It's wintertime, which – in a cruel twist to many – means both lots of precipitation AND harsh, dry winter air.
The result is dry skin and hair. Bummer. The good news for skin is NTB products are super hydrating and protective of the skin, and, if you need a little extra, adding a humidifier to your bedroom can help keep your largest organ hydrated.
What's a gal to do about brittle hair, though? Enter, my favorite DIY mask.
- It's 3 ingredients (or 2, if you want!).
- The ingredients are ordinary kitchen supplies (no need for special items like clay, which I do have sitting around, but I hear is not totally normal.)
- It's incredible.
- The recipe takes a bit of pre-planning. Trust me, don't skip it.
THE BANANA, HONEY, and EGG/AVOCADO MASK
Y'ALL. This mask is amazing. It made my hair so very, very, very soft. So soft! Oddly, it also made my hair feel somehow more elastic, bouncy, and resilient. I'm super in.
Plus, it's customizable! If you do a lot of protein treatments on your hair, you can leave out the egg-or-avocado to avoid over-doing the protein. However, if this is a rare, treat-yourself event, adding egg or avocado rounds out the benefits (the protein will help fight frizz, too!).
BANANA: The banana is an amazing fruit. I learned from my dad that the original adage is "a banana-a-day keeps the doctor away;" the new version is clearly the doing of the Apple Lobby. A whole page could be (and has been) written about the many body benefits of the banana, but I'm going to stick to the wonders it does for hair for now.
Bananas are chalk-full of good stuff: Natural oils, carbohydrates, potassium, vitamins B6, C, and A, biotin, magnesium, riboflavin and manganese (whew). This wealth of nutrients moisturizes strands and bolsters hair elasticity, making it more resistant to breakage and split ends, which is a saving grace to damaged locks. Banana also makes the hair super, super soft, shiny, and manageable. Banana may also help with hair growth and dandruff. Basically, there's no reason not to try some banana in your hair. Well, except the part about it being difficult to get out, but we'll deal with that below.
HONEY: Honey is a humectant, which means its molecular structure attracts water from the air, and then retains it. The result? Ultra-hydration and healthier strands. Honey also contains antioxidants (which ward off damage and promote health of the scalp, roots, and hair), vitamins and minerals that give it extra healing powers, is antibacterial and antifungal (soothes scalp issues like dandruff), and helps treat and prevent hair loss.1
EGG: A miracle food (thank you, hens!), both to eat and as a beauty treatment. While the yolk is moisture-rich and full of protein and fats, the bacteria-eating enzymes in the white helps to dissolve oil build-up. If your hair is particularly dry and fragile, you can use the egg yolk alone to reap maximum moisturizing benefits. Alternatively, if you suffer from an oily scalp, you can stick to only whites to reduce buildup.
Note: As hinted at above, there is such a thing as too much protein for your hair! To avoid over-saturating your hair with protein (which can cause breakage), use yolk treatments no more than once a month.
AVOCADO: First things first, avocado is delicious, and your hair should be honored to share any with your stomach. As for science, avocado contains twenty plus vitamins and minerals that promote strong, healthy, smooth hair, and promote scalp health and hair growth. Some of these goodies are vitamin B, C, E and K, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants (fight free radicals and anti-ageing).2
I've convinced you, right? This is going to be great.
I highly recommend this treatment, egg or no egg (avocado or no avocado). In fact, the only thing I recommend more is a blender. Banana chunks in your hair = bad. They will stick, and you will smell like bananas foster, which might be nice at first, but it certainly won't be a good long-term strategy.
To eliminate banana lumps, peel the banana, freeze the banana, thaw the banana completely, and then throw it in a blender (or food processor) and puree until smooth. If you stick with the fork method, don't say I didn't warn you. I have to admit, though, I can't say I'd mind if my hair smelled like this treatment (sans egg) for a while.
- Peel one ripe banana
- Freeze peeled, ripe banana
- Thaw peeled-and-frozen ripe banana
- Place thawed, ripe, peeled banana in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of Raw Organic Honey. Blend.
- (Optional) Add one raw egg or 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado. Blend.
- Apply to hair from roots to tips. Cover with a shower cap and let sit for 20 minutes. Do not allow the mask to dry completely, or you may have trouble getting it out.
- Follow with non-toxic shampoo and conditioner of choice.
How did this recipe go for you? Did you do protein or no?
1. Al-Waili. (2001). Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey on chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Eur J Med Res, Jul 30;6(7):306-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11485891
2. Dreher, M. L., & Davenport, A. J. (2013). Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 53(7), 738–750. http://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2011.556759