For effective, affordable hair care products, kitchen ingredients are at or near the top of many people's lists. Pantry and refrigerator staples such as olive oil and eggs are readily available, easy to use and effective on all hair types. The hair masks they make can be as luxurious as a spa treatment, and you can use them as part of a regular hair care routine or just once in a while.
As far back as ancient times, people have included olive oil and eggs in their hair care practices. Greek women often applied olive oil to their hair, and historian Victoria Sherrow writes that in Colonial days women made hair conditioner from oil and eggs mixed together.
Cal Orey, author of "The Healing Powers of Olive Oil," notes that olive oil will help protect your hair from environmental factors such as climate, chlorine, blow drying and heat styling. Eggs contain lecithin and protein, says Mary Beth Janssen in her book "Natural Healthy Hair," both of which help strengthen hair. She also points out that eggs blend well with other ingredients, such as olive oil, because they are an emulsifier and naturally bind things together.
Olive oil and egg hair treatments help restore hair's softness and manageability. Your hair will feel silkier and thicker, and you may notice it is less prone to stretching or breaking. Its improved smoothness will reflect light better than it did before the treatment, which will make hair shinier.
Different hair treatment recipes call for different amounts of olive oil and egg. Some also incorporate small quantities of other ingredients such as honey or vinegar, and others recommend adding a splash of water to make sure you'll have enough of the mixture to cover all of your hair. Simply apply the treatment to your dry, combed hair and massage it into your scalp, then cover it with a shower cap or plastic bag and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. After the time is elapses, rinse it out and shampoo and condition as usual. You might need more shampoo or an extra lathering to remove all of the egg and olive oil.
Because eggs are perishable, an olive oil and egg hair treatment does not store well. Only make as much as you can use at one time. Also, don't warm the mixture because the heat might cook or partially cook the egg. If you rinse out the hair treatment in the shower, use caution. The olive oil could make the shower floor slippery.
- Beautiful With Brains: Beauty History: Cosmetics in Ancient Greece
- "Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History"; Victoria Sherrow; 2006.
- "The Healing Powers of Olive Oil: A Complete Guide to Nature's Liquid Gold'; Cal Orey; 2002.
- "Natural Healthy Hair: Herbal Treatments and Daily Care for Fabulous Hair"; Mary Beth Janssen; 1999.