The best summer accessory? Shiny, bouncy, soft hair. There’s one surefire way to score it: conditioner, and plenty of it. And according to Kayla Fioravanti RA, Chief Formulator and co-founder of Essential Wholesale, crafty girls can actually make their own strand-shining formulas at home with a moderately — OK, even poorly — stocked kitchen.
Mayo? Beer? We could manage that. So we put her tricks to the test.
Recipe: 1 tablespoon of lemon juice + 1 tablespoon of conditioner
I applied this mix from mid-shaft down to the tips of my hair, then waited a few minutes.
Was my hair soft? Uh, yeah … a “secret conditioning recipe” that’s 50 percent conditioner will do that, but the best effect of this lemony hair potion was the citrus grove scent it dressed my tresses with.
Why yes, I did just get back from a weekend in Florida. Orange you sweet for asking!
Bonus tip: This doubles as a batch of DIY Sun-In — apply it to your hair, skip the rinsing-out step, and head outside.
Baking Soda Beauty
Recipe: 1 tablespoon of baking soda + 1 cup of warm water
The idea here is to work this elixir through your locks either by hand or with a comb, then rinse out your hair.
After spending a good 20 minutes hovering in my bathtub with a mixing cup, measuring spoons and a box of gritty white powder, I was hoping for Shiny Hair City.
What I got was … nothing. Unless you count the feeling of acute embarrassment that I may or may not have just been punk’d.
Recipe: After dampening hair, comb a thick layer of mayo through your locks. Leave on for 20 minutes, then shampoo as usual.
Mayo didn’t just shine my hair — it outright greased me. Nastier still: Mayo, once applied, doesn’t go anywhere easily.
If you’ve got oily skin like I do, you can expect to have a hairline of zits.
Although on the upside, the protein from all the eggs in mayo helps strengthen hair. Not a total loss.
Apple Cider Vinegar Elixir
Recipe: 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar + 1 cup warm water
Next up was rinsing with vinegar for shine. Not having anything nearly as fancy as apple-spiked stuff, I went straight for the jug of Heinz white vinegar.
And maybe that’s where I first went wrong, because I came out of the shower smelling like the wrong side of the sneeze-guard at an all-u-can-eat salad buffet.
My hair was noticeably glossy, but it’s hard to feel pretty when you smell like acid-washed jeans all day.
Bonus tip: A little Googling turned up a trick: Mix 10 drops of your fave essential oil into the vinegar mix for a hair treat that doesn’t smell like a Subway sandwich.
Beer Beauty Batter
Recipe: Rinse with one whole can of warm, flat beer.
For this next trick, I grabbed a can of suds from the fridge, cracked it open, then left it on the counter to warm up and defizz.
Two hours later, my alcoholic hair treat had vanished from the kitchen.
“It couldn’t have been him!” swore my roommate when I asked if her boyfriend had taken my beer, but I’m not sure which is worse: the idea that she’d lie to cover for him, or that he drinks warm beer.
Recipe: 1 teaspoon of salt + 4 ounces of water.
You want beach waves in that landlocked state you call home? Mist this solution through your hair and let it dry. Ding! One set of wind-and-sand waves coming right up.
This won’t shine your hair up, but it’s by far the best trick in the batch.
Make it extra beachy by wrapping your hair into a loose bun after it’s been spritzed, then letting it dry before shaking it out.