I love the hair I wear, but the downside of going natural is that for the last two odd years I've had to maintain my 4C hair.
Basically, my natural strands are dry and prone to breakage, so I have to take extra precautions with styling and care. I have tried numerous products that my hair disliked and dismissed, and honestly, going natural can get pretty expensive, especially with all of the products that have come onto the market since the natural hair movement took off.
Instead of spending my funds on store-bought items that may or may not work, I came up with an inexpensive alternative to make my dry 4C hair stronger, softer, and healthier. The answer: A moisture-locking deep conditioning treatment. The source: my kitchen.
Above you see the makings of my DIY deep conditioning treatment. Let's talk about some of the benefits of each of these ingredients. I'll go ahead and give you the measurements for the recipe while I'm at it.
DIY Deep Conditioning Treatment Ingredients:
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is full of vitamins and antioxidants; it seeps into the inner hair shaft and locks in moisture, yet it's so light that it doesn't weigh my hair down. Plus, it penetrates the hair cuticle while sealing the follicle for less frizz, which makes it a great conditioner, and it improves elasticity to prevent breakage.
1 egg. This serves as a protein treatment within the deep conditioner. It thickens strands and strengthens follicles to eliminate breakage and reduce split ends while also conditioning and adding shine and smoothness so hair is easier to comb.
2 tbsp. mayonnaise. My mother has treated my hair with mayonnaise since I was a little girl. Here, it goes hand in hand with the egg to provide protein and fat to revitalize hair.
1 banana. What is my number one pet peeve about black natural hair? Shrinkage! Ugh, it is the worst. My hair shrivels up when it's wet, but bananas reduce shrinkage by loosening the curl pattern on natural textured hair. It also softens hair to prevent split ends and is great for those with damaged hair or dandruff.
1 1/2 tbsp. honey. Because it's a natural humectant, honey is perfect for hydrating dry and damaged hair. It attracts water molecules to retain moisture while providing vitamins and minerals. It also acts as a serum to fight frizz and leave hair shiny. Those with irritable scalps may use it to help with itching and tenderness.
2 tbsp. coconut oil. The rich nutrients and fatty acids in coconut oil help to stimulate hair follicles, promote hair growth, add moisture, and prevent hair loss. In this mixture, it's also a great detangler. I even save a little for post-treatment--I'll explain below.
Now that we've talked about the benefits of each ingredient, here's how to use them in a deep conditioning treatment.
1. Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and chunk-free.
2. Rinse natural hair with warm water and pat dry to remove excess liquid. (Personally, I don't like applying this conditioner on dry hair because it leads to more breakage.)
3. Apply the mixture from root to tip with a wide-tooth comb. Massage a bit into your scalp as well.
4. Cover your head with a plastic shower cap for 45 to 60 minutes. I also apply a satin sleep cap over the shower cap. This allows my natural body heat to help the mixture penetrate my strands.
5. Rinse out with cool water and pat dry.
6. Warm some coconut oil in your hands and coat hair to seal in the moisture and nutrients.
What do you think? Inexpensive and effective, right? You can even play around with the mixture--use half a banana and an extra egg, or just use honey and mayo--if you know what your hair does and doesn’t need. I recommend using it either weekly or biweekly.
Have you used any of these ingredients alone or in a DIY treatment? What do you put in your DIY hair treatments?