The Caramel Treatment – A Natural Hair Softener

HoneyFind out how to soften kinky and curly hair with this all natural treatment

The caramel treatment is a product in the E’tae product line. Boasting an all natural line up of ingredients from honey, bananas to olive oil, this product delivers in its ability to seriously soften and hydrate the driest and roughest hair textures. It helps people who relax their hair to ‘stretch’ their relaxer for longer periods and helps people with natural hair by softening its texture for easier detangling and manageability.

The results of the caramel treatment are not permanent; they last for up to 4 weeks so should be reapplied monthly for continued benefits. Many report ‘loosening’ of hair texture as well as less shrinkage after the treatment but this is likely due to the added weight of the product as well as the increased moisture levels in the hair. For this reason, the caramel treatment is excellent for helping to straightening the natural hair as it takes less heat to get smoother results as well as better moisture retention.

No doubt the product is excellent but due to its perishable nature (no preservatives are used), the price tag for monthly treatments can become quite unappealing. Most of the ingredients in the product can be found in many average kitchens so making your own caramel treatment seems a more attractive approach for those who wish to use it on a regular basis.

By understanding the purpose of each ingredient, you can adjust the recipe every time you make it depending on your hair’s needs.

Honey – An excellent humectant good for moisture
Olive Oil – For lubrication and helps with moisture retention
Bananas – Good for moisture and some protein benefits as well
Molasses (Treacle) – Another excellent humectant with some protein benefits
Water – This is the best natural moisturizer and is used to thin the mixture
Apple Cider Vinegar – For the shine it imparts to the hair
Cornstarch – For thickening purposes
Wheat germ oil – For added strength and lubrication

Here outlined is a simple recipe based on the ingredients above:

Honey – 6 tablespoons
Olive Oil – 6 tablespoons
Bananas – 2-3 overripe and very soft
Molasses (Treacle) – 3 tablespoons
Water – 4-6 tablespoons
Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tablespoon
Cornstarch – 1-2 tablespoons depending on how thick you want the mixture to be
Wheat germ oil – 1 teaspoon – This can be substituted for any other natural ceramide containing oil of your choice

• Place all the ingredients except for the water into a blender and process until smooth. You may need to add the water bit by bit if it looks too dry.
• To ensure that there are no bits of banana in the mixture, sieve it through a fine sieve.
• Pour the mixture into a saucepan and put it on a medium heat while stirring constantly. You don’t want to ‘cook’ the mixture but you want the cornstarch to cause it to thicken and this will take just moments. You may need to add more water to thin it down if it gets too thick or add a bit more cornstarch if it is still too runny. You want to end up with a caramel coloured mixture that is the consistency of a thick batter. If the mixture is too thin it will start dripping from your hair as soon as you apply it.
• Decant the mixture into a container, depending on the length of your hair it will likely be enough for two applications.

To apply, divide the hair into 3-4 sections and clip. Starting with 1 section, part the hair and apply on the roots generously rubbing in with your fingers. Once applied on the roots of the section, apply the mixture all the way to the ends. Complete all sections in this manner and once done, cover the hair with a plastic cap. Let the mixture sit in your hair for 1-2 hours or overnight for really dry hair.

Wash hair with a sulfate free shampoo, deep condition and style as usual. You can freeze the remainder until you are ready to use it. The treatment is suitable for both natural and relaxed hair.

Also see the article about The Coconut And Lime Treatment For Natural Black Hair



15 Ways To Get Longer Healthier Hair


About Alma

Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.


  1. 1

    I've been asked this question a couple of times and I would like to confirm that it is perfectly safe to use the caramel treatment on relaxed hair. If you look at the hair forums, you will see that quite a few women use this treatment among other things to help them stretch their relaxers!

    • 2
      showstopper says:

      hi there…i was just wondering wether using the coconut cream defines the curl and works better than the caramel treatment. and u also stated that using caramel treatment on relaxed hair is perfectly fine….would that also be okay if i were to use the coconut cream treatment??
      is using the a caramel product going to yield the same results as the ones made up at home and which product is this? x

      • 3

        From personal experience, the caramel treatment works better than the coconut one plus the homemade one works just as well as shop bought

  2. 4

    My hair is natural now but you can definitely use the caramel treatment on relaxed hair. When i was relaxed i used the caramel treatment from e’tae every other week & my hair was so soft, bouncy & shiny. Now that my hair is natural i use it & it make’s my hair soft & very manageable. It really does work wonders.

  3. 5

    Thanks for all the information about this unique and really effective caramel treatment. I highly appreciate your work.

  4. 6

    i am going to try this i have very tightly coiled type 4 hair that is thick and coarse it’s 3′ all over my head im tired of relaxers hated them when i was little too

  5. 7

    Hi guys I just wanted to add…if you’re using ripe bananas
    there might be a slight chance that you get bits of banana in your hair that
    you have to pick out…unless you let the banana get so soft that it basically gets
    mushy while you peel it in your hand. An alternative would be to use baby food
    (banana). It has already been pureed and is smooth. I have seen a number of
    different versions of this treatment online and some girls have said that they
    used the baby food in order to avoid getting bits of banana in your hair. Just
    wanted to share :)

  6. 9

    I discovered this recipe on another site about a month ago, as I was searching for an alternative to other commercially produced relaxer alternatives to help me transition back to my natural state.  I am about to do my third caramel treatment.  I’ve used baby food bananas from the start fro several reasons– I thought they’d be easier to store and when I wanted to do the first treatment I didn’t want to wait several days for fresh bananas to become over ripe–I wanted to make the treatment the day I needed my hair done :).  Anyway, I have 4b type hair and have been extremely pleased with the results.  My hair is silky and manageable when I blow it dry.  The edges are very smooth, and the relaxed ends and new growth are nearly identical, which minimizes breakage, especially when I use good moisturizing and protective products.

  7. 10

    I am eagered to use the carmel treatment.  I did the BC about a month an a half ago. My hair is starting to grow in but I want to be able to feel comfortable wearing it and it not feeling unmanagable.  I wanted to know do you think that roasting the bananas would be an effective way to get them smooth?

    • 11

      Congrats on your BC! I don’t see how roasting the bananas would make a difference?? I find a high powered blender or food processor does the job quite well.

  8. 12

    Do you think it would be okay to use avocado or coconut maybe in place of the bananas? I used bananas one time in a hair moisturizer recipe and it stuck to my roots HORRIBLY for about a week! I couldn’t remove all the bits, there was oil in the recipe for slip and it was well blended; I don’t understand what went wrong. Either way, I swore off of ever using bananas in my hair again lol. Is the bananas necessary to achieve the desired results?

    • 13

      I suppose you could try but I can’t speak for the results because I haven’t tried it like that. I have done this recipe using baby banana food and it washed out clean . . . 

      • 14

        Hi. Thank you for answering my previous questions. Now I think I just have 1 last question. How many jars of banana baby food per recipe? It’s been a while since I bought baby food. I know the standard small jars are 6 oz I think.

        • 15

          No problem. Well with an average banana being 4oz I would say that 1.5 to 2 jars should just about cover it.

          • 16

            Ok. Got it. Now what about the honey? I didn’t think I would have to ask and I tried to google it and didn’t really find an answer but do you just buy the regular honey at the grocery store? I know some health food stores sell a more expensive honey.

          • 17

            No just use regular honey. it’s what I use for my caramel treats.

    • 18
      Tiffany Littleton says:

      Me too!!! But you can order banana powder !! Yes isn’t that brilliant!! I would link you but I’m working off a tablet.

  9. 19
    techy-natural says:

    I used Shea butter, mint extract to replace ACV, nonfat plain yogurt to replace cornstarch, and coconut oil to replace wheat germ oil, along with the other ingredients mentioned. My hair was noticeable shinier, more moisturized than just a deep conditioner, and it elongated my kinks!! I’m going to mix it with my deep conditioner this week to see how it turns out.

  10. 21
    Bria_add9323 says:

    I would like to try this out since i have relaxed hair & im looking for something to make my hair more manageable. If i make this & freeze it would i have to warm it up the next time i use it & how many times should i apply this?

  11. 23
    Arrhroberts says:

    Can you use a protein treatment in your hair and then turn around a wash your hair with the apple cider vinegar treatment as well.  i just need to know to make sure i don’t over do it with my hair.

  12. 24

    I would imagine not. After a protein treatment a moisturizing conditioner is best. You can do an ACV rinse to close your cuticles at the end of your wash if that’s what you mean though?

  13. 25

    I have a natural hair and I want to get a pixie cut similar to Rihanna’s in the Take a Bow video. My hair straightens really well but I want to make sure it will last and be managable during the summer and rainy weather…do you think the Caramel treatment will work?

    • 26

      I love that hairstyle! Well, the caramel treatment will work in as much as it will help easily straighten your hair but if reversion is what you are worried about then I suggest you look for a more specialist product like aveda brilliant or sabino moisture block to prevent quick reversion.

  14. 29

    I relaxed my hair in home by myself 2 weeks ago, but it doesnt relax my roots so well. Can i do this caramel treatment? Or need to wait more weeks? How often can we do this?..Im thinking just use natural relax.

    • 30

      Absolutely, you can do the caramel treatment. But remember, it will only help you flat iron your roots easier, it will not actually relax your hair like a relaxer!

  15. 31
    Anonymous says:

    i am a 4b and i was wondering what can i use to replace the cornstarch and wheat germ oil??

  16. 32

    I just did the big chop this past Sat and I love it! I’m not quite sure what my hair type(s) is yet, but I know its super thick with a tight curl!! LOL I have very dry so I will def try this hair treatment! Thanks!

  17. 34
    claud-uk says:

    Thanks for this post, it’s excellent. I’ll be trying the caramel tx later this week in preparation for my flat iron this coming Friday – I’ll try to come back and post my results and hopefully some comparison pics!

  18. 35

    Is it supposed to have little chunks in it when thickening in the sauce pan? How long does it take to thicken?

    • 36

      Hi Anniece. If you get chunks it just means that you were not stirring as you were pouring the cornstarch mixture in. It should only take 30 seconds or so for the mixture to thicken. You can just strain out the chunks though.

  19. 37

    Hi Alma, Latoya again. I have excessive shedding and i overloaded my hair with protein ( i discovered this about 4 days ago doing a research) i would love to do this treatment. I would like to know what ingredients i should eliminate? thank you.

    • 38

      Hiya girl. I would say there is no need to eliminate any of them. None of the ingredients have a great deal of protein, not enough to give your hair any trouble anyway!

  20. 46

    How do you apply this product to the hair? Do you just smooth on or do you rake it through with your fingers?

    • 47

      Apply the same way you apply conditioners, raking doesn’t sound necessary to be honest. Just make sure that all strands are covered.

  21. 48

    Do you put this on clean hair?

    • 49

      The treatment works as a conditioner so you can do it after a shampoo. Having said that some people don’t much like the smell of bananas in their hair for the remainder of the week so you can co-wash with a cheapie conditioner after rinsing the treatment out.

  22. 50

    can this be done more then once a month?

  23. 52
    glovergirl says:

    i purchased the e’tae carmel treatment to compare the results of this product vs this recipe as well as to see the actual ingredients. i have yet to use the e’tae treatment but it looks nothing like this recipe. as for the ingredients, the e’tae ingredients are as follows
    olive oil
    apple cider vinegar
    tea tree oil
    i’ve tasted it and it straight up taste like honey, and i believe the majority content is honey and a bit of molasses given the color, stickiness and sheerness of the product. i don’t smell or taste any banana. imma have to adjust this recipe to reflect that and see how it compares.

    • 53

      I can’t believe you tasted it! lol This recipe is based on the Etae product but it’s not exactly like it of course but I do love it because it gives my hair some serious shine.

      I’ve done pure honey prepoos and they are pretty moisturizing so I would assume you will get a good result from the E’tae caramel treatment. Do let me know how you get on.

  24. 54

    would flour be a fine substitue for corn starch?

    • 55

      I would imagine so. I’ve never tried this with flour though so you may need to adjust the amounts

      • 56
        Sophia Dan-braimah says:

        please i cannot fine molasses(treacle) in my country and apple cider vinegar what will be a best replacement please?

        • 57

          You could use regular vinegar in place of the ACV but I don’t think that there is really any replacement for molasses. Perhaps you can just add a bit extra honey and eliminate the molasses. Honey is very moisturizing anyway. hth

  25. 59
    Sophia Dan-braimah says:

    please what will be an alternative for ACV, molasses and wheat germ oil as i cannot find some in my country. thanks in advance

  26. 61

    I tbink that everygthing posted made a lot of sense.
    However, think onn this, suppose you were tto create a awesome headline?
    I am not suggesting your information isn’t solid, however
    what if you added something that makes people desire more?
    I mean The Caramel Treatment – A Natural Hair Softener is kinda plain.

    You could glance at Yahoo’s home page and note how they write news headlines to grab viewers
    to click. You might add a related video or a related picture or
    two to get people interested about everything’ve written. In my opinion, it
    could make your posts a little bit more interesting.

  27. 62

    Are the bananas necessary? Can they be substituted with something else? Also, does it have to be blended then cooked? Can I just mix it well then cook it? I’m away at college and I don’t have a blender :(

    • 63

      You can use baby banana food which is already blended. I can’t promise you will get the right texture unless you thicken it by cooking.

  28. 64

    Thanks for sharing this.
    My hair is so dry, after I was ill and was too weak to keep it moisturised.
    A friend suggested I try this out, and I’m looking forward to the result I’ll achieve.

  29. 65

    Hi..I have natural curly hair and I decided to put a caramel treatment in it for the first time yesterday. The treatment ended up getting rid of almost all of my natural curl and now it’s really bushy! I have a baby fro! Is it ok to put a texturizer over it to bring some kind of wave back to my hair?

    • 66

      If you apply a testuriser to your hair, then your hair wouldn’t be natural anymore. #simpletruth

      • 67

        I’m not worried about that part of it all. I just started growing my hair back recently and I only have about 2 inches so worst case scenario I can cut the texturizer out once I get more length. But I can’t get any kind of style out of it right now. So, will my hair fall out from the texturizer of I just did a caramel treatment?

  30. 68

    Why don’t you thry the Cherrylola Caramel treatment prescrivbed under Maximum Hydration Method (MHM).
    BHM also wrote about it.
    It would get your curls popping again.
    Do let me know how it turned out.

  31. 69

    I’m going to try this!

  32. 70

    Me tooo

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