About Mayonnaise Hair Treatments

by Sava Tang Alcantara

Control those curls with a deep-conditioning mayo treatment.

Attractive girl with curl hair on abstract background image by Andrejs Pidjass from Fotolia.com

Mayonnaise hair treatments were popular in the 1950s as a cheap, effective way to deeply condition the hair. During the 1970s a return to homespun remedies such as herbal hair shampoos, hair rinses and the like brought this old standby back into favor. Learn more about how to doll up at home for far less than you would dole out at a fancy hair salon. And this is not just for dolls; guys can benefit from a mayonnaise hair treatment, too.

Identification

It was common in the 1950s to use commercial mayonnaise, but mayonnaise is easily made at home from products that you probably already have on hand in your kitchen: olive oil and egg yolks. There are several variations of the mayonnaise hair treatment, but these two main ingredients are always included.

Function

If you are like most people, your hair takes a beating from environmental factors such as drying wind and sun and an accumulation of styling products such as gels or sprays. Many hair styling products contain alcohol and can be very drying and damaging to hair follicles.

Over time, hair can become visibly dry and damaged. Regularly conditioning the hair with a mayonnaise hair treatment or other conditioner helps protect the hair from heat and styling stress and helps repair it.

Making mayonnaise from scratch is not difficult, although it takes some time. Lightly beat an egg yolk in a large mixing bowl and drizzle in 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, using a hand mixer to whip it until it forms light foamy peaks: mayonnaise.

Apply to clean, freshly shampooed hair and massage through thoroughly. Cover with a plastic bag. Leave on for at least 20 minutes, then rinse and style as usual. Of course, the shortcut is to apply about 1/4 cup of commercially made mayonnaise. Either should provide similar benefits: deeply conditioned hair for pennies per treatment.

Benefits

The egg yolk contains a form of protein that is commonly found in commercial hair shampoos and conditioners. Used either as an egg shampoo or in a mayonnaise hair treatment, the protein from the egg yolk temporarily fills in gaps in the hair shaft, making the individual micro layers of the hair lie flat, giving the hair a fuller, shinier appearance.

Considerations

Most commercial hair conditioners contain chemical compounds that can irritate your eyes or skin. These compounds include a category of chemicals called quarternary compounds and include benzalkonium chloride, cetrimonium bromide and quaternium 18, according to the Environmental Health Agency of Nova Scotia (see Resources), which has organized a health guide for consumers. By making a mayonnaise hair treatment, you can save money and also condition your hair free of any potentially harmful chemicals that can irritate the skin or scalp.

Warning

As with any home treatments, if you are allergic to the ingredients of mayonnaise, do not use this as a hair treatment. An alternative is to use jojoba oil with lavender essential oil. Essential oils are extracted from flowers, plants and herbs. Both jojoba and lavender essential oils are easily purchased at most health food stores and online.

Photo Credits

  • Attractive girl with curl hair on abstract background image by Andrejs Pidjass from Fotolia.com

About the Author

Sava Tang Alcantara has been a writer and editor since 1988, working as a writer and editor for health publications such as "Let's Live Magazine" and "Whole Life Times." Alcantara specializes in health and fitness and is a certified yoga teacher and personal trainer. She does volunteer work regularly and has taught free public yoga classes in Santa Monica, Calif. since 2002.