Ritual: Shampoo a handful of pureed strawberries to hair, once a week.
Promised results: To make hair shiny and regulate pH balance of scalp. The vitamin C in strawberries is also said to nourish hair and eliminate excess oil on the scalp.
Why it does not work: Strawberries are very drying and can leave hair and scalp super dehydrated, flakey and itchy.
An alternative (that works) to create desired results: For a weekly treatment that makes hair shiny and nourished, Moroccan oil Intense Hydrating Mask ($54.40) has with a blend of argan oil (rich in antioxidants and vitamins), glycerin (moisturizing) and linseed extract (to improve hair’s health and shine).
Ritual: Rinsing your hair with a can of beer twice a month.
Promised Results: The yeast and protein from the malt will help to strengthen your hair.
Why it does not work: The alcohol in the beer will dry your hair out, rather than repairing it.
An alternative (that works) to create desired results: Mario Russo, owner & lead stylist of Mario Russo in Boston says, “Use a shampoo/conditioner enriched with proteins to strengthen your tresses.”
Ritual: Wash your hair with a can of flat Coca-Cola when you come back from the salon after a dye job if you know that you will be exposing hair to sunlight for a prolonged period of time.
Promised Results: The cola will help to rid your locks of the dye and mute your hair color.
Why it does not work: Coca-Cola contains a form of baking soda in its ingredient list, which is what makes it able to strip your locks of their color. “This ingredient is extremely drying and irritating and over time. It will cause your hair to break.” says Russo.
An alternative: “Go back to the salon!” advises Russo. “Your stylist will gladly assist you in altering your hair color and bringing it to your desired shade. When it comes to color — leave it to the professionals.”
Ritual: Using lemon juice on the skin, (often used in homemade masks) on a weekly basis..
Promised Results: Lighter and brighter skin.
Why it does not work: Outside of the body, lemon is very acidic. Putting citrus on the surface of your skin can cause burns, irritation, and dryness.
An alternative (that works) to create the desired results: “[Drinking] lemon juice, while acidic outside of the body, acts as an internal alkalizer to balance the body's pH,” says Tiye Massey, one of Organic Avenue's Wellness Concierges. “Lemons are full of antioxidants and vitamin C that helps repair damaged cells — reducing fine lines and breakouts.”
Ritual: Egg white facemask, once a week
Promised Results: Prevent/reduce wrinkles.
Why it does not work: While it does have a temporary tightening effect, similar to if you put glue on your hands, the results are not permanent, lasting only an hour or even shorter.
An alternative (that works) to create desired results: Purified bee venom that is found in Manuka Doctor Rejuvenating Face Mask.
Ritual: The avocado mask, by slathering a smashed avocado in your locks.
Promised results: Extreme hydration and shine.
Why it does not work: “After the time it takes to actually pit the avocado, get just the right consistency of 'guacamole,' coat hair, get it off of your hands not to mention the extra half hour it takes to get it ALL out of your hair after the half hour it’s been soaking, you would've been better off going to the salon,” says Amanda Gabbard, beauty expert and makeup specialist at the Waldorf Astoria New York.
An alternative (that works) to create desired results: The Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Mask or Super Aqua Mask, both available at the Guerlain Spa in the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York.
Ritual: White granulated sugar from the kitchen mixed with water, once a week, as a face and body scrub.
Promised results: Leave the skin clean and exfoliated.
Why it does not work: “Granulated sugar is too big of a particle to do anything but irritate the skin,” says Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection. “It does not melt enough with water to really create the amazing glycolic acid mask that people are hoping for.”
An alternative (that works) to create desired results: Vargas says to use brown sugar (about a half cup) mixed with a cup of yogurt and a 1/4 cup of honey. The brown sugar is super soft on the skin but just strong enough to really clean out your pores. The yogurt has lactic acid which will gently exfoliate you all over while the honey hydrates. It will leave the skin on the face and body really looking fresh and clean.
Ritual: A rinse for hair using a half cup of apple cider vinegar and one cup of water, used after shampooing, twice a week.
Promised results: Remove buildup and residue and leave hair shiny.
Why it does not work: A vinegar rinse strips hair of essential oils and leaves it dry.
An alternative (that works) to create desired results: “A dry oil like camellia or argan oil that will absorb instantly and nourish the hair & scalp,” says HollyBeth Anderson, Founder and Organic Alchemist of HollyBeth Organics, who recommends HollyBeth Organics' Hair & Body Silk.
Ritual: 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on skin.
Promised results: Keep skin radiant and glowing.
Why it does not work: “It makes your skin break out instead,” says TV & food personality Eden Grinshpan.
An alternative (that works) to create desired results: Oil free moisturizer like Ole Henriksen Oil Free Face Moisturizer.