There's no shortage when it comes to weird things people put in their hair to try and clean, style or condition it, but does any of it work? Being devoted to providing a healthy, natural, vegan-friendly shampoo alternative, we looked into some DIY ingredients to provide you more information.
Have you tried any of these? Let us know your experience!
Like many ingredients, there are some pros & cons to using eggs in your hair. The premise behind such is that eggs contain a large amount of protein (roughly 3.5-6.5 grams per egg) which can rejuvenate hair, improving strength and growth.
The potential downsides come in a couple of flavors. First, depending on your hair, the proteins in the eggs may not be able to absorb into the hair. In that case, it’s not doing you any good. Additionally, people often make the mistake of rinsing an egg wash with warm or hot water (egg drop soup anyone?) which creates a goopy MESS.
Beer washes for hair have been around for many many years, and there is some decent validity to it. Mostly, the proteins found in the hops of beer can nourish damaged hair and scalp. The biggest downsides to beer washes come in smelling like a full recycling bin on a hot day, and the overall cost of it. Using a decent craft brew can easily set you back $50+/mo, where a high quality shampoo alternative will cost you substantially less. Besides, kicking back with a bottle of shampoo after a long day’s work is not really that appealing. We recommend you stick to drinking the beer.
Less commonly used, but still something you’ll hear of people doing from time to time, a Coke wash is another DIY internet solution to better hair. But is it? We don’t think so. Between the sugars and the high acidity of soda, this is something we would really avoid. Coca-Cola has a pH of approximately 2.4, making it one of the most acidic things you can drink. Hair care requires a pH of roughly 5.0 which is significantly less acidic than Coke will be.
Red Wine as a hair wash has gained some popularity in small circles over the last few years, and while there are a number of articles to be found on it, we couldn’t find any concrete evidence showing a positive benefit for such. In looking at it, we don’t necessarily believe there is a strong long-term benefit in washing with wine. Between the alcohol, sugar and low pH values, there is simply too much downside to wasting a perfectly good glass or bottle of wine on your hair.
Vinegar (including apple cider vinegar) is becoming a fairly common home remedy for hair washing (along with baking soda), often touted for fighting dandruff and fungus. While BS/ACV (baking soda / apple cider vinegar) can be used with some success, there are some pretty significant downsides to it. Vinegar is quite acidic at a pH of around 3, which can damage your hair and scalp, removing color and hair treatments. The use of BS/ACV is typically done in diluted solutions which helps raise the pH slightly, but unless you’re testing the pH value of it, it can and will still swing dramatically.
Baking Soda (along with apple cider vinegar) has grown in popularity among the DIY community, yet this ingredient is one which can definitely cause some damage to your hair and scalp. Baking Soda is extremely alkaline, with a pH of 9 (around 100x higher than water), and is well known as an irritant to the hair and scalp. Baking soda can lead to a dry and irritated scalp and brittle hair as the soda penetrates the pores of the scalp and hair follicles.
Hundreds of years ago, urine was used as a common cleanser for hair, skin and clothing. After scouring the internet for any evidence to support a benefit in hair washing with urine, we’ve come to the simple conclusion that we’re happy for the advent of soaps & shampoos.
My first reaction here is “You’re doing it wrong”, but that may just be the fact that I’ve only had 2 cups this morning. Through the years we’ve seen people mentioning coffee rinses and using coffee grounds as an exfoliator for the scalp. While there are a small amount of oils in coffee, there is overall nothing we can find which would provide a substantial benefit in using it as a shampoo. Conversely, we have found that those with dyed hair or lighter hair, often find their hair color changing (sometimes dramatically) while using coffee as a shampoo.
Avocados have a growing popularity when it comes to hair repair and treatment. Often touted for their ability to moisturize hair, control dandruff, promote hair growth and revitalize hair, more and more people are “going green”. Avocados are an excellent fruit, and have many health benefits, including benefits to your hair and scalp. Loaded with proteins, amino acids, and beneficial fats, avocados are one of the few natural items which can actually penetrate the hair follicle and moisturize your hair. This is one we can definitely get behind for an occasional mask.
Mayo as a hair mask was all the rage in the 70’s, and there’s actually some merit to it! Comprised primarily of eggs and oils, mayonnaise is loaded with proteins and good fatty acids which can replenish and nourish your hair and scalp. The only real drawbacks to it are the mess, and potentially some issues with added sugars and preservatives. While mayo has a fairly decent reputation for a deep conditioning/repair, it’s something we would keep as a good repair option vice a daily cleanser.
While there is validity in some DIY hair remedies, as always, do your research beyond just what you see on social media. Look for items high in fats and proteins that are favorable for your hair, and be very mindful of the pH of certain items to avoid irritation and burning.
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