Sunday, 14 September 2014

DIY: Gelatin Hair Mask

The tea is optional.
I found this recipe on Pinterest, which should already tell you all you need to know about its credibility, but for some reason I thought I’d give it a shot anyway.

It’s a hair mask made of gelatin, and it is disgusting. 

The ingredients are as follows:
-       - 2tbsp gelatin powder
-       - 2tbsp olive oil
-       - 4tbsp hair conditioner (I used Pantene Smooth and Sleek, if you’re curious)
-       - 1 egg
-       - ½ cup (or 8 tbsp) warm milk

That already sounds like the worst dessert in the world, and that’s pretty much what you make.

Gently warm the milk (30 seconds in the microwave was about right) and mix in the gelatin. This will be the worst thing you’ve ever smelt. Persevere.

The smell of misery.

Then, mix in the other ingredients. For a moment, you will think the conditioner and olive oil have made the smell a bit better. You will be wrong about this.

Wet your hair, squeeze out the excess water and then fight against all your natural instincts and pour on the mixture. The recipe I used suggested 2tbsp of hair conditioner but I really, really recommend you double that, because it will help the whole thing be less watery and easier to control – as I type this, horrifying droplets are creeping periodically down my hairline like cold vomit, and I don’t want any of you to have to experience that.
Just. Just look at that stuff. 
Leave it on your hair for an hour. Nobody will want to hang out with you for that hour.

Generally speaking, when I do treatments like hair or face masks, I like to get some pamper time in while I wait – paint my toenails or pluck my eyebrows or what have you – so if you want to tell yourself that you’re alone on purpose to relax and not just because you smell of old bread and sick, I promise to believe you.

When the hour is done, stop crying and mouth-breathing and go and wash and condition it out of your hair normally. Or, you know, however many times you need to feel like you’ll ever be truly clean again (for me it was two). It actually rinsed out a lot more easily than I was expecting, although it did make our bathroom smell like a wet dog. The recipe suggests adding essential oil if you have any, and when I do this again I’m definitely going to try that and hope it’s an improvement.

Once my hair dried, it definitely felt a lot softer and smoother. The idea of this, as far as my extremely non-scientific brain can establish, is that the gelatin seals down the hair cuticle, thereby improving the look of split ends, strengthening your hair and making the whole thing look shinier and healthier.

My hair felt a lot smoother and less dry at the ends, which is great, and I’m pretty sure some of my (many, many) split ends looked a lot better. There wasn’t a huge visual improvement – it was a bit shinier but not as glossy as I was hoping for – but the instructions said to repeat the treatment twice a week until you get the desired effect so hopefully I’ll see more of a difference soon.

All in all, considering how grim an experience this was, I was kind of hoping for a miracle. What I got instead was a great smoothing treatment, but these are easily available in less disgusting formats (I am partial to Lush H’Suan Wen Hua and Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Luscious Long) so unless I see more shine soon, I think this one will be retired. Watch this space.

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