One thing about Cardi B is that you can always count on her to come through with a fun wig moment. But there’s no denying that anytime the rapper and mom shows off a rare glimpse of her natural hair, she threatens to break the internet. Cardi credits a homemade hair mask is for her thick, healthy-looking strands, and she even uses the DIY treatment on her daughter Kulture’s curls.
Cardi spilled how she whips up the hair mask by way of her Instagram Stories, and the ingredients seemed simple enough: avocado, banana, honey, eggs, mayo, and a trio of oils. Wanting to give my hair a nearly-spring refresh and try the mask out myself, I swung by my local beauty supply and grocery store to get everything I would need. Back home, I pulled out my blender and laid out the ingredients. Cardi didn’t give any exact measurements for the oils, mayo, and honey in that old post, so I sort of eyeballed it and let the hair gods guide my hand. Here, my honest review.
How To Make Cardi B’s Homemade Hair Mask
Per her IG stories, Cardi B combined two avocados (I grabbed one large avocado instead of two smaller ones, by the way), a banana, honey, two eggs, mayo, black castor oil, argan oil, and olive oil. I ended up adding a couple squirts of honey, about a half a cup of mayo, 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’d have to push past a strong, unpleasant odor — but it actually smelled pretty nice, and surprisingly like, well, a hair product. The scent of oil came through strongest, followed by mild hints of the banana and honey. Next was the fun part. I separated my hair into four sections, slathered on the makeshift mask (box dye-style), and twisted my hair up into a bun. The mask started to harden after 15-ish minutes and got really stiff after about 45. I washed it out after about an hour and blow dried like I normally would. To get a fair assessment, I didn’t apply any additional products except for a little bit of heat protectant.
The results? My hair felt really soft and conditioned, and it looked lustrous 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 the conditioner after the shampoo and didn’t use leave-in like I normally might, and I really couldn’t feel a difference. I was worried all the oil would make my hair feel greasy or weighed down, and, nope, not at all. It was a fun experience, but considering the extra coins and concocting time, would I make it a regular part of my wash day routine? Probably not — but I may whip it up here and there should I feel my locks need a little extra TLC. But, I wondered: What do hair care professionals think of this DIY hair mask?
The Experts Weigh In
Yasmine Young, hairstylist and owner of Diaspora Salon in Baltimore, Maryland says, “I haven’t seen any evidence that they’re as, or more effective than, standard conditioners, treatments, or masks.” She’s also not a fan of using direct oils on the hair. “The purpose of treatments are usually to moisturize or hydrate 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 professional masks and conditioners formulated for hair. Young says to be careful about looking to a DIY mask to solve all your hair woes. “Find a good hairstylist that specializes in hair care and seek recommendations from them,” she says.
Antonia Wazir, Mizani global curl specialist and stylist at Bianchi’s Salon in Royal Oak, Michigan, mimics Young’s concern about all the oil that Cardi B’s mask requires. “Most oil needs to be processed so that the molecule is smaller and can be accepted into the hair shaft as opposed to sitting on top of the strand, which can lock out moisture and cause buildup,” Wazir says. She notes the nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids in Cardi B’s mask but says they’re “not processed in the way that your hair can accept.” For coarser textures, she says you may notice a superficial difference, but just until your next wash, adding that those with fine or less dense hair should avoid it completely. “The best way to add vitamins and nutrients to your hair is to add them to your diet.”
Hairstylist and colorist Juliana Ohlmeyer of Bassia Bassia salon in New York City is a self-proclaimed “kitchen witch” and has a slightly different take. She says DIY hair masks can be effective with the right ingredient mixes. About Cardi B’s go-to mask, she says the recipe is a nice marriage of moisture and protein. “Honey is a humectant which will help trap the other ingredients and lock it into the hair for maximum nourishment, shine, and hydration. Avocados, particularly, instantly make the hair feel soft and hydrated from the fatty oils and magnesium, which strengthens the hair,” Ohlmeyer says. Like the other stylists, though, she notes that the molecules of certain cooking oils, like vegetable or coconut, are too large to actually penetrate the hair shaft and need to be specially formulated. Another tweak if you decide to give this a whirl: Because mayonnaise essentially is olive oil and eggs, adding additional eggs and oil might be excessive.