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If you'd like to skip the pricey salon hair masks, you may have an alternative already in your refrigerator. Put that tuna salad classic, mayonnaise, to a new use as a hair conditioner. Mayo contains three hair-healthy ingredients: eggs, vinegar and oil. Plan a spa night on your next free evening, and treat yourself to a healthy hair treatment that fits any budget.
Mayonnaise can benefit almost any hair type, but it's especially helpful if you have dry or damaged hair. Vegetable oils, such as those in mayonnaise, can penetrate the hair shaft, according to a 2005 study published in the "Journal of Cosmetic Science." Egg yolks provide both fat and protein, recommends Janice Cox, author of "Natural Beauty at Home." Girls with curls may also find that mayo treatments keep their curls soft, glossy and frizz-free. If you have oilier hair, especially if it's quite fine, you won't need deep conditioning treatments as often, and too much mayonnaise can leave your hair feeling heavy.
Applying mayo as a deep conditioning treatment is easy, but not the most attractive process. Lock yourself in the bathroom, or save this for a girls night in, to avoid being spotted with your head smelling like salad dressing. Work 1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise into your hair, applying it from the ends to the roots. Bundle your locks on top of your head, then cover with a plastic bag or shower cap. Leave the mayo on your hair for 15 minutes to one hour. You can even sleep in your mayo treatment, but be sure to use a securely fitting shower cap and cover your pillowcase with an old towel.
Get It Out
When you're ready to rinse, use cool water at the sink or over the tub. Don't rinse in the tub or shower to avoid slipping and falling on your newly conditioned hair. Shampoo and condition with your daily conditioner and cool water. Cool water increases shine and reduces the risk of cooking the eggs in the mayonnaise, especially if you've opted for a homemade mayo instead of store bought.
You can add other pantry and refrigerator staples to your mayonnaise mixture. Yogurt, avocado and honey are all hair-healthy additions to your homemade hair mask, recommends Cox. You can also enrich your mayonnaise with coconut oil, found to be the most beneficial for your locks in a 2003 study in the "Journal of Cosmetic Science." These ingredients are packed with essential fats, protein and nutrients to make your scalp and locks healthier.