Archive for June, 2010

A few months back I ran out of one of my favorite hair products. It was a delicious smelling, expensive, deep conditioner that left me scented of coconut long after the last bits of shampoo were washed from my hair. But I could not go to the store to grab more of that fabulous stuff as both time and money were short. ‘What can I do?’ I wondered. Because really–something needed to be done to pamper my dry, thick and tangled mane.

When I was a kid I used to spend hours perusing the books in my mother’s collection. One of the books that fascinated me was one published in 1971 called Organic Make-Up by Mary Gjerde. This book was my intro to kitchen cosmetics. I used to grab the honey and the oatmeal and make facial masks according to Gjerde’s instructions. I remember loving the idea that we could use stuff in the kitchen to make ourselves look good.

I think that spirit never quite left me because on that day all those months back when I could not buy something for my hair, I got the notion that I would go in my cabinets and make something instead. Now, as I headed to the kitchen part of me was going ‘This is crazy’ and another part was going ‘No, it’s not. This is what our grandmothers and their mothers did.’

So I got ta thinkin,’ what were the ingredients most likely doing all the work in that product anyway?’ Two things stood out: eggs and coconut oil.

Coconut oil is one of my favorite things to have around the house. I have one jar of it to cook with and another jar that is strictly for my skin and hair. Not only does the oil smell fantastic but it is a wonderful conditioner, my hair and skin glow under the spell of the coconut. So using it for a conditioner was a no-brainer.

Since eggs are protein rich I figured they would  feed my hair. As I reached into the fridge for them, I Suddenly remembered my Aunt Izola doing my hair when I was a child. (I had so much hair and I was tender-headed to boot). I remembered sitting between my Aunt’s knees as she parted my hair and put mayonaise in it before she washed it. What is the main ingredient in mayonaise? Eggs. I knew I was on to something because my Aunt is indeed a wise woman and at 96 she still has a full head of hair. After doing some reserach I found that folks have long used eggs to strengthen their hair, make it more manageable and give it some sheen.

So I grabbed one egg, scooped some fresh aloe gel from a leaf and added coconut oil to this. I blended it up and left the mixture on my hair for about 20 minutes. Wow! My hair was soft, easy to detangle and ready to be washed. I would have kept this little discovery to myself if it weren’t for Bianca. Bianca is a fabulous poet and painter who asked me about natural hair care recently. Since Bianca is exploring the vegan path, she took the egg out of the recipe and substituted banana. I loved the idea of using banana because quite frankly egg, coconut oil and aloe don’t smell so good. So this is the updated hair conditioner recipe thanks to Bianca:

Recession Proof Hair Conditioner

  • Two eggs
  • Gel from a large aloe leaf (you decide how much to use depending on how much hair you have)
  • 1/2 Ripe banana
  • Coconut oil

Mix this up in the blender, put it on your hair. Either use a shower cap to cover it or just let it marinate. 🙂 Wash this out after 20 minutes or so. Enjoy!

What is your favorite kitchen cosmetic?

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