One thing about Cardi B is that you can always count on her to have a fun time with a wig. But there’s no denying that every time the rapper and her mom show a rare glimpse of her natural hair, she’s threatening to break the internet. Her homemade hair mask is responsible for her thick, healthy locks, and she even uses the DIY treatment on daughter Kulture’s curls.
Cardi shared how she whips up the hair mask via her Instagram Stories, and the Ingredients seemed simple enough: avocado, banana, honey, eggs, mayonnaise and a trio of oils. Wanting to give my hair an almost spring-like refresh and try the mask myself, I turned to my local beauty supply store and grocery store to get everything I needed. Back home, I took out my blender and laid out the ingredients. Cardi didn’t give exact measurements for the oils, mayonnaise, and honey in that old post, so I kind of watched and let the hair gods guide my hand. Here, my honest opinion.
How to make Cardi B’s homemade hair mask
According to her IG stories, Cardi B combined two avocados (I grabbed a large avocado instead of two smaller ones, by the way), a banana, honey, two eggs, mayonnaise, oil of black castor oil, argan oil and olive oil. I ended up adding a few drops of honey, about half a cup of mayonnaise, two ounces of argan oil, and about two ounces of black castor oil. I blended everything until the mixture was totally smooth and creamy.
I thought I would have to repel a strong, unpleasant smell – but it smelled pretty good and surprisingly, well, a hair product. The oil scent is the strongest, followed by light notes of banana and honey. Next comes the fun part. I parted my hair into four sections, applied the makeshift mask (tint-tint style) and twisted my hair into a bun. The mask started to harden after about 15 minutes and became very stiff after about 45 minutes. I washed it off after about an hour and dried it with a hair dryer like I normally would. To get a fair assessment, I didn’t apply any additional product except for a bit of heat protectant.
The results? My hair was really soft and conditioned, and it looked shiny and smelled great. Full disclosure: I try to take care of my hair, so it was in pretty good shape to begin with. That said, I skipped conditioner after shampoo and didn’t use leave-in product like I normally would, and really didn’t feel a difference. I was worried that all the oil would make my hair greasy or weighed down, and no, not at all. It was a fun experience, but given the extra parts and prep time, would I make it a regular part of my daily washing routine? Probably not – but I can whip it up here and there if I feel my locks need a little more TLC. But, I wondered: What do hair professionals think of this DIY hair mask?
Yasmine Young, hairdresser and owner of Diaspora Fair in Baltimore, Maryland says, “I haven’t seen any evidence that they’re as effective or more effective than standard conditioners, treatments, or masks.” She’s also not a fan of using oils directly on the hair. “The goal of treatments is usually to moisturize or moisturize the hair. Hydration comes from water, and direct oil will repel water, close your cuticles and cause dryness,” she adds If you’re looking to treat your locks to something special, she recommends professionally formulated hair masks and conditioners. Young says to be careful not to look for a DIY mask to solve all your hair problems.” a good hairstylist who specializes in hair care and ask for their recommendation,” she says.
Antonia Wazir, Mizani global curl specialist and stylist at Bianchi Lounge in Royal Oak, Michigan, mimics Young’s concern about all the oil Cardi B’s mask needs. “Most oils need to be processed so that the molecule is smaller and can be accepted into the hair shaft instead of sitting on top of the strand, which can lock in moisture and cause a accumulation,” says Wazir. She notes the nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids in Cardi B’s mask, but says they’re “not processed in the way your hair can accept.” For coarser textures, she says you might notice a superficial difference, but just until your next wash, adding that those with fine or less dense hair avoid it altogether. “The best way to add vitamins and nutrients to your hair is to add them to your diet.”
Hairdresser and colorist Juliana Ohlmeyer of Bassia Bassia salon in New York is a self-proclaimed “kitchen witch” and has a slightly different outlook. She says DIY hair masks can be effective with the right mixes of ingredients. About Cardi B’s must-have face mask, she says the recipe is a good marriage of hydration and protein. “Honey is a humectant that will help trap other ingredients and lock them into the hair for maximum nourishment, shine and hydration. Avocados, in particular, instantly make hair soft and hydrated with fatty oils and magnesium, which strengthens hair,” says Ohlmeyer. Like other stylists, however, she notes that the molecules of some cooking oils, like vegetable or coconut oils, are too large to actually penetrate the hair shaft and must be specially formulated. Another adjustment if you decide to give it a whirl: because the mayonnaise essentially East of olive oil and eggs, adding extra eggs and oil may be overkill.