Although I will not be parted from my commercial hair conditioner, I would have to be blind to fail to see the increasing trend of naturals wanting truly natural products and even raw ingredients. I generally say that if you are looking to give nutrition to your hair, you are probably better off eating the food first rather than using it in your hair. However, if you are fascinated by raw natural ingredients, here is a small science based guide:
Honey is essentially very concentrated sugar with very little water. The sugar in honey will naturally draw in water, making it a powerful humectant. How do kitchenicians use honey? I have seen honey used as a pretreatment before shampooing sometimes in combination with coconut oil. Users report that this leaves hair very soft post shampoo. Another method is to add honey to hair conditioner and the resulting effect is reported to be increased moisture to the hair.
Avocado is a fruit that is rich in fat which makes it ideal for conditioning hair. Most users of avocado recommend processing it in a blender to make it a smooth and non-clumpy mixture which is easier to wash off after use. I have also seen reports of adding coconut milk to the avocado to further lighten the mixture. Avocado has a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats that could be beneficial for conditioning hair. If you are not prepared for the messy nature of using avocado, an avocado butter may be up your alley.
It is right here on BGLH that I first read that women were using banana or banana baby food specifically for hair conditioning. This was sometimes mixed with oil to add slip to the natural conditioner. As a fruit, banana is rich in quite a few vitamins including pantothenic acid which is closely related to panthenol and that can be absorbed by hair. Its soft texture does lend it quite well to spreading as a conditioner on hair, but much like avocado, it should be completely blended into a non-clumpy mix or you will be picking it out of your hair for hours.
4. Why Not Papaya?
I have seen quite a few natural companies adding papaya extract as an ingredient. However, I think that this is just a clever bit of marketing which plays to the desire of naturals to see natural ingredients. Papaya is one ingredient that could actually change your hair texture. Have you ever purchased meat tenderizer powder? Well, that normally contains papain, an enzyme found in papaya that breaks down keratin (the protein in meat as well as in hair). In science labs, we often perform what we call papain digests to break down proteins for analysis. Many naturals prefer to leave conditioners on hair for fairly long periods and routinely add heat. These conditions are very likely to actually make the papaya even more active enzymatically. In my view, if you like papaya and want to keep your curls and coils as they are, eat it instead of putting it in your hair.
Ladies, have you tried any of these foods on your hair? Share your results!