Scalp food! Om nom nom nom!

Lately I’ve received a lot of questions about hair masks. I’m not sure what’s spawned this recent interest in hair masks, but I think it may have something to do with all the Pinterest insanity that seems to encourage the use of anything and everything as a “beauty trick”. I’ve seen one particular pin floating around proclaiming the wonders of scrubbing your face with baking soda for an other-worldly glow. Now, I’m not sure if this is actually harmful in any way but for some reason I just don’t feel comfortable using the same substance to scrub my face that I use to get cat barf stains out of my carpet.

So how about the hair? What’s good for it? Well, let’s be clear about one thing- It’s easier to treat hair from the inside-out than the outside-in. Your hair needs protein and a healthy amount of natural oil and fat to stay vibrant and strong. Working out and a high-protein diet are both huge benefits to your strands. As for the outside-in method, look to the following: avocado, mayonnaise, and any combination of edible oils including olive oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, and coconut oil (oh, and I recently had a friend try vegetable oil with allegedly incredible results). Now, I’ve also been asked a couple times lately about straight-up cracking an egg over your head and using that as a mask. Have I tried this? Nope. Do I plan to? Not really. There’s something particularly eewwy about that to me. And I always have a fear of not getting it entirely washed out. If I don’t get all the coconut oil washed out of my hair, it’s just oil. But left-over egg in my hair … I couldn’t tell you how that would turn out. However, considering how high eggs are in fat, protein, and cholesterol (all things that your hair craves), I could see this turning out well. I’d perhaps mix the egg with something else like Greek yogurt. That’s another good one- Greek yogurt. It’s great for the face, too.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when I speak specifically of using oils as hair masks, I’m not suggesting using something like MoroccanOil as a deep-conditioning mask. Products like MoroccanOil these days are huge, with every major cosmetic company coming out with their own versions of “magic hair oil” as I call it. Keep in mind, however, that these products (like Bumble&bumble Hairdresser’s Oil and Kerastase’s Elixir Ultime) are first and foremost styling products as opposed to treatments. They’re highly potent and typically silicone-based anti-frizz potions that work to smooth your hair and give it luster, but their main purpose is not necessarily to mend your split ends or fortify your tresses over time. Or, such products may claim that they’ll improve hair health, but don’t be mistaken- the effects are temporary. You will ultimately need a trim no matter how much “restorative oil” you use over the months.

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This is why I go to actual food items and pure oils for hair treatment masks, because they’re the most heavily-armed with “scalp food”. You always have to ask yourself when you’re looking into trying a new hair product, “What is the purpose of this? Is it to feed my hair, or to style my hair?” You certainly wouldn’t style your hair with mayonnaise, but you can try “feeding” your hair with it. Your hair won’t grow strong because of enough gel or anti-frizz serum, but you can certainly style your hair with these things. Now, some products claim to be able to both “feed” and style your hair, but I’d stay skeptical. The amount of actual “fruit oils” in a bottle of Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition shampoo pales in comparison to the amount of detergents, foaming agents, and silicones it contains. This is yet another reason why I like natural shampoos, because they contain a plethora of natural oils, making them more likely to actually be able to clean your strands and nourish them at the same time.

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My favorite kind of styling oil to use these days is Davines’ Oi/Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion, and for a conditioning mask I like using TIKI Tahiti Tiare Monoi oil. It smells like vacation and is completely natural, so you can even slather it on your skin. You can buy it at Mother’s Market or Whole Foods, along with pretty much every other kind of natural oil you can imagine.

Let me know if you have used anything mentioned or not mentioned above with awesome OR terrible results! Hair fiascos are my absolute favorite, so you know I wanna hear about it! xo, MR

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