I have been shampoo free for over six years now and egg shampoo remains one of my favourite alternative shampoos, although it isn’t as straightforward – or gross- as it sounds. Please read on for how to apply egg on hair and my own first experience of egg shampoo.
Why use eggs to wash your hair?
Eggs are a one hundred percent natural alternative to shampoo. The substance of the egg acts like a surfactant, pulling out all the dirt along your hair shaft with it. However it also acts as a conditioner for dry hair.
How do eggs work as a shampoo and conditioner?
You can see from this chart here that an egg yolk is very alkaline and an egg white less so. People often wonder whether to use egg white for hair or an egg yolk hair mask. Hopefully understanding that alkaline = super conditioning and acid = cleansing will help you figure it out! (If you are aiming to be shampoo free having a good understanding about basic chemistry does help a little. or you can just keep tuned here!) If you have potentially greasy hair and need less moisturising then an egg white will suit your needs better. However if you have dry hair or want a super conditioning mask than using the egg yolk with all its alkaline goodness will be a great conditioner.
How to apply egg on hair
There are many ways to apply the egg to your hair – for example, simply cracking the egg on your head MIGHT work, however these are the least messy and most effective ways:
The most simple way to wash your hair with an egg is to crack an egg into a squeezy bottle (a fizzy drink with a squeezy lid works well) and give it a good shake. Take the bottle into the shower with you and after giving you hair a good wetting with COOL water squeeze the egg mixture all over your scalp. Leave on for 1-3 minutes depending on how dirty your hair is and wash off really well, again with cool water.
For a way that feels a little less egg-y you can take out the yolk and whip the egg white up along with a drop of lavender essential oil. Spreading the fluffy mounds of pavlova-like substance feels very wonderful for your hair too!
Extra tips to help if you have a (fairly rare) reaction that makes the eggs smell a little bit afterwards:
Use fresh eggs!
Use a dab of essential oils on your hair after.
Rinse really well.
Here is an extract from my own shampoo free journal:
“It’s been 3 months since I washed my hair (to the tune of Barenaked Ladies, obvs)- and I have finally decided my days of shampoo are gone forever.
Of course, I haven’t given up washing it all together – I have just let go of the shampoo element; my latest move in the name of eco-thrift.
My last update revealed me to be in a bit of a pickle about it – all that vinegar (geddit), all that bicarb, was stripping out my gingeryness. So I have been doing some eggsperimenting. (You’ll have to just excuse/ admire all these ace puns for a while I’m afraid.)
By way of introduction, can we just have a moment to focus on eggs on the whole? Fried eggs, poached eggs. Key ingredient in cakes and other baking. What about a quiche? Man alive, I love a quiche. What a completely underrated thing an egg is.
But how about eggs and hair? For real. They are the cats whiskers for your locks. I know! Total disbelief eh? I, too, couldn’t believe it. Never one to rest in my skepticism I cracked on with it. I mixed one in a little bowl and applied to my wet hair whilst in the shower, working it into my scalp and ends. I left it on for a few minutes then rinsed it off with luke warm water. It felt lush! A bit wrong too, like I was having some kind of intimate food fight. But my hair felt like silk with all that egg dripping off it. (Bahaha, I just know this making some of you vomit a tiny bit.)
I dried my hair as I normally do, brushing it through as with my blow drier and I was instantly impressed with the results. Shiny, thick, soft. Since leaving behind my shampoo days my hair has never been so volumous, and it is growing at Rapunzel rates – things that suggest to me the natural way is the healthiest way.
I got 5 days of nice clean hair (including one water only wash a couple of days after) and then had to wear a scarf for the last two days, which were just a little too oily for me. This is the pattern for all my shampoo alternatives – 5 days of good, 2 days of bad. But I am really trying to get into a once a week habit, my hair WILL submit eventually I am sure. Having two days where you are motivated to wear a scarf is an excellent thing I reckon, I do love a nice scarf. And 5 days of clean hair is miles more then pre-experiment. I really only had 48 hours of nice hair, max.
At 35p a pop (yeah, we get the super happy, free range, organic as you can get variety) eggs as an alternative are a little eggspensive, but the sunny side (Up) is that you will likely have them in your kitchen so they’ll make a fab emergency shampoo.
This Easter, why not give it a crack? I’d love to hear about it. Even if you are in love with your shampoo, I do recommend giving this a go, just to help your esteem of eggs along a bit. And to give your hair a bit of a natural treatment. (Of course, all hair is different- it might totally fail on you. Don’t be ashamed, or take it too personally.)
PS PS – You can buy my bestselling book right here Happy Hair– it is the ultimate guide to giving up shampoo! Also available in Spanish and Portugese.
““This book is your one stop shop for everything NO Poo related, I can’t recommend it highly enough. There is a wealth of info on the internet for those wishing to explore giving up shampoo but a concise, inspiring guide to taking the plunge has been missing and this book is the business! I had already given up shampoo about 3 weeks before reading the book and was committed to giving it a go but now I feel I have the definitive guide to fall back on whenever I need it. Now I know I was using too much bicarb, not brushing enough, and I have an arsenal of conditioning treatments I am planning to try out. Best of all, Lucy explains the science behind how our hair is naturally equipped to clean itself in a way that I can actually remember and wax lyrical to anyone who will listen! And yes, my hair is thicker and shinier than ever.”
For another account please read my write up of egg shampoo for Cosmopolitan magazine here.