If you’ve ever browsed through the different hair masks available at your local salon or beauty store and then looked at the price tag, you might have wondered if you’re being conned. The best products can reach up to $30, or even more. Do we really need to cough up all that to have healthy-looking hair?
In a word, no. You can actually make a perfectly good — some would argue better — substitute with one of the most everyday, affordable items around. The humble egg.
Whether you’re intrigued, incredulous, or impatient to get started, you’ll find everything you could possibly wish to know about egg white hair masks here. From the science behind the ingredients to how to make your own, I’ll be covering all bases.
- How to Make a DIY Egg White Hair Mask
- Applying the Hair Mask
- Do Egg White Hair Masks Really Work?
- What About Egg Yolks?
- Is an Egg White Hair Mask Good for Everyone?
- Egg White Hair Mask Variations
- Time to Get Egg-Cited
How to Make a DIY Egg White Hair Mask
Let’s get straight on to the important stuff. Creating your own mask!
To make life easy for you, you’ll only need two ingredients for the job:
- Egg whites (from 2-3 eggs)
- A few drops of lemon juice
The number of eggs you use should depend on how long and thick your hair is. For most people, using two eggs will be sufficient, but some people may need more or less.
Although lemon juice isn’t an essential ingredient, it helps with mitigating the egg’s overpowering odor. Since lemon contains citric acid, an effective cleanser, it might even bring some additional benefits to your hair — the fruit is especially good at removing dandruff.
Depending on your hair type, you might prefer to use additional ingredients — I’ve listed some suggestions below, including coconut oil and honey.
But back to making the mask.
After separating your egg whites from the yolks, whisk them together in a small bowl and keep going until the tips stand straight.
Then, mix in the lemon juice. See, it’s easy — the whole process should only take around ten minutes.
Applying the Hair Mask
Applying your hair mask couldn’t be simpler. The hardest part of the process is probably figuring out where to do it — messiness is inevitable, so choose somewhere you can clean easily. I’d recommend the shower or bath.
First, dampen your hair with cold or lukewarm water (anything hotter risks cooking the egg by accident).
Then, gradually apply the solution to your hair by massaging it from the scalp down to the tips.
When you think you’ve got the bulk of the hair covered, brush it through with a comb (preferably a wide-toothed comb). This will ensure the egg is evenly distributed throughout your locks.
And — that’s pretty much it! Just leave the solution in for around twenty minutes so your hair can soak it up. You might even like to use a shower cap so you can keep all that eggy goodness trapped in.
When you’re finished, don’t forget to wash out the mixture (again, with cool or lukewarm water). It’s best to use a good shampoo to make sure you get every last bit of egginess out.
Do Egg White Hair Masks Really Work?
It seems like you’re going to need some convincing before you crack an egg onto your head. Well, fine — let’s delve into the science.
Egg whites have two main advantages — they’re very high in protein, and they soak up grease. Let’s examine both aspects in further detail.
As a Protein Source
Egg whites are complete proteins, meaning they contain every essential amino acid.
Why is this good for hair? Our whole body needs proteins to maintain and repair the tissues, and the hair is no exception. If it doesn’t get the protein it needs, it becomes dry, dull, and prone to breakage.
Or, in extreme cases, it might stop growing altogether. Studies have shown that a lack of protein leads to hair thinning and loss among women.
Each strand of our hair contains an inner layer (the medulla), a middle layer (the cortex), and an outer layer (the cuticle). Maintaining each of these layers is important — a weak cortex can mean the hair is more likely to break, and weak cuticles make the hair lose its shine.
Although eating a nutritionally-balanced diet with the right vitamins and minerals is important for keeping your hair healthy, we need to pay special attention to protein.
In fact, our hair is basically made up of many keratin proteins, so it needs plenty of replenishment.
Some people opt for keratin treatments or expensive hair masks to solve the problem, but egg whites are a natural and affordable alternative that might be just as effective.
For Grease Absorption
Okay, so egg whites contain a lot of protein. You might be thinking, so what? After all, they aren’t exactly the only protein source in the world.
But egg whites aren’t just a one-trick pony. They’re also very effective at absorbing oil thanks to the high number of enzymes and the protein albumin. This makes them ideal for tackling the buildup of grease in your hair.
Egg whites are so effective at this task that some people use them to get solutions like oil, vaseline, and more out of their hair after beauty DIY disasters.
What About Egg Yolks?
Splitting the egg white and the egg yolks when making your hair mask is a fiddly task, and it potentially leads to wastage. You might be wondering if we really have to go through all that — can’t we just add the egg yolks into the mixture?
Depending on your hair type, you could consider it — but there’s a solid reason behind why the egg whites mask is a thing.
As you’re probably aware, the yolk is the fatty part of the egg, while the whites contain most of the protein.
The protein and enzymes in the egg whites are what we need to strengthen our hair and fight excessive oiliness. If you use a single whole egg instead of egg whites from multiple eggs, you’ll obviously end up with a smaller concentration of these all-important enzymes overall.
If you have oily hair, egg yolks are a definite no-no, since their fattiness could increase the grease in your hair instead of absorbing it.
But that doesn’t mean that the egg yolk is useless. In fact, it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals that can moisturize the hair and help it to grow.
In a nutshell (or rather, an eggshell), egg whites are best for those with oil hair, while egg yolks can be great for anyone with drier hair.
Is an Egg White Hair Mask Good for Everyone?
Now that I’m done screaming about the benefits of egg whites for the hair, it’s time to move on to a slight caveat.
An egg white hair mask might not be suitable for absolutely everyone.
For one, people with egg allergies certainly shouldn’t be considering such a treatment — but you probably have the common sense to figure that one out for yourself.
Also, everyone’s hair is slightly different, so it would be unreasonable to expect the same mask to yield the same results on us all.
Everyone needs protein in their hair, but we don’t all need something to absorb greasiness — if you have dry hair, this could make your problem worse rather than better.
Egg White Hair Mask Variations
Although an egg white hair mask is a great all-rounder, we’ve established that egg whites alone aren’t the perfect solution for everyone’s hair. Yet when combined with other ingredients, you could still use them to create your miracle mask!
There are countless possible variations you can make by adding other natural ingredients, such as:
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Olive oil
- Castor oil
- Aloe vera gel
- Apple cider vinegar
With so many options to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? You could conduct careful research on each one — or you could consult my general suggestions for the most common hair problems.
Whichever ingredient you want to add, the process remains mostly the same as the method outlined above (except for replacing lemon juice with other ingredients). But I’ll go over them in further detail, because I’m nice like that.
Mask for Dull Hair: Honey and Egg Whites
When your hair has lost its shine and bounce, it’s easy to forget how great it once looks.
Fortunately, honey works wonders for restoring your locks to their former glory. The sticky substance is a humectant — which means it locks moisture in, protecting your hair’s cuticles.
To make a honey and egg white hair mask, mix 1-2 teaspoons of honey with egg whites. Since honey is thicker than many other ingredients, you could add a dash of water for an improved consistency (this will depend partly on the type of honey you buy).
Then, apply it to your hair, and rinse it off after around ten minutes.
For the best results, go for raw or organic honey — manuka honey is especially effective, although it’s a little more pricey.
Mask for Split Ends: Castor Oil and Egg Whites
Do you dream of smooth, tame hair with none of those pesky flyaways that seem to appear no matter what you do? An egg white face mask combined with castor oil could be your saving grace.
Castor oil is full of omega-6 and omega-9, two fatty acids that strengthen hair and help it grow faster, so it makes a winning combination when paired with the protein from egg whites. Split ends result from weakened hair, which needs all the help it can get to grow strong again.
Just combine two tablespoons of castor oil with the egg, and then leave it in your hair for around fifteen minutes before washing it out.
Mask for Dry Hair: Coconut Oil and Egg
Coconut oil is a well-known ingredient in many natural haircare remedies. Although it’s been linked to a range of benefits, like promoting hair growth and increasing your hair’s strength, the major advantage of the oil lies in its moisturization.
As I’ve touched on already, egg yolks also help with moisturization, while egg whites are better for soaking moisture up. So, if you want a face mask to tackle dry hair, I’d recommend using the entire egg instead of just the whites.
Mix a teaspoon of coconut oil with either one full egg (or 2-3 egg whites), apply the mask to your hair, and leave it in for around ten minutes rinsing it off.
But a word of warning — coconut oil is greasy and can be hard to wash out of your hair (although it’s less of a problem for coarser, thicker, and dryer hair). Make sure you don’t add too much into your mask — and definitely don’t use it the night before your wedding or some other special occasion.
Time to Get Egg-Cited
If you really thought I was going to end this article without slipping in an egg-related pun, you were mistaken. But now I’ve got that out of my system, let’s get to the point.
Hopefully, you’re feeling encouraged by just how affordable and easy it is to make a hair mask from egg whites (and one that will actually get you results). After you’ve tried it for yourself and seen how great egg whites can be, you’ll wonder why you ever used anything else.
Why not try out your own DIY egg white recipes with a few different ingredients? Trial and error will show you the perfect match for your hair type.