My mother was famed for many things. Hailed as a great chef and one of the pillars of my family, she was known for her total lack of recipes for really anything. She had learned many of them and kept them committed to memory. She was a magician that way.
One recipe my mother was most known for wasn’t a confection, it wasn’t a cake, cookie, or casserole. It was a treatment. An egg and olive oil treatment for hair.
Now, some background information is more than needed. Winter hair is a terrible plague at times to deal with. And the cycles of wet/cold then dry/cold has absolutely done a number on my hair. So I sought treatment to remedy the frazzled mess I was still attempting to call my hair.
In theory, an egg and oil treatment is very sound. Egg yolks, rich in proteins, fortify the hair while the oil moistens the scalp and adds shine. In theory, it’s a great idea. In theory.
I had performed this ritual once before while in school as an in-shower treatment. The ghastly concoction of oil and egg that swirled into my shower drain was less than appealing. But as an in-shower treatment, made sense. And the end result was very shiny hair with great body. I enjoyed it so much I did think
Certainly, I will try this again.
So I did.
I recently tried this famous recipe again. Adding a little more research to my mother’s sound recipe. And with the collective amassing of knowledge, I found out a key difference between how I used the treatment and another more “proper” way to do it.
According to research, it was meant to be a pre-shower treatment.
Let me spell that out for you.
You are to take a mixture of raw egg and olive oil, comb that into your hair, and leave it there for at least 30 minutes.
It sounds great, doesn’t it?
So I mixed the needed ingredients together and did my best to apply said mixture to my hair.
It went about as well as it sounds.
Imagine trying to intentionally comb into your hair thinned honey.
But I managed.
The entire process was a slimy mess of shame and the continual wondering of
Why am I doing this?
But I prevailed.
Once the mixture had made it safely to my head, albeit having to sacrifice part of my bathroom sink, I was instructed to wrap my hair with a shower cap and let the mixture set.
Made sense enough. So I did so.
Now, physics reminds us that things like slimy plasma-like substances don’t like to stay in one place.
As a result, within minutes of securing the cap, I was awash with runny, oily egg yolk.
It is about as attractive of a mental image as it was.
This is clearly a look for someone who hates themselves.
Yolk dripping, I took it all in stride. What I won’t do for my hair. I grabbed a towel, dabbed away excessive yolk spillage as I could catch and and decided to hell with the rest.
I sat for my 30 minutes. All while hating myself, hating eggs, hating oil. Basically, hating everything.
Once I rinsed, I did feel a lot better. And I do feel it was a good idea to treat my hair in such a way in preparation for stronger winter cold ahead.
The massacre of towels needn’t be discussed, they fought a good fight. And it was all worth it.
In the end, when I replicate things my mother did I feel like she’s there with me. It’s like taking a step back in time. It connects us. Some have stories, others rituals. I have egg and oil treatments.
This one’s for you, Mom. I look fabulous.