I have gone through many journeys with my bath and body care products. I’ve tossed out tons of my makeup and bought new makeup that I thought was better . . . just to discover that it wasn’t (and I was allergic to it). I tossed away the last squeeze-tube of toothpaste and discovered that I can make my own tooth powder (which is still going strong). However for the longest time, my hair journey was stunted. I was absolutely stuck. I wanted to join the myriads of ladies who were POOless (without shampoo), but I tried it. And I failed.
My Egg Yolk Shampoo
I failed at finding a solution until I realized that a lot of the problem with shampoos and no-poo methods were the absolute disregard for pH balance. Shampoos strip out your hairs natural oils and many leave your hair pH a mess. Most shampoo companies then encourage you to restore your oil balance by applying conditioners that re-moisturize your hair. Great, so strip it all out and put it all back on. They say the same with our faces. Wash your face, use toner on your face to erase the wicked natural oils on your face, and then reapply “correct” moisturizers. Who says that factory made conditioners and moisturizers are best suited to our hair? Wouldn’t our own perfect pH-balanced natural hair oils be the best for our hair?
I wanted a pH balanced way to cleanse my hair. I wanted something natural and was fine with it being a little bit out of the box. The magical word for me was emulsifier.
I had my first exposure to the idea of using an egg yolk to wash my hair when I was researching natural hair shampoo options. I read a post by another blogger who was using an egg yolk and I thought the idea was so strange. Why would it work? How could it work? As I researched I found out that it was the perfect shampoo. It is pH balanced. It has a natural version of lecithin, which is an emulsifier. I’ll stop with that one and elaborate.
Why is emulsifier the magical word? Egg yolk shampoo works due to the lecithin acting as an emulsifier. An emulsifying agent binds with water and oil. In cooking, you’ll use an emulsifier to combine ingredients when baking. For instance, you use an egg yolk to combine oil and lemon juice (or vinegar) to create mayonnaise. In your hair, the egg and water bind with the extra oil in your hair. When you finish, you rinse away the emulsion and you are left with hair that is pH balanced and has just enough oil left over.
I can personally attest to the Egg Yolk Shampoo method since I’ve been using it for about a year. I have not had to change back to regular shampoo during the entire time. Now, my hair puts out less oil than it did with conventional shampoo and I only have wash my hair every 4-5 days. Let me give you a step by step process.
Step by Step: Egg Yolk Shampoo
Crack the egg, placing only the egg yolk in a small bowl, jar, or pitcher. This can get a bit messy when you are trying to pull off all of the stringy egg white. If you miss a bit of the egg white on this step, you’ll be able to get it out in the next step.
Once you have the egg yolk in a container, add about 2 Tablespoons to 1/4 Cup of warm shower water to the cup. Use your fingers to mix the water and the egg together pulling out any of the extra pieces of egg white that were left behind.
Wet your hair fully, pulling your fingers from your scalp down through your hair. Pour about a Tablespoon at a time out into your hand and put it onto your scalp in sections. I normally start in the front right above the ears, do the top, then work backwards. If I had an area that was particularly oily in the last few days, I focus my efforts in that area.
Note: You are only cleaning your scalp and the hair closest to the scalp. The rest of your hair will not have oil built up on it if you regularly use this process.
This process takes the most patience. You have to splash, scrub it gently with your finger tips into your scalp, then splash another section and scrub into your scalp. At the end, I normally take my fingers and run them from my scalp outward pulling the egg yolk through a few inches of my hair. I have NEVER had too much oil accumulate on the rest of my hair. Only the scalp and first 2-4 inches need to have some oils removed.
Rinse your emulsion out of your hair! It comes right out and your hair immediately feels different. You do not need to add anything else to your hair at this stage to facilitate the egg yolk shampoo removal. At times, if you accidently leave some egg white in your shampoo, you’ll have to remove a speck of white from your hair, but that’s it!
Different Hair Types
This simple egg yolk shampoo will work for many different people with many different hair types. However, sometimes our water changes, our location changes, the weather changes, or our bodies change. I’ve figured out easy solutions that work to add moisture or remove excess oil depending on your hair needs!
If the egg yolk is removing too much moisture and you feel dry, then add a Teaspoon of plain yogurt to your egg yolk before adding the water. This will help some of the lecithin to bind to the yogurt and not to the oils in your hair. If it is still drying you out, add a second Teaspoon.
Note: Be sure that you are eating enough healthy fats if your scalp is dry. Sometimes our skin and scalp are dry because our body is lacking the natural oils it needs to have proper oil output.
If the egg yolk seems to be leaving too much oil behind in your hair (especially after you’ve been using it for a few weeks), then you may need to up your egg yolk usage. Try cleaning every other week with two egg yolks. This should remove the excess oil and help to balance your bodies natural oil output.
What No-Poos Didn’t Work
Now that I’ve told you what works, let me go over a few of the options that didn’t work. Every single person’s hair is unique and just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for anyone. Here were my tries and fails.
Baking Soda and Vinegar – I tried the one that everyone was raving about first. BS and V. As far as I was considered, it was well labeled. I mixed up baking soda and water in a jar. Let is sit until the baking soda was completely dissolved. I put it through my hair and scrubbed. Then I took my Bragg’s Vinegar and water mixture and rinsed it all out. I personally rinsed out the vinegar because I don’t really love the smell.
I was a MESS. My hair had a film all over it. My scalp had baking soda residue no matter what I did. I itched!!!! I felt like I had lice. My hair looked limp and unhealthy.
Here’s why: When you apply the baking soda, your hair pH is pulled to a very alkaline state. When you apply the vinegar water, your hair pH is yanked the opposite direction for pH to an acidic state. Many people rationalize that your hair is then left at a balanced state since you countered the high pH (alkaline) with a low pH (acid), but your hair isn’t a science beaker. Some areas are going to hold onto the baking soda (such as the scalp) and some areas are going to be highly affected by the acid (such as the tips of your hair).
Final decision: I haven’t met a lady who has done the BS/V method who still does the BS/V method. It’s normally everyone’s first step on their no-poo journey, but definitely not the last. It may get you used to having less perfect hair and being okay with that and honestly, that’s great. We all need to realize that our hair is not our identity and bad hair days don’t define who we are.
Warm Water Rinse – I tried using no products on my hair. Quite a few people have great success with just rinsing the extra oils out of their hair with just warm water.
For me, this didn’t work at all. My hair produced more oil than that. I needed something to pull the oil out and the water just couldn’t lift it. Eventually, people using no products at all would need something to help exfoliate their scalps to lift dead skin. I’ve only tried this for a short time before giving up, perhaps your scalp would even out!
Final decision: I couldn’t do a warm water rinse alone unless my hair were to change quite a bit. My oil production is enough that every four to five days, I need some help getting the extra oils ousted from my scalp and the hair next to my scalp.
Note: If you are one of the people having to add two or more teaspoons of yogurt each time you do the egg yolk shampoo, you may want to consider trying the warm water rinse. You may in fact be one of the lucky people who have a naturally very low output of oils that can easily maintain clean hair by just rinsing!
Kefir Rinse – After having a problem with an itchy scalp caused by a mold filled hotel room, I was desperate for relief. In fact, that situation was one of the reasons I began to search for other ways to remedy my hair. I didn’t want to slather an anti-fungal cream in my hair! Thus I began to experiment. One experiment was with Kefir. We had some Kefir that was overripe in our fridge and I decided that I’d apply it to my hair and scalp to see what would happen.
While the Kefir Rinse was not a shampoo, it was conditioning. It not only stopped my scalp from its final bit of itching, it also made my hair come alive. My hair was shiny and healthy.
Final decision: Not an option for a shampoo, but a great conditioning mask.
Do you have any questions about making an egg yolk shampoo to wash your hair? Do you have any suggestions for others using egg yolks?
Thanks for reading!
THE Boholistic Mom
My first exposure to using egg yolks as shampoo: http://www.ingodseconomy.com/best-of-naturally-frugal-egg-yolk-shampoo/
More on Emulsification: http://www.modernistcookingmadeeasy.com/info/modernist-techniques/more/emulsifying-technique
Enzyme-rich Mayonnaise Recipe: http://www.foodrenegade.com/enzyme-rich-mayonnaise/