Yes, it’s possible to achieve glossy, glass-like locks in the comfort of your own home. While DIY hair masks are often seen as the paltry alternative to luxe salon treatments, one kitchen ingredient has emerged as the secret to Rapunzel-worthy locks: egg yolk. But simply slathering egg yolk on your hair won’t do the trick! There are concoctions and special techniques that maximise the effectiveness of this cult ingredient.

What makes egg yolk hair masks so effective?

Egg yolks contain the majority of an egg’s nutrients and fatty acids. Abundant in vitamins A, E, biotin and folate, this powerful composition contains vital ingredients to repair damaged hair and stimulate hair growth. Egg yolks are also packed with peptides, which helps restore moisture and add a silky slip to your hair.

You’ve probably heard the phrase: “It’s not just the Botox that matters, it’s also the cosmetic injector’s technique”. The same logic applies to egg yolk masks: The key to achieving optimal results lies in the application. Here are four simple hacks to boost the performance of your egg yolk mask.

Remember to whisk

This step may seem insignificant, but whisking the yolk makes for a world of difference. The whisking process transforms the texture from thick to airy, so the mask becomes easier to apply. The thinner consistency also allows for more even product distribution, preventing patchy results.  There’s a cosmetic bonus as well: The froth created from the whisking helps the yolk penetrate deeper into the hair shaft, intensifying the conditioning effect.

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Apply on dry hair

While we’re generally asked to apply masks on slightly damp hair, egg yolk hair masks are more effective (read: the result in silkier, smoother and softer locks) when massaged into dry hair. According to hairstylist, Juhee Han, water acts as a barrier to ingredient absorption, and products with high-protein concentrations are more readily absorbed by dry hair.

Rinse with cool water

While warm water is effective at dislodging impurities and deep cleaning our hair, it isn’t the ideal temperature for removing conditioning treatments. Warm water tends to dissolve healthy oils and lipids, meaning it will also reduce the softening effects of moisturising masks. Juhee says cool water removes excess product but helps retain the maximum amount of hydration. Cool water also closes the hair cuticle – ‘infusing’ the nourishing ingredients more thoroughly inside the hair. Closed hair cuticles also reflect more light, leading to glossier tresses.

IMAGE CREDIT: INSTAGRAM @OLIVIAPALERMO

The best ingredients to mix egg yolk with

Eggs are packed with proteins, which are essential building blocks for healthy hair, but too much protein can cause your hair to snap. Juhee says it’s important to take this into account when combining egg yolk with other DIY pantry ingredients. Not all ingredients mix well together, even if they individually produce good results. For instance, combining egg yolk with yoghurt could lead to more brittle hair, due to an overload of proteins.

For high shine, Juhee recommends doing an apple cider vinegar rinse after applying the egg yolk mask. “The smell can take some getting used to, but I always recommend brides use this recipe two days before their wedding for luminous hair,” she says. Juhee says it’s simple: immediately after you have washed the egg yolk hair mask off, soak your hair in apple cider vinegar for 30 seconds, then remove with cool water.

For stunning volume, Juhee swears by squeezing half a lemon into one teaspoon of egg yolk. Juhee has experimented with different ratios and says this specific proportion delivers the maximum bounce. “You get this amazing teased effect afterwards,” she says. But she warns that people should only leave this formula in for five minutes, as it can be drying.

For increased moisture, Juhee says combining half a cup of green tea with a full egg yolk “tames the frizz in no time”. She calls this recipe her “hair salvage balm” as it smooths dry patches, reduces dandruff and minimises breakage. “It’s like a big gulp of water for your hair,” she says. Green tea is deeply nourishing and soothes sensitive scalps, so it’s perfect for highly processed hair. “To get the full benefits, I recommend putting this on for one hour,” she says.

Story by Kristina Zhou. Holding shot credit: Instagram @jastookes

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