Hair Mask Spa Secrets: Or How I Became A Banana Head
I originally wrote this article back in 2002 and since that point have received a lot of feedback from people who have tried the various banana masks listed below.
I have also found copies of the various recipes listed below all over the web. What a great compliment, obviously my banana recipes are a big hit.
Recipes For Beauty And Hair Conditioning
Since the beginning of time people have concocted various recipes to promote beauty, anti-aging and conditioning for their hair and skin.
Documented skin and hair softening formulas for ancient Egyptians included hippopotamus fat, gazelle dung, writing fluid and ground donkey teeth mixed with honey.
The ancient Romans used finely ground narcissus bulbs, honey mixed with wine to prevent wrinkles and soften the hair.
In the 17th century women slept in special hair and face gloves that were actually made of silk, linen or leather stretched over various creams and oils to iron our skin wrinkles and soften hair.
Modern day beauty spas have adopted their own form of special recipes made with a wide range of fruits, honey and other natural ingredients.
When I visited a spa where they offered me a choice of "custom", all natural, beauty recipes. I decided to try a few of the treatments with hopes of gleaning enough information about the various ingredients so I could repeat the treatments at home.
My spa beauty consultant was enthusiastic about my request to get the recipes to perform on a regular basis. She gladly shared all the pertinent treatment details.
Honey & Banana Beauty Benefits
The Egyptians and Romans must have been on the right track with their use of honey in their beauty recipes. My spa consultant informed me that honey is a fabulous natural moisturizer for hair and skin.
Bananas contain tryptophan, a rich amino acid that is known to be extremely beneficial for hair and skin. They are chock full of potassium which adds super softening properties to the hair shaft. Along with vitamins A, B, C and E bananas contain rich natural oils and carbohydrates. All these goodies shore up the natural elasticity of the hair and prevents split ends.
Besides all the softening and beautifying properties bananas smell wonderful. The aroma of bananas was found to be the most popular aroma in a study published in 1988. The trend continues.
Spas are the only ones that know about the great beauty benefits of bananas. The Taiwano Indians use heated extract of banana as regular softening scalp treatments.
Banana Hair Mask Recipe
A custom recipe was blended for my hair that included the following ingredients:
Using a high speed blender the consultant mixed the ingredients until they were the consistency of a thick fruit drink that had a fabulous sweet aroma. The consultant told me that she is often tempted to drink the mask mixture for breakfast.
A detoxifying shampoo was applied to my hair to remove any possible product build-up. It was followed with a warm rinse and a towel blotting. The thick gooey yellow mixture was brushed onto my slightly damp hair with a color application brush that looked like a type of paint brush. The conditioner was applied one inch from my hair roots down to the very ends of my hair.
Banana & Avocado Facial Mask
My hair was wrapped in a plastic cap and then in a hot towel. While I was waiting for my "hair to cook" the consultant applied a gentle cleansing facial followed by a Banana-Avocado Face Mask.
Although I was beginning to feel like a complete banana head, I welcomed the opportunity to try yet another special banana related beauty recipe.
Since I have mild rosacea of my cheeks I wanted to avoid any treatments that might aggravate my skin or cause breakouts.
Even though the spa also offers a couple of different fruit juice mask options (apple, papaya & peach) the consultant suggested the gentle softening properties of a Banana-Avocado Mask.
Banana Avocado Facial Mask Ingredients
The banana/avocado facial recipe included the following ingredients:
1 small organic (when possible) ripened banana
The banana and avocado were mashed together to form a thick lime green paste. The yogurt was added. The mixture was massaged onto my newly cleaned and steamed damp skin. The mask was left on my skin for 10 minutes. Although this beauty treatment can be left on up to 25 minutes, because of my sensitive skin, it was decided to minimize my face time.
My rosacea was not disturbed and my skin glowed. I later tried this mask on my hair and it was great.
Removing The Hair Mask
After my facial was finished it was time to remove my hair mask that had been on my hair for close to one hour.
I was told that this mask is wonderful as a regular weekly treatment for severely damaged hair. If you can stand the drippy messiness this hair mask can even be slept in overnight.
Note: If you wish to sleep in the hair mask apply it at least one hour before bedtime. This will give the mask time to dry on your hair and prevent terminal drippage. Wrap your hair in a plastic shower cap and be sure to protect your bedding with towels. Shampoo first thing in the morning.
My hair was first rinsed with warm water to remove the mask. Phytotherathrie's Phytojojoba shampoo (one of my favorites) was used to shampoo my hair. Phytojojoba is a restoring shampoo. It is perfect for conditioning because it contains nourishing coconut & jojoba oils which restores and fortifies damaged hair. A perfect follow-up for the banana hair mask treatment.
After a complete warm water rinse my hair was sealed with a quick cold water rinse. After towel blotting my hair, Phytotherathrie #7 leave-in conditioner was applied to help detangle and seal in the results of the mask. My hair was braided, while still wet, into a single three strand braid and allowed to air dry.
Banana Beauty Results
After my hair was completely air dried I removed the braid to discover lush, very soft waves with amazing shine. I felt wonderful and my hair and skin looked terrific.
One side effect of all the aromatic banana treatments was a newfound craving for eating bananas. I surrendered to a healthy, but yummy, honey banana after-dinner dessert.
Karen's Warm Honey Banana Recipe (For Eating)
1 organic ripened banana
Place peeled banana on shallow baking dish. Place in oven pre-heated to 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. If you prefer you can heat the banana in a microwave oven until warm.
Remove the banana and drizzle with warm honey. Sprinkle with crushed nuts, cherries or other toppings such as coconut.
All natural hair and skin recipes can be a wonderful way to treat yourself to a home spa experience. If you want to avoid the muss and fuss of drippy treatments, head for your local spa for the full treatment.
When you schedule your appointment ask about the spa's custom beauty recipes for hair and skin. Some spas also offer complete body masks and wraps made with all sorts of exotic ingredients.
When in doubt, Bring Your Own Bananas (BYOB) and the recipes above to enjoy a custom tropical beauty treat.
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Original Publication Date: 01/26/2002 - Revised Date: 01/24/11
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