Caramel Treatment

by kcurly on December 2, 2008

in "Hair raising" Experiements and Recipes

Looking for a good deep conditioner and don’t feel like ordering products online? Look no further than your local grocery store!

Reasons to do a caramel treatment:

  • to soften new growth (for relaxed/transitioning heads)
  • moisture
  • “loosen” curl pattern (I’ve never experienced this)
  • for fun! (Ok this is a reason I do it)
  • all natural ingredients that are easy to obtain

There are a few different recipes for a caramel treatment out there, but here is what I use:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 splash of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • 1/2 cup plain full fat yogurt (this is my own personal preference, I don’t think most people do this)
  • 3 containers of banana baby food

Now, most people just seem to play around with the ingredients to find what works for them. Below are other ingredients you may want to substitute for those I have listed. My advice is just to leave in the banana, honey, and molasses as those seem to be the core ingredients. You may also need to change the amount you use based on how thick or long your hair is.

  • shea butter
  • coconut oil
  • jojoba oil
  • coconut milk
  • cornstarch (to thicken it up)
  • wheat germ oil

Honey - a natural humectant to help hold in moisture. It also has vitamins such as folate, iron, magnesium.

Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap Molasses- a excellent source of potassium, calcium, iron, and magnessium. It is said to strengthen the hair and leave it soft and full of sheen.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar- gives the hair shine and is said to promote blood circulation. Is also used in rinses. I will be doing an entry on this later.


Bananas- contain potassium, Vitamins A, B, C, E and natural oils. Leaves the hair soft and moisturized. Bananas also contrain tryptophan which is beneficial to hair and skin. You can puree your own bananas but baby food will help you avoid picking out chunks of banana from your hair for the next few hours.

If you’re using shea butter or coconut oil (or any other solid or semisolid) make sure to melt those down first either on the stovetop or microwave. Then add everything else. You can mix it by hand or use a blender. It will come out a nice caramel color, though,  since I use yogurt in mine it’s a little lighter.

Finished Caramel Treatment

Finished Caramel Treatment

I apply it with a application brush, starting at the back and then advancing towards the front. Sounds like a relaxer application, doesn’t it? I learned to do this with my deep conditioners from the  Long Hair Care Forum ladies. It ensures that the hair gets equal coverage.

After application, I put on a plastic cap and you’re good to go for however long you want to keep it on.

Time to stay inside the house!

Time to stay inside the house!

I leave it in for at least an hour.  You are then left with a super soft head of hair.

Not interested in mixing things up in the kitchen? Why not try the Carmel treatment from E’Tae? I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard good reviews.



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  • Dezi

    This is my #1 moisturizing treatment. I vary my recipe each batch and always keep a batch on hand in the freezer. It is my immediate follow up to henna treatments. I have tiny coils so I don’t see any “loosening’ of my curl, I see more of a weight down of my hair depending on how heavy the oils I’ve used are.

  • Nikki

    I am Black and I have completely natural hair. Will this loosen my curl? Will it straighten my hair–like a perm? When you reapply it (after 4 weeks or so), do you only apply it to the new growth or can you apply it to all your hair?

  • kcurly

    Nikki, I can’t promise that it will loosen your curl pattern. Some people do claim that it does, but I have not experienced this. I have just experienced soft, moisturized hair.

    I can almost guarantee you that it will not give you results like a perm.

    You may want to look into the lime-yogurt combination for naturally loosening hair patterns, if that is what you desire. A lot of people swear by this too.

  • Zoe

    Lovely, I have just made up a batch today, although may add a little Xanthan Gum as its quite runny…I subbed the Apple Cider Vinegar for Coconut Oil…can’t wait to use it!

  • kcurly

    Thanks Zoe, I forgot to mention the use of Xanthan Gum or Cornstarch to thicken up the mixture.

  • Todra

    This is by far my favorite conditioner. My hair looks and feels better with this recipe than any commercial conditioner. I always use raw honey as the properties are kept in tact because it has not been heated. And I usually do the apple cider as a final rinse after this instead of including it in the recipe. I find the treatment works best when applied on dry hair. It does loosen my curls just a tiny bit, but that’s okay.

  • Alexis

    Do i have to wash my hair forst before appling the carmel treatment

  • Camille

    hi! E’TAE Natural Products (the company that originated the carmel treatment) came out with a new shampoo! the CARMELUX shampoo works way better than the carmel treatment. check out their website at i bought it and absolutly love it.

  • Tia

    I spent 47 dollars on the Carmelux Shampoo and Conditioner. Well suffice it to say, it sucked big time. I started using the carmel hair treatment when I got pregnant with my daughter because my stylist did not want to put such strong chemicals in my hair. My hair was already long (down to my bra strap) so I said cool. I had heard such good things about this product. It has been working great for over the past 21 months (I have not had a relaxer since June of 2007). I am now to the point where my hair is still the same length as before only its completely natural. And Carmel did it! Fast forward to two weeks ago, I purchased the Carmelux shampoo and conditioner. I used it on my daughters head since the Carmel hair treatment also worked well on her hair as well. She does not have the same type of hair as I do, and this product really made her hair more manageable. I told my stylist who told me to bring it in and she would try it on my hair. Well she used it today and it was horrible. She said not only did it not get my scalp really clean, she said it left a film on my hair and ended up rewashing my hair. It did not lather on my hair because my hair is fine but it did lather on my daughters hair because her hair is courser. She just used a different conditioner on her hair. I say to the person who discovered this wonderful hair treatment, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You should have patented your product and continued to manufacter it. I want my 47.00 dollars back.

  • Lakisha Tompkins

    Hi, it’s Lakisha Tompkins the owner of E’TAE. Camille thank you for such a wonderfu comment! You have used the products properly, that’s why you loved your results. Tia, When your stylist shampooed your hair she did not shampoo it well, that is why there was residue left on your hair. I encourage you to try the the products again and make sure your hair is washed thoroughly, and rinsed well with the water. If you go on my network community you will see pictures of my clients and how silky, straight, and healthy their hair is.

  • Sara

    Hey, Everyone…i have a question, i want to find the shea butter, as well as the wheat germ oil and coconut oil etc…where could i find these items, do any brand name stores carry them? Approximately how much would it cost me? Pleasae and Thank you…

  • eky

    Hi, kcurly i discovered yoyour website is absolutely fantastic.i love it.i have very dry very nappy hair.i do not even know how to go about softening is so difficult to comb.i absolutely do not want to relax or texturize my hair.i just had surgery and would like to avoid any kind of chemical.please can you tell me where to find the recipe for the lime yoghurt combination for naturally loosening curl patterns.i will also try the caramel treatment.thank you so much for this website.i will really appreciate some more advice and products suggestions.

  • nzinga

    Tried this treatment over the weekend and I’m sure I did something wrong! 1st- mine did not come out a light color, and I used the yogurt! I didn’t find it very moisturizing. (is it wrong to expect it to be moisturizing?)oh, and my hair felt grainy/coated (of course this could’ve been from not completely rinsing the product out well enough)And I was lazy and slept overnight in it. I’m going to try this again I will tweak the ingredients. Wish me luck.

  • kcurly

    nzinga, it should be moisturizing. If this recipe doesn’t work for you, maybe you could hop on over to the kingdom of kiya, she has a good caramel recipe that I’ve been wanting to try:


    Hope that helps and I hope it works out for you!

  • Ramona

    How often can you use this caramel treatment? Can you-co wash with it? I co-wash like 3 times a week at least.

  • kcurly

    Ramona, I imagine that you can use it as often as you like. I don’t know that I would cowash with it, just use it as a deep conditioner.

  • Shelita

    I have been using the product for about 1 1/2 and i still don’t see where my get kinkey and my end’s still break off, I have not had a perm in 3 year. and my cousin told be about the product she swear by it I do see results in her hair and she have been using it for a longer period of time.

  • Joy

    I pretty much do this every time I wash my hair now. Like you, I do it mostly for fun, but my hair does look shinier and does feel softer after this treatment. It’s also easier to comb through when I blow it out into an afro. I don’t think it’s changing the structure or texture of my hair in any way (it’s baby food and olive oil for crying out loud!). I also think it’s sad that black women are looking for a way to have long, silky tresses without getting a weave or a perm. Um, just love your naptural and accept it! It’s wonderful! I’ve been natural 10 years and will never go back.

  • Yolande

    Thanks for the recipe! I’m going to try it. I may have missed this, but do you put the treatment in first and then shampoo last?

  • Just A Girl

    I used this for the first time last week, and I must say I was VERY pleased with the results; however, it did not have any slip. Did I do something wrong or is it not supposed to have any slip?

  • kcurly

    Just A Girl, you might want to omit the yogurt and possibly add more and/or another type of oil.

  • ummfahim

    hi i how is all my sisters doing i hae used the caremal shampoo and conditioner and i loved it my hair is all natural. iwas amazed with it. it left my hair son bouncy and i was actually able to wrap it. i just order some but i also just got all the ingredients fro the treatment i want to try it i will let u sisters know how i liked it peace

  • Nisaa Abbdur-Rahman

    Salaams sis if you could send me some more info on this product it will be gratefullt appreciated! Jazak allah khir.

  • zahra

    Hi.I have tried the carmelux treatment and for me something just didnt seem right about it.To me it seemed as though I needed something elsa for the treatment.So I got the thinking that I should buy the ETAE prouducts.So my quesion for you is how much is the prouduct?And does it work ?Because if not I would not like to spend my money.

  • Tonisha

    Okay so I tried the Caramel Treatment this weekend. However, my mix came out looking more like Fudge…LOL! I used ACV, honey, molasses, coconut oil, shea butter, wheat germ oil, olive oil and the banana baby food. It was really pretty until I put the last ingredient…molasses. Nevertheless, the end results were nice. Super soft hair. I had a lot left over so I put it in the freezer for the next time. SN: I wasn’t to keen on the smell of ACV in my hair. Next time I won’t use as much.

    BTW…love, love, love your blog! It has really helped me through my journey. The end of July will be my one year anniversary. Yay!

  • Alma

    I tried the caramel treatment today. While I can’t say that it change my curl pattern or stretch my curls, I love the way my hair felt after I rinsed it out. I used most of your recipe, except I added cornstarch and a shea-honey butter cream that I made to style my hair with. I absolutely love my hair.

  • Neelie

    Do you put this in dry hair, damp or freshly washed hair?

  • kcurly

    Neelie, freshly washed.

  • Neelie

    Then I’d need to rewash and DC? I aplogize for asking so many questions, I just bought my caramel treatment and haven’t got a clue how to use it…but I want to make sure that I do it correctly!

  • kcurly

    Neelie, I would just use it on freshly washed hair. However, you dont have to. If you think it would work better on your dry hair before you wash, then that’s fine too. Whatever works.

  • Mai

    Hey guys!

    I just came upon this site and I got sooo excited that I went and bought the ingredients right after :D! I was wondering…seeing as it says that over time this can help to soften the curls a little do you think that if I were to use rollers while I have the ingredients in my hair I could help “guide” (sorry but I can’t think of a better word) to maintain a certain structure? I have mainly type 3c curly hair with some areas a little less curly and some a little more and I have a lot of shrinkage after my hair dries. When it is wet it goes a little down my back and once dry it is shoulder length. So I was thinking that maybe if I use rollers to the size that I would like my curls to be it might gently help “guide” my hair…even if it does not set it in that way. Perhaps one of you has done this? I will try and do this myself but it will probably take time before it takes effect (if at all). I will keep you guys posted…but would be great if someone who has done this can let me know :D.

  • Melissa

    hi, ive been natural about 2 years and still haven’t found the perfect products to keep my wonderfully defined but thick curly hair soft and under control. It sucks up moisture like rain in the Sahara, and sometimes it is really unmanageable. I’ve been researching products and have made up my mind to buy the E’tae products this fall. I was wondering nobody I never see any information on this question specifically. How often do you use the caramel treatment. Is it like a relaxer and you use it after it wears off in about 6-8 weeks or do you use it every time you wash. I’m buying the E’tae products soon and i want to make sure I’m applying it correctly

  • kcurly

    Melissa, I woudn’t buy those products thinking that they will act like a relaxer. It’s just a moisturizing treatment. Some people have claimed that it softens the texture until the next wash but I wouldn’t expect relaxer results.

  • Kinky-Curly Mom

    Hi, my son has really kinky/curly hair, he is mixed with Jamaican, puerto rican and italian so his hair is kinda hard for me to maintain his curls because it so thick and sucks up moisture really fast……He models and I’m looking for a product that will loosen the curl pattern so it would be more defined, without doing a texturizer, really need help to find the best solution for his hair.

  • Pingback: An Unexpected Beauty Discovery: Caramel « minty+peaches

  • ladyzee

    Ok..I finally see one question answeredabout applying it before or after shampooing, but I don’t see anyone inquiring about hair growth. Does the Caramel treatment aid in hair growth or just adds softness & shine? Because I bought all the natural ingredients & blended them together

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