Hair Foods: Nourishing Products Straight From Your Kitchen

November 1, 2011  |  
1 of 11


Before you spend an arm and a leg on brand name hair care products in this recession, think again. You’re likely to have some or even all of these hair-friendly food products under your roof. They help with everything from moisturizing, taming frizz and strengthening, to providing shine and eliminating dandruff.

If you want, you can also create your own homemade recipes by mixing some of these ingredients together to suit your hair’s needs.

Let’s get started!


Mayonnaise is an effective way to deep condition your dry/damaged hair for both moisture and protein. It also contributes to the hair’s shine.

To use: Coat your hair with the mayonnaise and let it sit for about 30 minutes before you shampoo. You can also mix it with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil for more moisture.

Egg Yolk

Nothing screams more protein than an egg! Be sure to separate the yolk from the egg white and never rinse out the egg with hot water, or it will cook in your hair.

To use: Beat the egg yolk and apply it to your hair. Let it sit for about 10 – 15 minutes. You will notice that your hair will harden—this is normal for any protein treatment. Rinse out gently and follow up with a moisturizing shampoo and deep conditioner.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

EVOO has the ability to absorb into the hair shaft, making it a good conditioning treatment. It also contains Vitamins A and E—both good for fighting dandruff.

To use:

  • Apply to the scalp with an applicator bottle for hot oil treatments
  • Mix with your deep conditioner for added moisture
  • Use as an oil to seal your moisturizer in


Avocados contain a lot of fat, which will help hydrate your dry hair. Its proteins and vitamins will also help strengthen your tresses.

To use: Mash up the avocado using a fork/spoon. To get a smoother consistency, you can place the chunks into a blender with a bit of water or a carrier oil of your choice. Apply the mixture to your hair. Let it sit for about 20 minutes before your shampoo.


Garlic has been shown to combat shedding and hair loss. If you don’t mind reeking of garlic, feel free to slice open a clove and massage your scalp with the juices.

To use: For easier application, you can cut the garlic into bits (or try blending it), put it in an applicator bottle and add a bit of water to extract its juices. Let it marinate overnight. Apply it directly to your scalp and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before shampooing.


Not a garlic person? Try onions! They have antibacterial properties to rid your scalp of toxins and can stimulate hair growth.

To use: Try the same method as the garlic. If you don’t have an applicator bottle, you can always cut the onion and rub it directly to your scalp.


An effective humectant, honey will help draw moisture into your hair. It has added benefits of shine and helping with thinning hair. Don’t worry about stickiness, it rinses out easily.

To use: You can mix half a cup of honey and 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Apply to your hair and leave it in for 30 minutes, then rinse and shampoo.


Vinegar can be used as a clarifying agent to remove build up.

To use: Add a tablespoon to a cup of water and rinse out for shiny hair. If you’re more concerned with clarifying your scalp, use an applicator bottle.

Plain Yogurt

Yogurt helps with dryness, frizz, shine and dandruff. It contains lactic acid, which acts as a gentle cleanser to remove dirt from your hair while the milk fat restores your hair’s elasticity.

To use: You can apply the yogurt straight to your hair (the amount will vary depending on your length and thickness) or you can also mix it with an egg for more protein. Rinse out and shampoo after 15 – 20 minutes.


Lemons are very acidic and their antiseptic quality makes them suitable as a treatment for itchy scalps.

To use: Squeeze some lemon juice into an applicator bottle. Try mixing the juice with some EVOO or diluting it with water to prevent it from irritating your scalp. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse and shampoo.

Let us know if you’ve tried any of these and if you know of more hair foods, please do share!

More on Madame Noire!

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Lioness

    I love the tips you just gave!!! Thank you sooo much!
    I’ve been using Aloe Vera Juice mixed with lemon juice, evoo & water. This mix has helped lift dandruff, soothe my scalp while oiling it. And it keeps moisture in. I’ve also used aloe vera juice with just water. Its great for shine & moisture.

  • kelly

    I mixed the olive oil, mayo, egg, and lemon juice. It was really good. It moisturized and made my hair shiny. My hair is extremely dry and I tried this a recommendation from my mother and it worked really well. I highly r recommend it!

  • thanks for article, very informative. all girls in our office loved it

  • Deeana

    I do the yogurt conditioning. I mix it with ACV. I hate the smell, but it's cheaper that mayonaise and honey.

  • Emil

    @Elle maybe you should do your research although eggs don't put protein "in" the hair the protein from the egg helps to make the hair follicle stronger and stronger strands of hair are less likely to break. Therefore, you'll have fewer split ends. In addition to enhancing resistance to breakage, applying raw eggs to hair also makes it smooth. Smooth hair is easier to brush or comb and less likely to become tangled or knotted. Hair is also made thicker from the protein in raw eggs. This is especially beneficial if you have limp, lifeless hair or if your hair is thinning. Eggs act like a conditioner and moisturize dry hair. Eggs also make dull hair shine because unlike shampoo, eggs maintain the hair's natural oils, which shampoo strips away.

  • elle

    egg protein does not translate to protein in your hair. Do your research.

  • miss k.

    I have locs and I only use 100% natural products – yet I wouldn't put half of these suggestions anywhere near my hair! EVOO is about as far as I go (though I've thought about trying an apple cider vinegar rinse – I'm just worried about the strong smell)

    • I tried the ACV rinse, and I DID NOT like it! It stank, and made my hair even more tangled and real hard. Maybe I used too much ACV, but I’m not going to try it again to see…. jmo

  • JustAshley

    Don't forget Castor Oil! Overnight Castor Oil treatments equal thick shiny hair for ALL hair types.
    Great list!

    • Any castor oil, or just the Jamaican black kind I wonder?…..

  • msknowitall

    Thanks for the info! And keep it coming. I’m forwarding this to my girls. Im on a hair journey, to grow my relaxed hair long, I need protein treatment and I have eggs, perfect solution!

    • Me too!! I put an egg in my cholesterol treatment every week, with a lil evoo, and Argan oil for extra smoothness. It makes my hair so soft and silky..

    • I swear by it! And it really does work! I’ve noticed less hair in the sink, and in my combs.