Step-by-step instructions for using a mayonnaise hair treatment for softer, shinier hair.

We have published hundreds of curly hair recipes on NaturallyCurly, but to this day the most popular treatment of all time is: the mayonnaise hair treatment. This is probably because our grandmothers, our mothers, the magazine you browse at the grocery – everyone is telling you to use mayonnaise on your hair.


Does it really work?

Yes and no. We often see eggs and mayonnaise (because it contains eggs) incorrectly touted as a strengthening protein treatment that can combat breakage. However, in truth they do not work as a protein treatment because the protein in eggs is too large to fit into the cuticle. Proteins must be hydrolyzed in order to do the job. So if your goal is strengthening, try a protein rich product that has been formulated for that purpose instead.

If your goal is softer, shinier, smoother feeling hair, then mayonnaise may be a good match for you. Mayonnaise does contain some hair healthy ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar and soybean oil which contain fatty acids and vitamins that can boost shine and act to seal in moisture. To find out what’s in a store bought jar of mayonnaise and its benefits, read here.

If you want to try a mayonnaise treatment for yourself, follow these steps.

How to do a mayonnaise hair treatment

  1. Apply mayonnaise to freshly cleansed, damp hair the way you would a conditioner. Focus on the ends as they are the oldest part of your hair, and avoid your roots especially if you have fine or thin hair.
  2. Put on a shower cap (a plastic bag works just as well) or a heated thermal cap. This step can increase the absorption rate of the mayonnaise into your hair.
  3. Leave the treatment in your hair for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Cleanse with a gentle shampoo to remove the mayonnaise from your hair. If you feel you still have some residue you can cleanse again. 

You can buy store bought mayonnaise or you can make your own with eggs, olive oil, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil. Whichever mayonnaise you choose, always remember you can also add other natural ingredients such as olive oil, avocado, or honey to mix a custom cocktail for your hair needs. In fact, specifically adding almond oil and vinegar can help to get rid of lice.

If you’re looking for softer hair and extra shine, we recommend trying this treatment once a month.

Have you tried mayonnaise on your hair? How did it work for you?

This article was originally published in July 2011 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.


As the Managing Editor of NaturallyCurly, Cristina is passionate about using influence to empower the next generation of women. She also serves as a GENthusiast member of the Girls Empowerment Network and is the creator of the blog Fuji Files, where she explores the effects of positive thinking and conscious shopping.

I used a mayo/avocado/olive oil mixture on my healthy 2c hair for the first time and was amazed by how much it eliminated frizz. My hair has never looked shinier or so well-defined. That being said, I found my hair to be extremely greasy and limp. It looked like I had bathed in an oil slick. I either used way too much of the mixture or did a poor job of rinsing it out (I just used water). Since my hair wasn't damaged before, just really frizzy, I think this treatment was just too intense for my hair. But, if you're looking to put moisture back into your hair, this would work wonders. Next time, I think I'll try to substitute the mayo with honey or lemon juice, or perhaps switch to a sugar rinse, to find a happy medium :)

I know Mayo smells disgusting I just did the treatment and my entire room smells like mayonnaise

Ladies, using Mayo on your hair does work and this is coming from a 4A curly! I usually start this treatment on a Sunday for the week I want to wear wash n go's. The treatment really helps to show off my curl pattern. I only wish that Mayo didn't smell like, well... MAYO!