Anyone can come up with a DIY beauty treatment and put it on the internet. I could, right this second, create a visual diagram of a recipe that includes an elephant’s tusk and the blood of twelve virgins, tack on a swirly font and a couple runway photos of a model with perfect skin, and feel confident that someone will Pin it, no question. This is the way of the World Wide Web.
To be fair, much unlike extracting blood from virgins, most of the DIY advice out there probably won’t do any appreciable harm. Which is good, because plenty of people—the believers—absolutely die over it, including the 873,000 Instagram users (and 974,055 YouTubers) who devoutly follow Farah Dhukai. The beauty vlogger is best known for her elaborate DIY skin-care concoctions, which run the gamut from pouring Listerine on your head to get rid of dandruff to using papaya to nix facial hair.
In a more recent video, Dhukai asks, “Does your hair get oily fast?” If this is the case, then she recommends applying a mixture of eggs, lemon juice, and yogurt to your scalp and leaving it on for 20–30 minutes before shampooing out. Protein-packed eggs, she says, help hair grow strong and fast. Yogurt hydrates and nourishes a dry scalp. Lemon tightens the hair follicles to reduce oiliness and add luster to “dull, lifeless hair.”
While compelling, this recipe raises several questions, as does most anything that involves putting raw egg on your body in any capacity. Dermatologist and scalp expert Francesca Fusco says that while these ingredients can play a part in the maintenance of healthy hair, they aren’t exactly magic.
“Protein is an important building block for hair, and deficiencies can result in broken hairs and less than optimal growth,” Dr. Fusco explains, but she emphasizes that incorporating eggs into your diet will provide far more benefits than slapping yolk on your hair. Lemon juice can temporarily tighten the pores of the scalp, resulting in hair that’s temporarily less oil-prone, but as Dr. Fusco says, the acidic nature of the citrus can “disrupt the scalp’s skin barrier,” making it sensitive or dry.
The actual skin-care professional’s final word is that she recommends products specifically formulated for scalp and hair over DIY recipes from the internet, which seems fair. And yet! Dhukai clapped back at a Refinery29 piece debunking her DIYs via Instagram, saying, “DIYs have been around in my Indian culture (and many cultures) from before you, or I, were even born. Just because you don’t agree with them doesn’t mean it’s ok for you to bash people who have been doing them for ages.” Also fair. Live and let live, etc. etc.