Herbs for Healthy Hair

From the 1970s’ delightfully fragrant green stuff in the bottle with the flower-strewn goddess to today’s New Age organic products, herbal shampoos have been commercially popular since the late 1960s. But as you may have guessed, herbal hair care has been with us for thousands of years. Let’s look at natural hair care using ordinary kitchen ingredients and some herbs you may have in your yard or garden right now.

Pre-Shampoo Treatment

For deep conditioning, blend a whole avocado with two cups of mayonnaise. Another deep conditioner can be made by stirring together a half cup each of distilled water and coconut oil. Simmer for twenty minutes, let cool until it’s not too hot. Use both these conditioners the same way. Comb them into your hair, put on a shower cap and leave on for twenty minutes to half an hour, then wash your hair as normal. If your hair is really dry, try two teaspoons of honey, a tablespoon of coconut oil and an egg yolk. Use cool water when you wash this out.

Homemade Shampoo

Some of these shampoos and conditioners may feel strange when you use them because they don’t lather as much or at all.

Get a bottle of pure castile liquid soap — Dr. Bronner’s brand is good. Any “flavor” is fine. Or get unscented baby castile and add a drop of your personal essential oil. Measure out 1/4 cup of soap, 1/4 cup of distilled water and 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix these together in a bottle and shake well before using. Mix a raw egg in for extra protein. Store it in the refrigerator and use within a day or two. Always use cool water when washing with an egg shampoo.

Proctor and Gamble stopped making Ivory soap flakes years ago, but you can still get Dri-Pak soap flakes online from soap-flakes.com. They are made of pure palm and coconut oil. Four ounces of these boiled in a quart of distilled water with your favorite herbs or a bit of essential oil make an excellent shampoo.

Soapwort herb probably grows wild in your area or you can plant it in your garden. It is about three inches high with five-petaled, pale violet flowers. It’s also called crowsoap, fuller’s herb, sweet betsy or sweet william among many other names. You can use the root or the entire plant. Boil a quart of distilled water. Cut the plant into small pieces and steep it in the water for half an hour, strain and bottle it.

You can steep herbs in water and add to these homemade shampoos for a nice scent. For dry hair, use parsley; for oily hair, use lavender or rosemary. Chamomile makes your hair shine. So does saxifrage if you can get it.

Homemade Conditioner

To get rid of buildup from conditioners and style product, wash your hair for one week per month with straight baking soda and vinegar. Mix a half cup of baking soda in three cups of warm water and half a cup of apple cider vinegar in three cups of warm water. Use as much of the baking soda mixture as you feel you need. Rub it through your hair like any shampoo. While it’s still in your hair, pour half a cup of the vinegar solution through your hair, then rinse with plain water.

Beauty from Within

No matter what you put on your hair, what you eat is always more important. You should be eating eggs as well as putting them on your hair. You can also get protein from red beans, chicken and fish. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, one of the most important ingredients for healthy hair. You can also take omega-3 capsules and put ground-up flaxseed on your cereal in the morning. Evening primrose oil is also highly recommended. Dark green leafy vegetables are full of vitamins and great for your hair. Cook with coconut oil whenever you can. Many cooking herbs are good for your hair, including parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

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