This simple hair treatment conditions the hair, leaving it feeling like silk. It is made with easy to find, local ingredients. Economic too—it is an inexpensive hair treatment!
1-4 tablespoons of mayo or vegan mayo
1-2 drops of an essential oil or absolute
Mix the essential oil or absolute with the mayo. Thoroughly wet the hair, and apply from the scalp to the tips of the hair, and leave it in for 20 minutes to 1 hour. (While you are waiting for the hair treatment to work, you may want to pin up your hair and use a hair towel or a shower cap to keep your hair out of your way, while you relax or run errands around the house). Rinse well with lukewarm water. Shampoo hair afterwards if needed. Use one to a couple times a week for best results. Make this fresh each time, or make a small amount (enough for a few uses) and store in the fridge. Use it up quickly, within a few weeks. (If you make this in advance be sure to label it well so no one accidentally eats it!).
Mayo and vegan mayo:
The amount of mayo used depends on the length of your hair. If you have short hair then use only 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of mayo. If you have medium length hair, use 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of mayo. If you have long hair, try 3 to 4 tablespoons.
Mayo contains a carrier oil, eggs or egg yolks, and an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar. All of these ingredients are excellent for the hair. Carrier oils are emollient and provide nutrients. They are conditioning and help hold moisture to the hair, and make the hair feel soft. Eggs and egg yolks provide additional vitamins, and also soften the hair. Egg yolks contain lecithin, which is nutrient rich, and it is the emulsifier in mayo. Vinegar and lemon juice help remove residues from the hair, provide vitamins too, and may help some hair conditions such as dandruff. Many mayo formulas also contain small amounts of sugar (or a different sweetener) and salt, and may have other seasonings. Try to find a brand that doesn’t have too many other additives.
Vegan mayo does not contain eggs. It contains other kinds of protein instead of eggs (and some brands may contain a thickener).
Different brands of mayo contain different kinds of oil. Personally I prefer mayo made with oils like olive oil or grape seed oil, but any kind of oil will condition the hair to various degrees (different oils will have different effects on the hair. Experiment and see which brand of mayo your hair likes the best! Or make your own mayo and use it in this treatment!).
Use no more than 1 to 2 drops per treatment (essential oils are very concentrated, so please research them in depth before use. A single drop is anywhere from several ounces to usually pounds of plant material). Like carrier oils, different essential oils have various properties, and your hair may like certain essential oils over others.
Lavender is wonderful for all hair types (it has a balancing effect on very dry or very oily hair). If your hair is on the oily side you may like using the citrus essential oils or lemongrass. If you have dry hair, roman chamomile essential oil is lovely. If you have dandruff, try a drop or two of tea tree. Or if you really want to treat yourself, add a drop of your favorite scent or an exotic scent: such as a drop of cocoa absolute or jasmine absolute. Hair holds scent very well, so this treatment will make your hair smell great!
Some of these essential oils are inexpensive (citrus, tea tree, lemongrass, and some types of lavender), some are moderately priced to a little expensive (high altitude bulgarian and high altitude french lavenders, roman chamomile, and cocoa absolute. Some of these used to be inexpensive to the low end of moderately priced, but have dramatically risen in price over the past couple years, especially for very high quality essential oils), and some are extremely expensive (jasmine absolute). But even if you use some of the more costly essential oils in this recipe, since you are using only a drop or two, the recipe still ends up being way less expensive (and far more effective) than many commercial hair treatments (and no fillers or potentially irritating, and potentially toxic synthetics!).
You can probably find most of these essential oils and absolutes locally in health food stores, except for the cocoa absolute (jasmine absolute is often offered in a diluted concentration in health food stores, it is mixed with a carrier oil to reduce the high cost. It is perfectly fine to use a diluted absolute or essential oil, you just may have to add a few more drops to the recipe). Personally I've found that online vendors usually have higher quality essential oils than the ones found in many health food stores, but you may be able to find a few good quality essential oils locally.
After using the conditioning treatment, you may or may not need to shampoo your hair. In general, people with very dry hair, thicker, or coarse hair may not need to shampoo it out, while people with oily or fine hair may need to. But it really depends on your hair. My hair is very fine, and balanced most of the time, but there are times it can get both dehydrated and oily. I’ve found that I’ve always needed to shampoo out natural hair treatments like my easy deep conditioning hair treatment, or hair masks (no matter the ingredients). But some people are the opposite and do not need to follow it with a shampoo (even if their hair is very oily or fine). Experiment and see what works best for you!
If you hair is extremely dry or dehydrated, you may want to add more a touch more carrier oil to the recipe: try adding ¼ teaspoon of extra carrier oil at a time. Certified organic, extra virgin, cold pressed, unrefined olive oil is a good choice and a favorite of herbalists for hair care, but some people may like using something a little more exotic like certified organic cold pressed, unrefined argan oil.
Please visit Earth Alkemie: my all natural, eco-friendly, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup line.
(Earth Alkemie will be carrying a few raw ingredients and containers like essential oils in the near future).
About The Author:
Li Wong has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. She has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001, and is currently a student of Jeanne Rose’s Aromatherapy Studies Course. Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception. She is the owner of Earth Alkemie, an all natural, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup company.
For more information on environmental issues, Eco Living, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, and herbalism check out: Solarkat’s Eco Blog. http://solarkatecoblogspot.com