Homestyle Haircare

Ingredients: Avocado, banana, olive oil, garlic, sheep’s placenta, eggs, honey and whale sperm. This isn’t a new love potion—it’s my hair conditioner.

There are those of us with thick hair, and then there is me. Jet black, thick, curly and stubborn-my hair has a mind entirely of its own but with the proper care, its heaven on my head, which brings me to my nice little grocery list that we started with.

For the past three years, I’ve been the self appointed queen of kitchen-made conditioners. Originally, I started playing with my food because I needed a deep conditioning treatment – but had a serious lack of funds (actually, I’m still a brokanista). Working in the “biz”, I’ve had more than a few products come my way that are worth trying, even blending with my recipes but nothing so far has come close to the natural stuff. My hair has been consistently healthy, shiny and soft so I must be doing something right.

Getting Started

Determine what your hair needs. Is it dry? Weak? Frizzy? Oily? Depending on your assessment, you may not even need a deep conditioner. In addition, know that your hair is only as good as your health. Taking hair, skin and nail vitamins, maintaining a good diet and regular exercise is not only good for your body – but your mane too.

Also, this recipe isn’t for the kitchen primadonna – my dear, you are going to get your hands dirty. Note that most of the following recipes are for added moisture and strengthening – for any special needs/desires you should see your stylist, and if necessary – a dermatologist.

Depending on the recipe you will need:

A blender
Depending on hair length, a wide toothed comb or standard comb with a handle.
Mixing Spoon
Mixing Bowl
Bonnet Hair Dryer
Plastic Shower Cap


The Cadillac: Basic conditioner inspired by a classic product I grew up with, Queen Helene’s Hair Mayonnaise.

1 small jar of mayonnaise
1/2 avocado

Peel avocado and remove pit. Throw it in a blender and use a blend or puree setting. Smooth into hair and comb it thru to the ends. Use shower cap or plastic wrap to seal body heat in. Leave on hair for 20 minutes. For deeper conditioning use a hair dryer set to a low to medium heat setting.

The Escalade: A variation of the Cadillac, but with added extras for strength and shine.

1 small jar of mayonnaise
1 egg
2-3 strawberries
1/2 avocado

Peel avocado and remove pit. Slice the strawberries and remove the leaves. Throw it all in a blender and top it off with the egg and use a blend or puree setting. Smooth into hair and comb it through to the ends. Use a shower cap or plastic wrap to seal body heat in. Leave on hair for 20 minutes. For deeper conditioning use a hair dryer set to a low to medium heat setting.

Coco Loco

1 avocado
Coconut milk

Peel and pit avocado. Mash up the avocado with a masher or your hands and slowly add coconut milk until the mixture is smooth or just throw it in the blender – whatever floats your boat. Work through hair to ends with your hand and then comb thru. Throw on your plastic cap and go check your emails. Rinse after 15 minutes and shampoo.

The following are for those who wear braids or locs because nothing is worse than trying to pick avocado bits out of your hair.

JoJo Hot Oil Treatment

2 teaspoons jojoba oil
1 teaspoon soybean oil
Alter amounts according to hair length and thickness

Combine ingredients, then warm gently on low heat on the stove. Test temperature on tips of fingers or inside of forearm. Massage mixture into hair. Cover with shower cap or plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Shampoo & rinse out. For a deeper treatment, sit under the dryer and catch up on your favorite mag. Double the recipe for very long hair.

Oil & A Brew Conditioner

1 cup WARM beer (I’ve used Guinness Stout, Red Stripe and Budweiser in the past)
1 teaspoon Jojoba Oil or Coconut Oil
Alter amounts according to hair length and thickness

Mix all ingredients. Apply to hair and massage through. Rinse well. Shampoo lightly if you have residue.

Not one for the blender or don’t like to remix? Here are some more secrets, from one curly girl to another. To be honest – I don’t believe in paying a bounty for shampoo or conditioner – so here are some reasonable favorites:

Pantene – they have a variety of products, so I won’t list them all but they DO work. When I’m not in the mood to put on my apron, I rely out their Daily Moisture Renewal or Relaxed & Natural lines.

Nature’s Gate – They have the best lotion ever, so I gave their hair products a try with good results.

Dominican Conditioners – Any girl who has ever gone to a Dominican salon for a blow out (they are kinda great) will tell you that that blow dry heat is no joke. Hence, Dominicans are responsible for some of the best conditioners that I have ever come across. I always have a little jar of Bomba in my bag when traveling to a warm climate, and I tend to throw in a handful of into my natural mixes. The trick is to identify what your needs are and then find the conditioner that has the ingredients that you need. I personally LOVE the Whale Sperm. Yeah I said it.

Match your hair needs to your new grocery list:

Dryness/Lack of Softness: Avocado, Olive Oil, Aloe Vera, Coconut, Silk Worm, Jojoba
Shedding and Growth: Garlic, Wheat Germ, Cinnamon, Rosemary
Dullness: Silicone, Honey, Olive Oil, Strawberry, Placenta, Coconut, Jojoba, Almond
Strength: Lecithin, Egg, Milk, Collagen, Placenta, Whale Sperm

Here are some more of my favorites:
Silicon Mix
Diez Y Uno
La Bomba
Capilo Whale Sperm (not everytime)
Capilo Honey & Milk

If you aren’t in Miami, New York or DR – you can purchase online from

This is a working list so feel free to add yours and email me at I’d love to hear about your concoction!

Ciao Ciao Bellas!


Last 5 posts by Shannon Washington

  • thanks for the hair recipes. i will definitely try the escalade and the coco loco or a mixture of the two to get a slight strawberry coconut scent.

  • let me know how it goes. you may not get the scent that you expect in a normal conditioner (enhanced with perfumes) but your hair will be really soft!

    another trick: mix your conditioner, put on a shower cap and head scarf, and then go exercise/clean the house/etc. Wash it out a few hours later and voila, butter softness!