Growing up, my mother seemed to have a natural remedy for just about anything. Seriously, whether I came to her with a sore throat or a fresh pimple, my mom could whip up an effective solution within minutes—using only ingredients from her kitchen. When she was growing up in the Dominican Republic, her family had very little access to anything outside of the essentials so, if she wanted shinier hair, my mom had no choice but to mash up a few avocados and massage them through her locks.
When I was a teenager, she’d always have the same reaction to a beautifully packaged hair mask or moisturizing face cream.“Twenty bucks for this? Just because it’s got avocado oil in it? I can buy the whole avocado for 79 cents!” I’d scoff at her disregard for the other ingredients listed on the label and condemn her old-fashioned ways. But it wasn’t until I lived on my own that I realized she had a point: her DIY formulas made from household ingredients were far cheaper and just as effective as the store-bought stuff.
During the pandemic, when I moved back in with my parents, I found myself indefinitely reunited with the Beauty Hack Queen. And this time around, I took advantage of her wisdom (and kitchen) to grow out my bob using five of her wackiest hair hacks. Whenever I noticed my high-maintenance locks needed some love, I’d implement one of my mom’s hair remedies—taking photos along the way during this two-week experiment. Here’s how it all went down.