For so long, coconut oil has reigned supreme as the ultimate, go-to, natural remedy for hair and skin. But there’s a new kid on the block, one whose juice is just as sweet as the bevy of benefits it possesses. This season, it’s all about papayas.
Underrated and often overlooked, papayas are the succulent superfood that you should be eating right now (Editor's note: it's also fun to say - papayas! PAPAYAS!) Before I delve into the many beauty benefits papayas contain, I want to express how insanely healthy these fruits are for your whole body. Papayas promote cardiovascular health, help heal wounds, can treat throat disorders, are a treatment for ringworm, and reduce muscle inflammation, among many other things. Who knew, right? But on to what you came here for - the beauty benefits. Papayas are an excellent source of these vitamins and minerals:
An antioxidant, necessary for a healthy immune system, prevents cardiovascular disease
An antioxidant, helps produce sebum (an oily substance that the scalp secretes to keep hair from drying out), and fights free radicals that weigh your hair down
Magnesium, Copper, and Pantothenic Acid
All prevent hair loss
Improves circulation to scalp which aids hair growth
Papayas are considered a natural conditioner and using or eating them keeps your hair soft and tangle free. Beautiful hair can be achieved just by eating them, but using them in hair masks is also a quick way to enjoy the softening benefits.
A simple recipe idea is to blend chunks of papaya, a splash of coconut milk, and a teaspoon of honey. Apply to hair for 30 minutes and rinse thoroughly. The result? Your hair will be shiny and strong. Drinking papaya juice 3 times a day can also prevent thinning for some types of hair.
Papayas are also useful in fighting dandruff. Their seeds contain anti-fungal properties that help fight the fungus and gunk that causes dandruff. To make a dandruff busting hair mask, blend the skin of the papaya to make a paste, massage into scalp, leave in for 1 hour, and shampoo out.
The best part is that papayas can be bought all year round from your local grocery store, but they’re at their height of their season in summer and fall (oh hey, that's right now! It's like we scheduled this article on purpose). My recommendation is to go to your closest grocer and pick up as many as possible; whether you eat them or use them topically, your body will be thankful!