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 :P 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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