’t rest only on how avocado coats the hair, but the moisture will remain after the mask is rinsed down the drain.

If You’re Going to Try it: Make sure to use a soft, ripe avocado. They are easier to work with in terms of making a paste for a mask. Alternatively, if you’re a bit concerned about mashing avocados in your hair, you can opt for avocado oil and reap similar benefits.

Egg

Eggs are famously high in protein, sulfur and biotin. Protein and sulfur are the building blocks of hair, and we all know the role biotin plays in hair growth, health, and strength. Knowing this, why wouldn’t you scramble a few eggs on your scalp?

How it’s Done: Whip up a few eggs, and apply to scalp. Alternatively, you can combine with other ingredients to potentially pack a bigger punch. A common mix-in is avocado.

What it’s Supposed to Do: Strengthen, shine, and prevent breakage.

Does it Work?: Remember what we said about oat protein? Just because you slather it on your hair doesn’t mean your hair is going to soak it up like a sponge. You can swaddle your strands in slabs of beef, and get no protein out of it. If the protein doesn’t have the necessary molecular weight, your hair can’t use it. As far as the sulfur content goes, there may be a little benefit there. Lastly, there is no scientific evidence to support that the hair or scalp can absorb biotin. In my opinion, you’d be better off eating the egg than making a mask of it.

If You’re Going to Try it: Be sure to rinse your egg mask with cool water – not warm or hot. I’d hate for you to have to walk around looking like a toddler threw their breakfast eggs in your hair.

What hair mask recipes have worked wonders for you…or fallen short of their promises?

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

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66 Comments on "Banana, Avocado & Egg Masks: Good for Hair or Just a Hassle?"

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Avril

This article was funny and love reading the ladies’ stories

I haven’t tried any of these! Like one poster said, if it is not broken don’t fix it.

🙂

Tiffany

I used to use avocado mixed with olive oil, but I’d have to wait until the avocado is brownto mash it up because the pulp is very hard to get out of your hair.

Elise Lin

I’m afraid to put avocado and banana in my hair, for the reasons mentioned. What I’ve used for food on my hair is full fat plain yoghurt with honey (honey has been heated since I heard it otherwise could lighten the hair a little). It works for me. Maybe it’s not the protein but the pH level of the yoghurt and the fat. It’s nice as a facial as well, and for the tummy 😛 Maybe it’s gonna be even better when I add some (avocado) oil.

Lillian Mae

Egg >_<
Never…
Again…

NuNatural

I use combination of avocado, honey, and coconut oil as a conditioner after a castile soap wash and olive/carrot oil prepoo. It works wonders on my hair, literally restoring the body that has been lost due to 20 years of over-processing, heat and color damage. It keeps very well when refrigerated. If you are going to try this I suggest parting the hair into section and applying with relaxer/color/tint brush. Leave in for 30 minutes and rise. I find the avocado rinses much easier than the banana conditioner.

luminous

LOL! These stories are hilarious. I LOVE the hair smoothie I make: banana, avocado, egg, honey, & coconut oil. I mix it in a bowl with a hand blender. I apply it to dry hair and leave it on for 2 hours with a shopping bag over my hair. I have never had any problems rinsing it out. I don’t even use shampoo on my hair. I cleanse with apple cider vinegar rinse and terressentials mud wash afterwards. My hair had never been more moisturized or shinier. **Kanye shrug**

Treasure0806

I love doing the egg/mayo/honey. One time, I thought it’d be more effective if I warmed the mixture in the microwave. DUMB mistake! I had so many egg pieces (that had cooked) in my head that I washed for a good 20 minutes and it still wasn’t fully out. So embarrassing!

JustLeavingaComment

ROTFL!

Vonnie

I also do the egg/mayo/honey DC concoction. Definitely had a few times where I to pick out egg from my hair lol. I whip it thoroughly and rinse with cool water and have had no problems since. The other mixes……yeah not worth trying. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

merry

i eat avocado. would not put it on my hair. more benefits to the overall body will come from actually ingesting the avocado.

NikNak

Moreover, Avocados aren’t cheap for me to be rubbing it up in my hair when there are products specifically formulated to do a better job and would end up cheater.

LBell

+2…avocados cost too damn much and taste too damn good. When it comes to hair products I’m all about cost-per-use and unfortunately $1.50 (or more in my neck of the woods) is too expensive. If I make it to a Trader Joe’s (nearest one is 2 hours away) I can sometimes get avocados for 75 cents each but even THEN I’m not putting one on my hair! lol

Bananas on the other hand…I’ve never tried it but I’m wondering if you puree the heck out of it in a blender would that make it easier to remove?

For the Love of Curls

I was thinking the same thing, “avocados cost too damn much and taste too damn good”! I will be using the oil but not the fruit. Thanks anyway.

Landry

+1 I absolute love avocados….to eat. I have never tried to use one on my hair. I like to keep my hair regimen as simple and mess-free as possible.

I no longer use clays or ayurvedic powders for this reason. And…my hair is thriving!

Nicole H

Good to know about the avocado. I was wondering, is just as beneficial to use avocado oil? Or is it best to use the fresh stuff…. if I can avoid mashing a fruit in my hair … I WILL! *shivers at bad memories*

meowmix

Hi I’ve done both and will cosign with the article. Avocado oil as a prepoo has made my hair soft and moist.

Antoinette

I tried that banana in the hair thing once. Rinsed my hair couldn’t see it cause I was at the kitchen sink; it was so soft and curly. Until I went in the bathroom and had chunks of banana all throughout my hair.I also had to wash my hair over and over to get it all out. I wish there was a simpler way to do that. Right now I make a mask of: egg, olive oil, mayonnaise, and honey. That works; and it’s easy to rinse out.

Nic

Bananas. Never. Again.

Inf

I too learned the hard way that avocado and banana diy’s aren’t worth the clean up time. Avocado oil is great though and I use it in my prepoo all the time.

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