Cardi B may be known for her music, fashion, and sense of humor, but she's also been very vocal about her natural hair journey.
In the past, the rapper has revealed her unique hair-growth secrets, like washing her hair with boiled onion water, which she says gives her hair "shine." And for a while now, she's been sharing DIY hair masks on Instagram and TikTok that she makes for herself and for her daughter, Kulture, which apparently keep their hair healthy and have helped her retain tons of length. And I trust her — I mean, LOOK at those results!
So, my attention was caught when I stumbled upon one of Cardi's DIYs that has gone mega-viral with over 11.1 million views on TikTok. The video, which Cardi posted back in 2021, shows her making the mask that consists of avocado, aloe, banana, mayonnaise, egg, and coconut oil:
While this mask has been dubbed the "Cardi B" mask, this type of DIY hair treatment has been used for ages, especially in the natural hair community. But Cardi B sharing the recipe online has increased its popularity. If you just search the hashtag #cardibhairmask on TikTok, you'll find it has over 25.3M views and endless videos of creators making and trying the mask for themselves.
I was curious about whether this mask would really give these amazing results for my natural hair. My hair tends to struggle with dryness, and this past week, I used a product that realllllly seemed to dry out my hair. So, I was ready for some MOISTURE.
For a little more info, I have Type 4, low-porosity curls. I recently shared a bit more about my natural hair journey here.
One thing I appreciated about the recipe is that these ingredients are fairly affordable (though, eggs are expensive right now), and you may already have most of them in the kitchen. Cardi didn't give exact measurements in the video, so I slightly adjusted the amounts to make a smaller batch. Here are the measurements I used: a big chunk of aloe (almost all of it), one avocado, one egg, one tablespoon of mayo, one banana, and one tablespoon of coconut oil (I used argan oil instead, explained below).
I gathered my ingredients (and of course, you'll want to crack the egg, slice the aloe to get the gel, peel the banana, and remove the pit and skin of the avocado), and added them to a blender. I blended until the mixture was well-combined, smooth, and without any chunks, and then poured it into a bowl.
Liz Richardson / BuzzFeed
And that's it — you have your mask! The consistency will be THICK, and you'll likely end up with a bright, mint-green color. I noticed that because of the avocado, the color started changing fast into a brownish-green (like within the first 15 minutes), so I wanted to use the mask that same day so it remained fresh. But you could probably get away with storing it in the fridge if you wanted to use it the next day or so.
I first washed my hair and then sectioned it into four (this makes applying products easier for me). I used scoops at a time and slowly worked the product into each section, smoothing it into my hair and making sure my curls were well-coated. You'll probably be smelling that banana, avocado, and mayo until you wash the mask out of your hair — but it wasn't overpowering, and I didn't mind it at all.
The mask had some weight to it, and I immediately noticed how much it was defining my curls. Honestly, I have not seen my hair with this much curl definition, like, ever. I was EXTREMELY impressed.
After I finished applying the mask, I covered my hair with a plastic shower cap (which helps to lock in moisture), and left it in for 20–30 minutes, as I normally would with a deep conditioner.
Finally, I washed out the mask with cool water (not warm/hot), and it rinsed out very easily. Typically, I'd deep condition with another product during wash day, but since I was treating this mask as a protein/deep conditioning treatment, I wanted to see how well this DIY worked alone and how well it would keep my hair moisturized.
Immediately after rinsing out the mask, my hair was sooo soft and shiny, and my curls maintained definition and had less frizz than usual. On the left, here's a picture of my hair after I rinsed out the mask, still damp and without any product. On the right, here's a picture of how my hair held up two days later (after I applied a moisturizer, styled my hair for a braid-out, and let it completely dry).
Even after those two days, my hair was feeling hydrated, lightweight, and soft. Cardi B!!! I understand why you love this DIY.
Honestly, y'all, I understand the hype. This "Cardi B" mask absolutely worked for me. Making the mask was fairly easy and quick, and my only negative was how messy the application can be. But overall, 10/10 would recommend.
But before you try it for yourself, here are some things to keep in mind:
1.Since some ingredients in the mask have high amounts of protein, you don't want to use it every day or every week, as it could cause protein overload, which can lead to dryness and breakage — especially if your natural hair is low porosity or protein-sensitive. Most professionals recommend doing a protein treatment once every four to six weeks, so for this treatment, I'd probably stick to that time frame.
2.Try using the mask on freshly washed hair. I've found that cleansed hair that has no product buildup better absorbs products so you can ~actually~ get the most out of them. So, I'd recommend using your favorite shampoo or cleanser before you apply the mask.
I used my favorite clay mask which cleanses my hair really well — and helps with curl definition.