With warmer weather on the rise, it’s about that time to switch from our winter regimens to our Spring/Summer regimen. Since Spring and Summer are usually the prime-time to score all of your favorite fruits and vegetables, why not incorporate some of them into your beauty routine?
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Unbeknownst to many, a lot of tropical fruits are packed with essential fats, vitamins, and nutrients that nourish not only our bodies, but can be used for our hair as well! Here are 3 tropical masks that you need to try out this summer.
You’ve seen them…those large gourds that you either breeze right past in the grocery store or scoop as many up as possible. Papaya is best known to be used in skin products due to its high levels of papain which dissolves dead skin, leaving the skin soft and glowing. Luckily enough, the papaya has the same effect on hair!
If you find that your hair contains a lot of product build up, the enzymes in papaya help loosen them up so that the hair is left shiny and voluminous. This fruit contains carotene, potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin C, essential minerals and enzymes such as papain, arginine, and carpain – all of which aid in the overall conditioning and nourishment of the hair shaft.
How to Pick the Right Papaya
Papayas that are ripe typically have yellowish or orange-red skin, and will sink slightly when you press into it with your fingertips. If you know what a ripe avocado feels like, then you should be pretty good at picking a ripe papaya. Also, smelling the base where the stem used to be is a great way to check if the fruit is ripe or not.
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Look for papaya that have a faint, sweet scent near the stem and avoid those that have a strong, unpleasant odor to them. Don’t sleep on the over-ripe papaya though- if you have a papaya that is over-ripe, it provides the perfect texture to be blended into a hair mask but it has to be used right away.
1 cup ripe papaya, seeds removed, diced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup plain yogurt
Hand blender (optional but awesome!)
Blend all ingredients until the consistency is smooth, making sure that no chunks of papaya remain. You can ensure that no chunks will remain by straining the mixture through a mesh colander or sieve. Apply to the hair and leave for at least 30 minutes. Rinse hair thoroughly.
Mango is one of the key fruits that indicate that it’s finally summertime. This isn’t a fruit that was typically used for beauty too much in the natural hair community, but now that the benefits of its properties are well-known, mango is seen in a number of products for both skin and hair. These super fruits are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins such as Vitamin C, A, and B6, as well as minerals including copper, potassium and magnesium.
Mangoes help fight dandruff, add sheen, help blood circulation and cell growth, and help increase the absorption of nutrients. It has also been shown that the copper pep-tides that mangoes contain help to heal wounds and scabbing which is beneficial to those who are attempting to regrow their hair after chemotherapy or who have suffered chemical burns from perms and other chemical treatments.
How to Pick the Right Mango
Picking a mango is pretty much like picking a papaya or avocado-smell, sight and touch are the indicators of whether or not it’s ripe. The flesh should have a slight give, a sweet aroma, and should be void of large soft spots.
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tbsp honey
Hand blender (optional)
Blend all ingredients using a blender or food processor until smooth. To ensure that there are no particles of mango in your mixture, strain through a mesh colander or sieve. Gently massage the mask into dry, dirty hair starting from the roots and moving down the hair making sure to focus heavily on the ends. Wrap hair in a shower cap and cover head with a warm towel for about an hour. Rinse the mask off with warm water and follow your normal shampoo routine.
It’s no secret that coconut is the go-to ingredient of MOST natural hair products today, and with good reason. This fruit, nut and drupe is full of nutrients, healthy fatty acids and proteins that are beneficial for the health of your hair. The medium chain fatty acids that are found in coconut milk are able to penetrate into the hair shaft in order to moisturize the hair within the follicle.
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It has also been shown to promote hair growth, fight inflammation and reduce hair loss since it contains Vitamin E, and the protein that coconut milk contains also helps rebuild and strengthen the hair.
Where to get Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is pretty much found in any major grocery store, usually in the ‘International’ aisle. You should buy the canned coconut milk, since the coconut milk in the carton is usually diluted so that it isn’t as thick and doesn’t separate. Once you get home, although it isn’t necessary, putting the coconut milk in the fridge will cause the fats in the milk to solidify which gives you a thicker end product. Just open the can, scoop out the solids with a spoon and set aside the remaining coconut water to drink or to use as a rinse.
1 tbsp honey
4 tbsp coconut milk
Blend all of the ingredients until the consistency is smooth. To ensure that your mixture is smooth, strain through a mesh colander or sieve. Apply the mixture to clean, wet hair, put on a shower cap and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Rinse out with cool water and continue on to your styling routine.
Tropical tresses Naturals! I love it. Are you going to try one? Share below which one.