Here’s What REALLY Happens When You Put Food In Your Hair

What on Earth is a hair mask anyway? I honestly had no idea until Pinterest suggested I DIY a hair mask out of food. Putting food on my face? No big deal. Letting some goop marinate on my scalp for an hour then praying it rinses off clean? That’s another story.

As it turns out, hair masks are moisturizing conditioning treatments salons can do (with products, not food) or you can do at home. Typically done only twice per month to avoid excess oiliness, you can switch up the hair mask recipe to cater to what you need for your hair. For everything from color boosting dyed locks, curbing oiliness, and moisturizing dry, damaged locks – hair masks have got you covered.

Sounds easy enough, right? I guess, but all I could think about was that episode of Rugrats where Tommy puts honey in Stu’s shampoo bottle to sabotage him going to work. So, I was weary about putting anything honey related in my hair. But, if you ask Pinterest what to put in frizzy, curly hair, all signs point to honey. I had some leftover raw honey anyway, so this DIY cinnamon/honey/olive oil hair mask seemed like a good match. The mask promised glossy, glowing hair. The oil was supposed to moisturize, the honey was going to make it glow, and the cinnamon was going to smell delicious and bring out my natural highlights.

Cold fall and winter weather brings with it drier air, zapping your hair from its moisture and thereby making it frizzy. But, you guys… you have no clue how skeptical I was/am about this business. I’m so protective of my hair. My hair is pretty great and I don’t want to end up like Stu on Rugrats. Still, I warned my roommate what was about to happen in the kitchen and got to work.

Full disclosure: my hair is already pretty excellent to begin with. It’s always been frizzy, but I’ve embraced that. Here’s my before, and it’s pretty tame, but still relatively awesome hair to begin with.


For this mask, you’re going to mix together:

1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon

But, double it for long hair (I did that).

Your hair mask goop should look like this, and smell delicious.


Before you do anything, get into your bathrobe and put a towel around your neck to catch spills. You’re jumping in the shower right when you’re done and taking a shirt off over your hair mask isn’t going to be easy. Plus, putting the mask on is going to get messy. Towels are your friend!

Next, dip your fingers in that goop and start massaging it into your hair! The whole time my mind was going, “This is wrong, I’m making a mistake, OMG I can’t go back.” The hair mask was a little clumpy and sticky when I pulled it through my hair – so, lesson learned: don’t use raw honey, use regular honey. Globs would fall out in little balls on my bathroom sink. The mask was sticky, so it ripped out a little hair when I was finger combing it through, but no more than what I typically lose in the shower, anyway.


When you’re done, wrestle your hair into a semblance of a bun and put a shower cap on it. Or if you’re me, saran wrap your head and hold it in place with a headband.


Then, you chill and let it sit for an hour or so. I put on an episode of Jessica Jones and tried not to panic. I felt like a toasty cinnamon bun with a whole bunch of towels that needed to be done as soon as this was over. The cinnamon was certainly warming, but I felt skeptical the whole time my mask was sitting.

When the hour is up, rinse it off in the shower with warm water. Spoilers: this is a one way ticket to having a festive holiday cinnamon bath bomb. Surprise! It’s going to take a while for it to get out, that’s normal. You didn’t mess up your hair, it will come out. Shampoo as you normally would for as many shampoos as it takes. I did it twice. Condition per usual and make sure all food got out of your hair. Clean up your mess and wait for your hair to dry.

I slept on my damp hair, but when I woke up.


Perfectly curly with minimum frizz.

I felt like a freaking wizard. Mind you, there’s still my usual frizz patch near the nape of my neck, but it’s definitely less coarse and way softer.

All in all, would recommend. It’s messy, so there’s clean up to be had, but the fact that my hair feels soft and looks amazing is a huge payoff. So, that’s a big YES to putting food in your hair.

Have you ever tried a DIY food hair mask? Which one? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.


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