People have been describing egg yolk as a treatment for strengthening hair from as early as the 11th century. Centuries later and people are still using egg yolks and whites to treat hair that is dry or damaged.
While there is little research supporting the benefits of egg yolks for hair, there are many websites dedicated to natural beauty remedies for the hair and scalp, including eggs.
Read on for more information about what people say about benefits of egg yolks for healing the hair.
Egg yolks are the round, yellow portion of the egg. The yolk contains several components that could enrich the hair.
Below are two possible benefits that egg yolks could offer the hair. It is important to note that there is little scientific evidence to back up these claims.
Some natural beauty proponents claim that applying egg yolks to the hair can stimulate hair growth. They contend the yolks stimulate the scalp and nourish the hair roots.
One of the key elements of egg yolk is sulfur, which is an important component of hair. There are 164.5 milligrams (mg) of sulfur per 100 grams (g) of egg yolk.
However, no research has shown egg yolk application is an effective method to reduce the incidence of hair loss or promote new hair growth.
One of the key elements of egg yolks is the protein they contain, which may be nourishing and shine promoting. The yolk is also high in fat, which is why it can enhance hair softness. Egg yolk contains 26.54 g of fat per 100 g.
A specific fat called lecithin that is in eggs could help to moisturize the hair. This fat is also a constituent of some cosmetic hair products. Alternative health experts often recommend using egg yolks for dry, damaged hair for these reasons.
There are several different suggestions for how to use egg yolks for helping the hair stay healthy.
One example is making an egg hair mask, as follows:
- Mix 2 to 3 whole eggs with 2 to 3 drops of lemon juice, which helps to reduce the "egg" scent of the mask.
- Beat the mixture until it is frothy.
- Apply to the hair by putting the egg mixture on the hands, and working it into the hair.
- Cover the hair with a shower cap. Leave on for about 20 minutes. During this time, the egg mixture will dry and feel sticky to the touch.
- Rinse off the egg with cold or cool water. Rinsing with hot water can cause the egg to clump in the hair. While this is not a significant problem, it can require several washes to get the egg out.
- Shampoo and condition the hair as normal.
- Repeat the hair treatment once or twice a month.
In addition to using just egg yolks on the hair, some people suggest adding different ingredients into the egg yolk mixture to enhance shine and softness.
As mentioned earlier, there are few studies to support the use of these products in this way.
Some natural beauty experts tout egg yolks for helping to keep hair moisturized and soft. But there may also be benefits to applying egg whites to the hair.
Egg whites are the more liquid portion of the egg that does not include the egg yolk.
Similarly to egg yolks, there is not a lot of research about the beauty benefits of egg whites. However, some people use egg whites as a clarifier for hair, suggesting that the egg whites contain enzymes that could remove excess buildup on the hair.
Egg whites are usually recommended to treat oily hair. Here is one step-by-step method for using egg whites to treat hair:
- Take half a cup of egg whites and apply to clean, damp hair.
- Leave on for 20 minutes.
- Rinse the hair with cool water to remove the mixture.
- Shampoo hair as normal.
Some people will use the whole egg in a hair treatment. This can provide both moisturizing and oil-removing benefits to a person's hair.
People have used egg yolks for hundreds of years as a way to improve the hair's appearance. And there are limited risks associated with using egg yolks for the hair.
One potential risk is an allergic reaction to the proteins in the eggs when someone applies them to their body. If someone is highly allergic to eggs, they should not consider this hair treatment.
Some of the symptoms that a person may experience if they have an allergic reaction include itching, swelling, and redness.
If a person adds oil, such as olive oil, to the egg mixture, this could make the mix more likely to transfer to the face. If someone has an allergy, they might experience allergy symptoms on their face.
Egg yolks could also cause the hair to feel greasy.
If someone exposes the egg yolk to high temperatures while on the hair, the yolk can become hardened or "cooked." This can make it problematic to shampoo away.
A number of natural hair treatments exist in addition to eggs. While these have also not been well-researched, some examples are easy to make with commonly available items.
- Avocado: Mash up half an avocado and massage it into clean, damp hair. The oil in avocado has moisturizing properties.
- Olive oil: Rub warm olive oil into the hair. Cover the hair with a plastic bag and wrap with a towel. Leave on for 45 minutes and then shampoo the oil out of the hair.
- Apple cider vinegar: Mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 egg whites. Rub into the hair. Cover with a shower cap for 30 minutes. Shampoo the hair and rinse.
These are just some of the hair mask combinations that are possible with egg yolks. Again, it is worth noting that scientific research does not prove their effectiveness.
Although there is little scientific evidence to support the use of egg yolks to boost hair health, there are few risks if a person does not have an egg allergy. As such, there may be no harm in trying this home remedy for dry or damaged hair.
In addition to applying egg yolk and whites to the hair, eating eggs may also help improve hair health. Eggs are rich in amino acids that can improve hair health, according to an article in the journal Menopause Review. The author recommends eating two to three eggs per week.