Alternative Uses for Avocados: Hair Treatment

by Cate on July 18, 2010

What You Need

If you happen to come here looking forward to a slew of pictures from the weekend, I hate to disappoint you, but I was a total bum this weekend.  Well, not total, but pictures of the six loads of laundry, the grocery shopping, the weeding, the cleaning of the playroom … I’m thinking that they’re not nearly as fun as the usual spate of pictures.  I hope you’ll forgive me.  Especially if I offer you something else instead.

Avocados.  No denying that avocados are a favorite fruit (yes, they really are a fruit) amongst the Sweetnicks readers, but how about an alternative use for them?  Like as in a hair mask?  I know.  I know.  It’s sounds completely disgusting.  And it is.  But hang with me for a bit.  I swear it’s worth it.

Sometimes you have an avocado that just got too ripe too fast and now you can’t eat it.  Such a pity to waste it.  I abhor waste.  What to do?  I happened to be reading the latest issue of InStyle magazine when I spied my answer.  A hair treatment!

After applying an astringent mix to your hair to strip out all the dirt and build-up, then you apply the avocado treatment.  I second-guessed it from the moment I started, so I’m right there with you.  Here’s how I got through it…

First.  I did it after I came home from Saturday night plans, and I didn’t have anything going on for Sunday morning except my Zumba class, so if all my hair fell out or turned brilliant shades of green (worst case scenarios of course), I had time to fix it.

Second.  I tried not to worry what the different ingredients would do to my hair.  The first step includes mouthwash.  I worried about using the right one.  What if the “whitening” one I had on hand had something extra in it that I shouldn’t be putting on my hair?  I also colored my hair recently (first time since an ill-fated decision to put a thick blonde streak in my hair in my early 20s) … what if this wasn’t for colored hair?  So many questions.  No answers.

Third.  I tried to ignore the mess.  Because eww.  It’s messy.  I did it all over the bathroom sink and I swear there are little bits of avocado in places that there shouldn’t be.  It looked like an avocado massacre in the sink.  And I will probably still be picking out little bits of avocado from my hair for the rest of the week.  Well, no, I think I got it all, but it’s a few shades short of a disgusting process.

But all that being said … do it.  My hair has seriously never been softer.  Smoother.  All for about 30 minutes of my time and with ingredients I mostly had on hand (only had to buy Witch Hazel and a shower cap).  Of course, I will now have to find alternative uses for Witch Hazel since I have a lot of it left over (what the heck can you use it for?), but it’s cheap.

Just Trust Me

(Before mixing)

I will totally do this hair treatment again, probably monthly, avocado-massacre-in-my-sink be damned.

Trust me.  I won’t steer you wrong.

The Frizz Tamer (25 minutes)
Courtesy of InStyle magazine, August 2010

The more hydration your hair gets in the shower, the less likely it is to soak up moisture in the air. This ultra-rich mask quenches even the thirstiest strands to give them a smooth, healthy sheen.

Cleanse. Saturate hair with a mixture of equal parts of witch hazel and mouthwash, massaging it onto the scalp with your fingertips. (The article didn’t specify whether or not this mixture should be rinsed out before going on to the next step.  I left it in.)  “This works as a natural astringent and antiseptic to get rid of flakes and promote healthier hair growth,” says trichologist Philip Kingsley, who has softened the strands of Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet.

Condition.  In a small bowl, combine one avocado with 2 tablespoons each olive oil, water and whipped heavy cream.  Comb from roots to ends, clip up hair and cover with a shower cap (the heat from your scalp activates the mixture).

Rinse.  After 20 minutes, remove the treatment using tepid water, and wash hair with a gentle sulfate-free shampoo.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

lisabella July 18, 2010 at 11:43 pm

I’ve used witch hazel on bug bites, worked very well! It’s also good for acne-prone skin.


Joanne July 19, 2010 at 6:12 am

I definitely need to try this! My hair is some serious need of anti-frizz, especially in this humidity.


The Sister In-Law July 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

Witch Hazel is a great skin astringent.



mandy July 19, 2010 at 9:23 am

This sounds like a really neat home experiment. I haven’t done a hair mask in ages but my long locks would probably benefit immensely from something like this. I might have to try it next weeekend. Thanks for sharing!


Ramona July 19, 2010 at 9:43 am

I can picture the look on my husbands face. He so nosy and would want to know what I was doing……


Patsy July 19, 2010 at 10:01 am

I would definitely have to get past all the messiness of that treatment! Great idea though – no waste is always a good thing!


emkenton July 19, 2010 at 1:00 pm

We’ve always used witch hazel on places that you know will turn into a bruise– like when you bump into something. If you immediately apply witch hazel to the spot, it seems to keep the bruise from either happening at all, or from getting as bad as it would otherwise!


karen July 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm

So where is the picture of your hair? Preferably before and after. I and I’m sure your other readers would love to see the results.

Witch hazel is good for bruises according to my grandmother. I know she always had a bottle on hand. I liked the smell of it. Being a tom boy I had a lot of it used on me.


Eliana July 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Ah yes. There are stores where my family is from, Dominican Republic, that actually sell pre-made tubs of avocado hair conditioner. It works wonders.


Cate O'Malley July 24, 2010 at 11:08 am

Karen – no problem on posting pictures of before and after, but since this one is more about softness, it’s not something you can really see in a picture, you know? :)

Thanks for all the great tips on using Witch Hazel!


sha August 10, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Did you apply the witch hazel and mouthwash mixture through the length of your hair or just the scalp?


Cate August 10, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Sha – to the entire length of my hair.


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