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Potions in your Pantry - Hair!

Jessica O'Sullivan - Beauty Editor of U Magazine and our Potions in your Pantry expert!

Why we need to rejuvenate hair after the party season:

. Cold weather can damage hair
. Excessive styling, such as that done over the Christmas period, leaves hair dry and damaged.

All of us have products in our kitchens that we can use, instead of spending a fortune on salon treatments and products. Even celebs use home remedies sometimes:

. Gwyneth Paltrow likes to use Olive Oil in her hair - she says on her blog : "I often recommend that people use a half cup of olive oil and work it through dry hair, concentrating on the driest parts, combing it through but avoiding the roots."
. Catherine Zeta Jones regularly uses beer and honey mixed together to keep her long brown locks looking lovely.
Three simple ones found at home and available for use straight away include:

Honey - This can be applied to tips of hair after shampooing, then rinsed off.

Lemon Juice - This can be mixed with water and applied all over hair after shampooing. Gives hair a healthy shine.

Egg - This can be used before shampooing, for shine and healthiness.

Why is it so good for hair?

HONEY- Honey is a great conditioner for dry hair as it's full of humectants that nourish hair. It also has super cleansing properties that will gently rid the hair of product build up without stripping the hair of its natural oils like some shampoos do. It also forms a protective layer on the hair so that it prevents further damage from heat styling and harsh weather. What I love about honey is that it's not just a quick fix for your hair; it also nourishes the scalp so it's great if you suffer from psoriasis or dandruff.

OLIVE OIL - Olive Oil is known for its moisturising qualities as it's jam packed with natural fats. If you're hair is dry and damaged then it's probably been stripped of its natural oils. If you don't have time for a mask you could even apply a little to the ends of your hair and leave it overnight to work on split ends.

BANANA - Bananas are rich in potassium and natural oils that help to soften the hair. While the vitamin B in bananas restore its elasticity so that means less breakage when brushing and less split ends. It's also very good for thinning hair.

EGGS - Raw eggs are full of proteins and nutrients that are great for your hair. The protein works to strengthen the hair while the nutrients work like conditioners to add shine and volume.
MILK - Whole milk is full of natural fats and protein and it really fortifies the hair and skin. Cleopatra used to bathe daily in it. I know some people might prefer skimmed milk as it's lighter but in the case of homemade beauty full fat is definitely better.

The potion we'll be showing today will be Banana Smoothie Hair Mask. The ingredients are as follows:

Banana Smoothie Hair Mask


. 1 banana
. 1 egg
. 3 tbsp of honey
. 3 tbsp of whole milk
. 5 tbsp of olive oil

1. Mash the banana and add in the egg, honey, milk and olive oil.
2. Mix them well and apply to your hair. Leave it on for 15 - 30 minutes.
3. Wrap hair with a plastic wrap or shower cap. As we lose most heat through our heads the plastic cap will trap your body heat inside, which will open the cuticle of the hair and allow the oil and other ingredients to penetrate the hair even more deeply.
4. When the time is up wash out the mask with a gentle clarifying shampoo to remove any residue. Keep the water at a very lukewarm temperature at first until you get rid of most of the mixture - the last thing you want to do is cook the egg in your hair! Turn up the heat then to remove the oil.
5. When you're finished, add some extra shine to hair with a blast of cold water when you've finished rinsing it out - this will reseal the cuticle and really make your hair look smooth and shiny.
What results should we see from this?

As soon as hair is dry, you should see a new healthiness and shine!

How often should you do it?

Whenever your hair needs a little pick me up. But since all the ingredients are organic, it can be done as often as desired.

Anything to watch out for?

Once prepared, these homemade beauty treats must be used straight away. Since all the ingredients are natural food products, they will go bad if left too long.