I was surprised to find myself lying under my covers at 1 a.m. searching “How to do a mayonnaise hair mask” on Google, but life is a box of chocolates and you never know what beauty fixations you’re gonna get.
My split ends have recently entered post-summer, post-beach crisis mode wherein my normal hair care routine is failing to keep them in check. The keratin treatment I got in August helped a lot, but I’m still seeking improvement in the “silkiness” department, especially because my hair is very dry in general.
That’s how I found myself reading about mayo. The impetus for this particular split ends solution came courtesy of Blake Lively, the mermaid hair queen herself: “My mom taught me this really great beauty tip,” Lively told Byrdie. “She used to put oil or mayonnaise on the bottom half of her hair before she would shower. That way, when she would shampoo, the soap wouldn’t strip the bottom of the hair and dry it out, making it brittle.”
Upon further research, I learned that mayonnaise is a popular DIY hair treatment because it contains ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar and soybean oil, which contain fatty acids and vitamins that can boost shine and seal in moisture.
The thing is, I hate mayonnaise. I haven’t had it since I was in elementary school and my friend’s mom made us sandwiches on Wonder Bread with bologna and mayo. I took one bite, and all I tasted was slime. (My dad, on the other hand, loves it. When he makes his own tuna salad with it, I have to leave the room.) So you can see my dilemma when confronted with the prospect of smothering my hair with it, my split-end urgency notwithstanding.
Just when I was about to pack it in, an InStyle article entitled “Tony Moly Mayo Hair Mask Review” caught my eye. Tony Moly is a popular Korean cosmetics brand, so the combination of that name plus “mayo hair mask” perked up my sleep-deprived antennae.
“Tony Moly’s Haeyo Mayo Hair Nutrition Pack […] could easily be confused for an actual bottle of mayonnaise,” writes InStyle. “Though the texture and color is strikingly similar to the real deal, Haeyo Mayo smells nothing like mayonnaise. Instead, it smells like creamy, velvety vanilla and macadamia nut. Also, because it’s formulated with shea butter and egg yolk extract, two ingredients that are highly moisturizing, it makes hair super soft and shiny.”
A mayonnaise hair mask without the mayonnaise! It sounded too good to be true, and I guess it is, because it was completely sold out on the Tony Moly website (ed note: Tony Moly has since restocked, but it’s also available on Amazon). Luckily I was able to call in a press sample to give it a whirl A.S.A.P.
I fell in love as soon as I squirted it into my palm. Seriously. It smelled that good. I decided on the spot that even if it did nothing for my split ends, I would still rub it all over the rest of my body every day for eternity, not kidding.
I didn’t have to worry about that, though, because it definitely did something for my split ends. A whole lot of something. I could tell as soon as my hair dried. The impact wasn’t visibly noticeable enough to show up in a “before & after” type photo, but I could feel the difference when I touched my hair. The ends were significantly less frizzy and almost “pillow-y” feeling, if that makes sense. I couldn’t believe how soft they felt.
Tony Moly’s Haeyo Mayo Hair Nutrition Pack has earned a permanent place in my hair care routine, and maybe also my refrigerator as a fun trick. Real mayonnaise can stay right where it belongs: out of my hair, inside my dad’s tuna salad.