Whatever your hair-type, there are ingredients you’ll find in your own kitchen to give it a natural boost. The experts give us some ideas on how to turn limp locks luscious. Eggs, yogurt and honey are, at first glance, all components of a tasty breakfast – but they also happen to be hair treatment ingredients, and affordable, all-natural ones at that. And they’re not the only ones. Did you know, for instance, that the oils in avocados more closely resemble our own skin’s oils than any product in the beauty aisle does? Or that the mild acidity in lemon is an effective – and gentler – alternative to chemical-laden products? Next time your locks need a lift, save money by using one of these kitchen fixes.
For all hair types
‘The [raw] egg is really the best of all worlds,’ says Janice Cox, author of ‘Natural Beauty at Home’. The yolk, rich in fats and proteins, is naturally moisturising, while the white, which contains bacteria-eating enzymes, removes unwanted oils, she explains.
To use: For normal hair, use the entire egg to condition hair; use egg whites only to treat oily hair; use egg yolks only to moisturise dry, brittle hair, Cox says. Use 1/2 cup of whichever egg mixture is appropriate for you and apply to clean, damp hair. If there isn’t enough egg to coat scalp and hair, use more as needed. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse with cool water (to prevent egg from ‘cooking’) and shampoo hair. Whole egg and yolks-only treatments can be applied once a month; whites-only treatment can be applied every two weeks.
For dull hair
Styling products (as well as air pollution) can leave a film that both saps moisture and dulls shine – but dairy products like sour cream and plain yogurt can help reverse this damage. ‘Lactic acid gently strips away dirt while the milk fat moisturises,’ says Lisa Belkin, author of ‘The Cosmetics Cookbook’.
To Use: Massage 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt into damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, followed by cool water, then shampoo hair as you normally would. Treatment can be applied every other week.
For itchy scalp
To fight flakes – brought on by poor diet, stress and climate, among other factors – try a lemon juice and olive oil mixture in your hair. ‘The acidity in lemon juice helps rid your scalp of any loose, dry flakes of skin, while the olive oil moisturises the [newly exposed] skin on your head,’ says Cox.
To Use: Mix 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons water, and massage into damp scalp. Let mixture sit for 20 minutes, then rinse and shampoo hair. Treatment can be applied every other week.