The summer is quickly approaching which means most of us will be changing up our routines. We will be sending the kids off to a summer program, going on a much needed vacation, and preparing for the newness that each season brings. But, have you considered making adjustments to your haircare routine? I have, and I’m excited about it-probably a little too excited!
This summer I plan to add a tropical twist to my haircare regimen. Whats that you ask? Well, I am going to incorporate a homemade papaya hair mask into my haircare regimen. In this post I am going to expound on the benefits of papaya for your hair, and hopefully you will become just as excited as I am about this marvelous fruit.
Benefits of Papaya
Papaya is native to southern Mexico and Central America. Because the papaya tree can grow and flourish in tropical environments, Hawaii is the only state in the U.S.A that produces papaya commercially.
This fruit gained its prominence centuries ago and was deemed “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus-and for good reason.
Papaya is full of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. The nutrients found in papaya have the power to do everything from tenderize meat to rid the body of parasites. So, it’s no surprise that this majestic fruit can be beneficial to our tresses. Below is a list of some of papaya’s nutrients and a brief explanation of how they benefit our crowns.
Papain is a proteolytic enzyme that has strong exfoliating properties. It is able to gently remove debris and dead cells from the scalp which allows hair follicles to function properly and efficiently. If you want to attain healthy hair that grows, maintaining a clean scalp is imperative. This enzyme is able to do that for you.
Vitamin C is essential for building collagen. Collagen facilitates hair growth and strengthens the hair.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. It destroys free radicals that can potentially damage hair follicles. Hence, it reduces hair loss.
Every cell in the body needs magnesium to create enzymes. Sometimes the cells surrounding the hair follicles don’t get enough magnesium. A magnesium deficiency can cause hair to grow at a slower than average rate, thinning, and graying prematurely.
Think of magnesium as a foundation. If the foundation is absent or unstable, the other nutrients that are built on the magnesium foundation will also be unstable and ineffective. However, if you have an adequate amount of this mineral, every other nutrient is able to function the way its suppose to; which will allow you to attain healthy hair that grows.
Potassium is abundant in the human body. So, it’s no surprise that our hair cells depend on this mineral to function properly. A deficiency of potassium results in hair loss. In contrast, adequate potassium levels will eliminate hair loss.
I have only listed 4 of papaya’s nutrients. However, this fruit has many other beneficial nutrients-protein, vitamin A, calcium, and Vitamin B9- that aids the health of the hair. All these nutrients collectively work together to strengthen the hair, moisturize hair, and promote hair growth.
If you would like to learn more about papaya’s benefits click here.
Choosing the RIGHT Papaya
Papayas are usually available during the summer and fall. However, you can purchase them throughout the year. When purchasing a papaya, select one that is soft to the touch and reddish-orange in color. A papaya that is green and hard is not ripe.
If you don’t intend to use the papaya within a few days of purchase, then select an unripe papaya. However, if you intend to use it immediately or within a few days of purchase, select a ripe papaya.
I know you are probably wondering “how the heck do I get papaya into my hair”. I am going to show you the easiest way to do this in the DIY recipe below.
DIY Papaya Hair Mask
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup chopped papaya (skin removed)
- 2 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 banana
- Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until there is a yogurt like consistency
- Apply to freshly clean damp hair from root to tip
- Put a plastic conditioning cap on and allow conditioner to work it’s magic for 30 to 45 minutes
- Rinse conditioner out of hair with COOL water
♥ NOTE: Please use a heating cap or steamer in step 3 if you have one. This will enhance the effectiveness of the papaya mask. Also, you may also add olive oil or coconut oil to this recipe.
As you can see queens, papaya is a very powerful fruit. It is laden with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are able to nourish and strengthen our hair. This fruit will meet every natural’s hair goals and needs. Do you want waist length hair? Papaya can do that. Do you want healthier hair? Papaya can do that. Do you want to get rid of dandruff caused by bacteria and fungus? Papaya can do that too. This fruit can DO and expedite any haircare goal you may have.