Never have you ever tried a mayonnaise hair mask? There are a few strands of thought on this do-it-yourself mixture for hair moisture, frizz reduction, strength, growth, and yikes, lice treatment.
A mayonnaise hair mask is touted as an alternative hair treatment that can potentially leave your strands soft and smooth. While primarily used for people with wavy and curly hair, this hair mask could offer potential benefits to others, too.
A quick internet search of mayonnaise hair masks will reveal numerous supposed benefits that will help improve the health of your hair. While some of these claims might have some backing, others are unfounded.
To understand the potential benefits of this hair mask, it’s important to first learn about its ingredients. Mayonnaise is classified as an oil. It primarily consists of canola or soybean oil, along with egg yolks, vinegar, and lemon juice. Some brands may have a few additional ingredients, such as olive oil and Dijon mustard.
In theory, mayonnaise can make your hair a little oilier since the product is primarily made of oil. This could potentially benefit curly and wavy hair types, which usually lack sebum (natural oil) in the middle and ends of the hair cuticle. In contrast, naturally straight hair doesn’t usually need any added oils because sebum can make its way easily from the scalp throughout the rest of the hair.
Reduced frizz is a natural side effect of proper moisture balance. Mayonnaise can potentially make your hair less frizzy from humidity and excessive dryness. However, you will also need to practice other frizz-free hair habits, such as reducing your dependence on heated tools and patting your hair dry instead of rubbing it or using a hair dryer.
According to some beauty websites and blogs, mayonnaise also purportedly strengthens your hair and protects color treatments. However, there’s no scientific research backing these claims. Mayonnaise is primarily an oil, so there isn’t enough of other ingredients (like egg yolks and lemon juice) to make such an impact.
Some people also believe that a mayonnaise hair mask can make your hair grow. It’s thought that an amino acid in mayonnaise called L-cysteine does this trick.
One study on menopausal women with hair loss looked at the role of nutritional amino acids, including L-cysteine. Researchers found that this amino acid is important in building keratin, a type of protein, in the hair, which makes it strong and helps it grow. Still, the study focuses on diet and supplemental forms of L-cysteine, not on the application of the amino acid directly to the hair via mayonnaise. The lack of scientific research leaves unclear whether a mayonnaise hair mask can actually promote hair growth.
Other claims about a mayonnaise hair mask include its ability to treat head lice. The theory is that the thickness of the mayonnaise can suffocate head lice, similar to other alternative treatments such as butter or margarine. However, none of these treatments are backed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you do put mayonnaise in your hair for the treatment of lice, it may make the lice inactive temporarily, but it doesn’t kill them, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Before you run out to Publix for the next BOGO on mayonnaise, #AskKarlinesSalon about the products we recommend to condition and care for your hair.