Eggs are a common household kitchen component, so creating hair masks with them is usually affordable and accessible. Eggs are often combined with other foods such as honey, olive oil, avocados, mayonnaise, yoghurt and apple cider vinegar to make masks that condition hair cuticles and soothe dry scalps. No longer viewed as mere folkloric family tradition, hair stylists and product manufacturers support and market egg masks for hair health.
The hair follicle is made up of dead protein. According to the American Egg Board, one egg may contain up to 6.3 grams of protein. Egg-laden hair masks revive and strengthen hair because of the high protein content. It does not matter whether the yolk or the whites are used, although the whites contain a higher protein count. Egg protein fortifies hair strands weakened and stripped from the direct heat of blow-dryers and hot curlers.
When dry hair becomes brittle, it tends to look like straw. Egg hair masks can counter this condition which is exacerbated by direct heat and the chemical effects of harsh dyes, relaxers and curly permanents. The American Egg Board advises that one whole egg has 185 milligrams of cholesterol. The cholesterol component in eggs adds moisture to dehydrated hair giving it volume and bounce. Some masks combine mayonnaise and egg yolks for additional cholesterol benefits. With all the health advisories about the potential dangers of ingesting too much cholesterol, topical egg hair masks are a nice alternative for garnishing the benefit of cholesterol.
Eggs have a high fat content with one egg containing up to 4.8 grams of fat. Oil from fat conditions the hair shaft making the cuticle lay flat and preventing split ends and breakage. Some masks amplify the oil content with the addition of olive oil, castor oil, avocados or almond oil to the egg yolks. High-oil content hair conditioners combat frizz and the damaging affects of frigid air temperatures. When massaged into the scalp, oil-based masks and conditioners also treat dandruff and itchiness caused by dry scalp.
Oils and cholesterol beat dryness, but other types of egg hair masks can be created for different affects as well. An egg yolk and apple cider vinegar mask seals the hair cuticle leaving hair with unbelievable shine after it is rinsed. The addition of yoghurt to an egg mask softens hair making it an optimal smoothing and relaxing conditioner. Adding lemon juice to an egg mask turns it into a simultaneous cleansing and conditioning agent.