An essential in the kitchen, eggs aren't limited to their uses in cooking and baking. Since at least the 1940s, women have applied homemade egg hair treatments and used shampoos containing eggs. The egg yolk in particular is effective for improving hair's condition, and it's a natural, inexpensive alternative to commercial hair fortifiers or serums. You can treat your hair with egg yolks on a regular basis or just occasionally.
In her book "Natural Healthy Hair," Mary Beth Janssen points out that eggs contain lecithin and protein, which help strengthen and moisturize hair. Egg yolks are also a natural emulsifier, meaning the yolk binds homemade hair mask ingredients together for a smooth, homogeneous mixture. Yolks also have a high sulfur content, which can help relieve dandruff symptoms.
Egg yolk hair treatments make your hair softer, silkier and more manageable, and the added strength from the protein prevents breakage. Your hair will also have more volume and reflect light better, making it shinier.
You can either use beaten egg yolks on your hair by themselves or mix them with other ingredients such as honey or olive oil. If you have short hair, two yolks will probably be enough to treat all of your hair, but if you have longer hair, you'll need to use more.
Apply the yolks or yolk mixture to your dry, brushed hair, leave it on for up to 30 minutes and then shampoo and condition as usual. You might need to lather the shampoo an extra time to remove all of the treatment from your hair.
A quick way to get the benefits of egg yolks without separating or mixing is to just use whole eggs, beaten and undiluted. In a pinch, you can also use mayonnaise, since mayonnaise is made from an emulsion of oil and egg yolks.
Wear old clothes when you apply an egg yolk hair treatment, as the mixture can spatter or drip. Rinse the treatment from your hair with cool water because hot water will begin to cook the egg and make it sticky and difficult to remove. If you are allergic to any ingredient in an egg yolk hair treatment recipe, don't use that ingredient.
- "Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History"; Victoria Sherrow; 2006.
- "Natural Healthy Hair: Herbal Treatments and Daily Care for Fabulous Hair"; Mary Beth Janssen; 1999.
- "Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living"; Annie Berthold-Bond; 1999.
- "Nonprescription Product Therapeutics"; W. Steven Pray; 2006.
Laura Jensel has been a full-time freelance writer for over six years. Her articles and craft projects have appeared in local and national publications, including Disney's FamilyFun Magazine. She also holds a B.A. in Psychology.