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Recently, do-it-yourself mayonnaise hair packs have caught the attention of people who want to look their best, save a little cash, and maybe find a second use for that jumbo-sized jar of the condiment they picked up at Costco. And while we don’t know where she sources her mayo from, our Japanese-language correspondent Shimazu was one of those intrigued by this possible meeting of the beauty and culinary worlds.

So to see if it’s really as good for your hair as its fans say, Shimazu hopped in the shower, lathered up, and slapped on a coat of mayo. She didn’t stop there, though, as she also grabbed a couple of other bottles from her kitchen so she could compare the results versus treating her hair with vegetable and olive oil.

Since RocketNews24 has a strict single-sex shower policy, we’ll let Shimazu take over from here:

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These days, it seems like everyone is talking about mayonnaise hair packs. I guess it sort of makes sense. After all, they sell hair treatments with egg whites and yolks in them. I even used some once, and it made my hair pretty smooth.

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It was pretty expensive, though, and I don’t use it anymore. Now, my hair is dry and damaged. After coloring it so many times, you won’t find any smooth or shiny segments from the scalp to the tips, and I’ve got plenty of split ends to boot. So really, I’m hoping to see a dramatic turnaround after using mayonnaise on it.

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The process is simple. All you have to do is wash your hair, then spread mayo on it. Since mayonnaise is a lot cheaper than pricy hair products, you can afford to apply it liberally, and I started by putting a squeeze on the back of my head.

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This should probably be obvious, but as soon as I did that, I got hit with the smell of mayo. I had a preexisting notion from commercial hair treatments that they smell good, and that might have made it all the more shocking, but honestly, the mayo stinks.

But in Japanese, we have a saying: Ryouyaku ha kuchi ni nigai. It means “Effective medicine has a bitter taste,” and that sometimes you have to bear with unpleasantness to get the best results. Keeping my eyes on the prize, next I started adding the mayo to the tips of my hair.

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Aaaand the smell only got worse. Again, I should have seen this coming, since it was now closer to my nose than it was before. Still, I decided to tough it out. Good medicine and all that, right?

But just because I toughed it out doesn’t mean I can’t complain. Really, truly, honestly, the stuff reeks. Plus, the sensation of holding mayonnaise with your hands is sort of like palming a dissolving lump of slime.

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After letting it sit for a few moments, it was time to rinse everything out. Next, I added some conditioner, and after rinsing that out too, I got out of the shower, blow dried my hair, checked the results…

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…and didn’t feel like the mayonnaise had done much at all. Well, other than making my hair smell funny, that is. I’d read comments online from people who’d done the mayo pack, saying “I didn’t mind the smell that much.” But you know, if you have to add “that much,” that just proves that it leaves an unpleasant, acidic smell on your head.

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Maybe I’d been expecting too much, but I was so disappointed I decided to get my regular hair stylist’s take on the matter. “Do mayo treatments really work?” I asked her.

“First, even though people say it’ll revitalize your hair, the only part that’s alive is the root,” she explained. “What you can see with your eyes are just dead cells, and you can’t bring those back to life.”

“Some treatments can repair the damage to your hair, though. But while commercial brands make a big deal about containing egg whites and yolks, they probably don’t have much of an effect. What makes your hair feel smooth is the oil that eggs and mayonnaise contain.”

Ah-ha! So it’s the oil that does the trick. Well, in that case, let’s see what other candidates I’ve got lying around.

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After a quick search, it was time to go back into the shower. This time, I decided to treat the right side of my head with vegetable oil, and the left with olive oil.

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The vegetable oil had one immediate advantage over the mayo, in that it had no odor. Really, it’s just a cheap bottle from the grocery store, so I didn’t have that much confidence that it would help my hair, but psychologically, it felt good just knowing it wouldn’t make it stink.

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Likewise, the olive oil didn’t offend my nose. Plus, it had a certain stickiness as I poured it onto my fingertips, which made it seem a little closer to the sort of high-class hair products you might find at the Body Shop or someplace like that.

After blow drying my hair, it was time to see how the two oils had fared.

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I think the vegetable oil made my hair sort of glossy…maybe? On the other hand, the olive oil had my hair looking as good as I’d expect from a 4,000-yen (US$35) bottle of fancy store-bought treatment costing, despite costing only a fraction as much.

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So what’s my conclusion? Any sort of edible or cooking oil will probably do the trick, but I got the shiniest coating from olive oil. Or, if you get a kick from following the latest trends, give mayonnaise a shot.

Just be ready for the smell.

Photos: RocketNews24
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