My hair grows super slowly. This means that I get to save time and money by getting fewer haircuts (I only get it cut two or three times a year) and hair coloring treatments, but it also means that my hair starts looking lifeless and dull pretty quickly, because it’s been hanging around so long. I signed up for the Walmart Beauty Box a while ago, and the January box had a “Hydration Heroes” theme. One of the products in this box was a single-use pack of the Garnier Papaya Hair Mask. Let’s take a closer look at what goes into this mask and ask my dad for his thoughts on this product.
Garnier Papaya Hair Mask ingredients
water, cetearyl alcohol, glycerin, isopropyl myristate, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, papaya fruit extract, phyllanthus emblica fruit extract, soybean oil, sodium hydroxide, sunflower seed oil, coco-caprylate/caprate, coconut oil, hydroxypropyl guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, caprylic/capric triglyceride, caprylyl glycol, citric acid, tartaric acid, cetyl esters, potassium sorbate, salicylic acid, caramel, linalool, geraniol, limonene, fragrance
Garnier does this cool thing on its packaging where it lists each ingredient in one column, and the source of that ingredient in the other column. This hair mask is made up of “98% naturally derived ingredients.” The 2% is made up of sodium hydroxide, hydroxypropyl guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, caprylic/capric triglyceride, caprylyl glycol, citric acid, potassium sorbate, salicylic acid, linalool, geraniol, limonene, and fragrance. I was surprised to see that “caramel” was derived from “wheat or other plant.”
Like Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Hair Mask, this hair mask includes coconut oil and glycerin. The other natural extracts in here are papaya extract and phyllanthus emblica fruit extract. Phyllanthus emblica fruit is also known as amla, or Indian gooseberry, which is known to provide medicinal purposes and contains antioxidants. This ingredient is also in Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pads.
My Dad the Chemist’s review of Garnier Papaya Hair Mask
Dear Emily, this formula is a pretty conventional hair conditioner formula, after rinse-off I would say the conditioning effect will be minimal, leave-in would definitely be better conditioned but may feel heavy or greasy.
This Garnier Papaya Hair Mask can be used in three ways:
- as a conditioner (use like a normal conditioner and then rinse it out)
- as a mask (apply for one minute and then rinse off)
- as a leave-in treatment (in which case you only apply it to the ends of your hair)
My dad thinks that this is a pretty standard hair conditioner. I guess it’s true—you could really use any conditioner as a mask, if you left it in for a longer period of time than usual. He doesn’t recommend using it as a leave-in treatment, since he thinks it will be a bit too heavy and greasy. Even Garnier suggests only using it on the ends of your hair if you use it as a leave-in treatment.
Garnier Papaya Hair Mask review
I decided to use this product as a one-minute mask. I applied it to my hair right after rinsing out my shampoo. The 0.4-oz. package barely had enough to cover all of my hair, and I don’t have an extraordinary amount of hair. I guess the sample sizes included in the Walmart Beauty Box are pretty small. Garnier Papaya Hair Mask is vegan, silicone-free, and safe for color-treated hair.
The first thing that struck me about this mask was how much it smelled like I had just peeled open a mango. I know it’s supposed to smell like papaya, but I got more of a mango scent from it. It didn’t smell fake, either—it smelled very much like a very ripe mango. I don’t particularly like the smell of papaya so I was pleased to see that it didn’t smell like papaya, even though “papaya” is not only in the name of this mask, but also a main ingredient as well.
I agree with my dad—Garnier Papaya Hair Mask is pretty similar to a normal conditioner. After rinsing it out, I felt like my hair was smoother than usual, but that typically happens when I switch up my conditioner after I’ve been using the same one for a while. I don’t think it works any differently from a normal conditioner. However, one thing that pleasantly surprised me was its delightfully tropical scent: It transports you to a nice happy hour kinda place—not just for a minute, but long after that, since its smell continues to permeate your hair even after you rinse it out. If you’re sensitive to fragrances, this is probably not the right hair product for you.
One other benefit of using this Garnier Papaya Hair Mask was that it reminded me to stop and smell the roses (or the mangoes), and don’t rush through your hair care routine. You can take your time and let your conditioner soak into your hair for about a minute before rinsing it out. It’s nice to have a reminder to take care of yourself from time to time. This is largely how I feel about sheet masks, too. It’s just a tangible reminder to relax and invest some time in self care.