I have bad hair. I’m not saying that in a fishing-for-compliments kind of way. It’s just a fact. It’s curly, but more on the right side than the left, and if there is even a hint of humidity in the air it becomes frizzy, on both sides. It’s fine, dry, and brittle which isn’t helped by the fact that I bake it with a straightening iron every chance I get. When I wear it short my head looks like an over grown mushroom, but when I wear it long I look like an extra from Charlie’s Angels. I have rocked the feathered, 70s, Farrah Fawcett look. I’m still waiting for that to come back into style.
When I was younger I used to wear my hair in a ponytail every day, apart from the ridiculously fluffy bangs I used to blow dry every morning before tying the rest of my soaking wet hair back. In retrospect, the bangs looked like some sort of decorative crest on a bird or the business end of a squirrel…on my face. Tragically, no one staged a you-have-a-small-creature-on-your-head intervention, and so I wore my hair like this until I was in college.
Once I realized and admitted that I had a problem, I began to search the internet for tips on how to “fix’ my terrible hair. The first thing that went were the bangs. Next, I discovered the straightening iron. I felt enlightened, the way the first ape who picked up a rock and used it as a tool must have felt. I could almost hear choirs of angels singing Ahhhhhhh the first time I ran the flatiron through my frizzy hair and it came out smooth.
I became a hair-hack junkie.
One morning I read that applying mayonnaise to your hair would make it glossier in a single treatment. It was something about the oils or the proteins in the eggs that made it such a perfect conditioner. Cosmopolitan magazine had never steered me wrong in the past, so I skipped cheerfully into the kitchen to find the mayo. I followed the instructions to the letter.
Apply 1 cup of Mayonnaise to dry hair.
Cover head with hot towel and leave in for 20 minutes.
Rinse and shampoo.
I sat on the toilet in my tiny bathroom and shaved my legs over the tub while I waited. I should have known this was an ill-fated venture when the mayonnaise, now runny from the heat of the hot towel, started dripping down my face as I leaned down to reach my ankles. Have you ever had mayonnaise in your eye? Don’t. It is not a pleasant experience.
Finally my 20 minutes in eggy Hell was up and I quickly jumped into the shower. I told myself it would be worth it to finally have the luscious locks I’d always dreamed of. I rinsed the runny mayonnaise out of my hair and shampooed thoroughly. As I shaved the rest of my legs, I noticed that when my hair fell down around my face I could still smell the mayo. Hmm. Maybe I didn’t use enough shampoo.
So I washed it again. And again. But the smell wouldn’t go away.
I thought maybe I was just smelling the mayo coming from the shower drain, which is still gross but at least it wasn’t on my head. I stepped out of the shower and dried off. I blew my hair dry and straightened it as usual. The heat from the styling tools only made the smell worse. My head smelled like a sandwich, which reminded me that I hadn’t had any lunch. So after peering long and hard at my hair in the mirror, straining to see any change for the better in my now odorous hair, I gave up and went about the rest of my day.
For two whole weeks, every time my hair blew in the wind, fell across my face, or moved in any way, I was suddenly surrounded by the smell of mayonnaise. Sometimes I would look around and think Mmm, that smells good. Who’s eating a sandwich?, and then realized to my disappointment that it was just my hair. Again. For two weeks I craved sandwiches. For two weeks I was surrounded by a cloud of mayo-stench that was so strong I worried that birds were going to start landing on my head to forage for food. For two weeks I wore hats every time I left the apartment to try and stifle the smell enough to be seen, and smelled, in public. It was humiliating.
By the time the mayo smell faded, my hair looked exactly the same as it had before. There went two weeks of my dignity that I’ll never get back. That was the last crazy, DIY, quick-fix hair repair I ever attempted. Now I stick to regular hair cuts, careful combing, and frying it to within an inch of it’s life with a straightening iron to maintain some semblance of control over my frizzy mop. Maybe there is some fabulous secret that I’m missing that would solve all my styling troubles, but I’ll never know. I can never look at Cosmo the same again.
One thing I do know for sure is I will NEVER AGAIN put a condiment in my hair. Ever.