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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valencia

My sim­ple go too home­made deep condish con­sists of a jar of banana baby food, cocoa pow­der (my hair loves choco­late), grape­seed oil (or whichev­er works for you), and hon­ey. I try to do this week­ly but if not then bi-week­ly. If I need to give an added boost to my hair I will add greek yogurt to this mix. My hair is soft, shiny, and very man­age­able after­wards. It is also easy to wash out with­out los­ing what you just put in.

Kristen

Thats a great Idea! What type of tex­ture is your hair?

AB

It helps to sieve your Avo­cado or banana mix­tures after mix­ing, with a very tight sieve, to avoid bits in your hair. Bet­ter yet, use a smooth­ie mak­er and blend it to per­fec­tion. Tried and test­ed, no bits guar­an­teed! :)
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Tiffany
I have used egg in my hair with great suc­cess, per­son­al­ly. I have used it with a tiny bit of mayo and it keeps my hair frizz free for days. I have tried banana, but it didn’t make a huge dif­fer­ence, and I have an avo­cado in my hair right now as I type this, do this will be inter­est­ing. I don’t think there is one size fits all when it comes to food for hair. Everyone’s dif­fer­ent and I sug­gest try­ing the­se diy hair treat­ments at least once to see if it works for you. If I may add… Read more »
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[…] to read all the good reviews and pos­i­tive infor­ma­tion on avo­cado use on nat­u­ral hair.I found this link to be the most help­ful not only for avo­cado, but for egg use too( empha­sis on doing your rin­se […]

Pseudonym
Egg + coconut oil gives me dreamy curl def­i­n­i­tion and weighs down my curls a bit so wash n’ gos last a lot longer (b/c they’re strands are less like­ly to tan­gle up). Also, myth about rins­ing: hot show­er water will wash out the egg before it has time to cook.  BTW, you guys post a lot of contradictory/conflicting arti­cles on this site. There’s one rec­om­mend­ing eggs and avo­ca­dos and then you have this. Then we’re sup­posed to do pro­tec­tive styles, then we’re not. Use x, y, z oil for gor­geous hair, then x, y, z oil are use­less. A bit… Read more »
Adrian

are you 4c? and is this before you wash, after or con­di­tion?

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Genese
I came across this arti­cle yes­ter­day and head­ed straight for the super­mar­ket for an avo­cado because I just dont do bananas!!! But I love being able to make my own hair prod­ucts and spend less doing so! I’m a new nat­u­ral and we ALL know how easy it is to become a PJ ????.….  I mixed: half an avo­cado 2 tbs of coconut oil/olive oil/honey 1 egg (I for­got to add mayo) Applied it after my apple cider rin­se and slept with it overnight. Washed it out with my trader Joe’s tea tree tin­gle sham­poo (only my scalp) and let the con­di­tion­er sit on… Read more »
Caramel

Plan­tains can be used instead of bananas, esp the very ripe ones. My hair seems to love it.

Whitney Cummings

I tried about two weeks ago, an alvo­cado, olive oil (1–2 table­spoons) and pep­per­mint extract (about 3–5 drops) and let sit with heat for about 20–30 min depend­ing on dam­age and I sware by the stuff! I use my nutribul­let to blend it because yes the chunks the first time were hor­ri­ble for mix­ing into my hair so in some spots it felt like noth­ing got to it. How­ev­er this last time was amaz­ing!! Also last­ed about 2 weeks with no frizz and super soft!

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