OATS: a humble breakfast food? Or haircare miracle? In this installment of Mask Force, I find out how effective a homemade hair mask of milk, olive oil and oats is.
A Hair-brained scheme?
I’ll be upfront–I don’t have a sophisticated haircare routine. I wash it every 2-3 days, without blow-drying or styling and have it trimmed roughly every six months. I have long, thick (almost always tangled) hair. I always get a huge tangle at the nape of my neck that hurts too much to comb out. I leave it until it turns into a giant dread and struggle to brush it out in the shower (ladies TELL ME this happens to you too). Needless to say, haircare game weak.
This oat/milk/oil mask is supposed to nourish hair and encourage growth. The milk acts as a conditioner and the application of oats on the scalp reduces irritation and increases moisture.
Here’s what you need:
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 3 tbsp milk
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
How much you’ll need depends on how long and how thick your hair is. I doubled the recipe for my own hair.
I started with dirty, tangled, day-three hair. Instructions are straightforward: Start with tangle-free hair (I didn’t. Big mistake. More on this later), mix the ingredients, apply and leave for 15-20 minutes, shampoo and condition hair normally. Simple enough, right? WRONG. Read on.
After combining the ingredients, which leaves you with a concoction that looks like baby food or vomit (or baby vomit), apply the mixture to your hair, roots to ends.
This proved to be extremely difficult and messy. Most of the oats slipped off during the process. If you’re going to try this, I’d probably suggest you apply the mask while standing in the tub. I did mine in my living room (for photo shooting purposes) and ended up with a floor covered in oatmeal.
After this, tie your hair to avoid oat loss and wait 20 minutes. This works out roughly to one episode of Parks and Recreation or two “Spring Haul!!!” videos on YouTube.
Once 20 minutes has passed, it’s time to wash out the mask. I didn’t think it would be a good idea to wash an entire bowl’s worth of oats down the bathtub drain so I ended up asking my brother to help me wash the mask out over the kitchen sink. Very glamorous.
Here’s where I went wrong: Because I skipped brushing out my hair and applied the mask into my tangled (read: ratty and nest-like) hair, smaller pieces of oats remained STUCK when it came time to wash it out. So once I got into the shower, it took a lot of patience and conditioner to get everything out.
Ease of Prep: 10
Easier than making breakfast! Easier than instant noodles! Easier than the activities they put on the back of cereal boxes!
Mess Factor: 10
This beauty DIY makes a huge mess. The oats were slipping off onto the floor during application and left oats everywhere during the wash out process. I ended up having to clean the floor, kitchen sink and tub in addition to my hair!
Worth vs. Wait: 4
There was no immediate noticeable difference after I had washed out my hair. Other treatments I’ve tried (store-bought masks, coconut oil, etc) have had immediate effects on my hair, usually in texture or just an improvement on how my hair naturally falls (read: coconut oil makes my hair looks less bad). Maybe this mask improves hair over time with repeated use, but the huge mess it made and lack of immediate results I saw (because I’m impatient and lazy) make me unmotivated to try again. I’ll stick to my overnight oats for breakfast instead!