Natural Hair Care
Essential Oils for Hair
Yarrow - scalp stimulant; Ylang Ylang; Grapefruit; West Indian Bay; Rosemary; Basil; Lavender; Horseradish
Texas Cedarwood; Patchouli; Clary Sage; Peppermint
Atlas Cedarwood; Eucalyptus; Cade; Virginian Cedarwood; Tea Tree; Rosemary; Spanish Sage; Clary Sage
General hair care
White Birch; Roman and German Chamomile; Petitgrain; Spike Lavender; Patchouli; Rosemary
Oily Hair Shampoo
Powdered Orris Root
The superfluous oil is absorbed by sprinkling the hair thoroughly with powdered Orris. After 5 or 10 minutes, this powder may be brushed out. If applied in the evening, it may be left on during the night, and brushed out in the morning. It may also be used by anyone suffering from a cold, or for any reason where a wet shampoo is inadvisable.
Quick Herbal Shampoo
"Fastest and easiest way to make an herbal shampoo, mix strong infusion of a hair herb with a mild shampoo."
1 heaping teaspoon dried Sage, Rosemary, or Stinging Nettle or dried Chamomile flowers or any other herb used for hair
1/4 c boiling water; 1/4 c baby or other mild shampoo
Add herbs to the water (creating an infusion). Allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain and mix into shampoo.
Herbal Castile Shampoo
Pure Castile soap is made from olive oil. It can be obtained solid,powdered, liquid, or flaked. It cleans well, rinses easily, and is much gentler. Use chamomile if your hair is light; sage if it is dark. Add any additional hair herbs which pleases you to reach your goal.
1/4 c dried Chamomile flowers or Sage leaves
2 Tblspns dried Rosemary leaves
1 Tblspn dried peppermint
2 1/4 c distilled water This is important for those who have hard water
2 ounces Castile soap
3 drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil
2 Tblspns vodka
Bring water to a boil and make an infusion of the herbs. Let steep for 30 minutes. Strain well and place in saucepan. Add the soap until it disolves completely or mixes in well (if you are using the liquid form). Bring mixture to a low simmer and stir often. Let mixture cool; it should be thin and creamy. Mix the drops of peppermint or eucalyptus with the vodka and stir into the shampoo mixture. Pour mixture into a jar and cap it. Let stand in a warm place for 3 or 4 days before using.
Cherry Bark Conditioner
Results have been seen after 30 days' use.
Wild Cherry Tree bark
Boil the bark over a low flame for 20 minutes. Strain and let cool.
Apply as final rinse. ***Ragwood may also be used in the same way.
Restores the gloss to the hair and is reputed to stimulate growth.
1 Chopped Parsnip Root
1/2 teaspoonful of Parsnip Seeds
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Boil for 5 minutes, strain and allow to cool.Rrub into the scalp and hair.
Nettle Tea Tonic
Will make hair soft and glossy
1 quart water
Bring the water to a constant simmer and add a handful of nettles. Let simmer for 2 hours. I never boil herbs but this is interesting still. Strain when cool and bottle for use. Apply to scalp every other night.
Note: This must be prepared fresh every few days, as it will not keep for prolonged periods of time.
Herbal Egg Conditioner
2 tspns Lemon juice
1 heaping tspn Honey
2 - 3 drops Rosemary Oil
1/4 cup Safflower or other veggie oil
Add the lemon juice and honey to the egg and beat together. Pour mixture into top of double boiler and heat. Stir until it is warm and creamy. Let cool. Mix the rosemary oil in the vegetable oil and slowly add it to the egg mixture. Whip as you mix the two. **1/4 cup oil and Rosemay Oil can be substituted with 1/4 Herbal Conditioning Oil alone.
Herbal Conditioning Oil
1/2 c dried Chamomile flowers
1/4 c dried Rosemary leaves
1 c Safflower oil
Place herbs in double boiler and add the oil. Heat the mixture for 30 minutes and then pour into a wide-mouthed jar. Cover the jar with muslin and hold in place with rubber band. Let jar stand a week or so. Stir every day. When the oil has a pronounced aroma strain it into a clear container.
To use: Warm 1/3 to 1/2 cup of oil (depending on your hair length and thickness) over very low heat for a few minutes. Spread the warm oil through your hair with your fingers until it is fully coated. Cover and apply warm or hot towel. Treat your hair for 20 to 30 minutes. Shampoo as normal.
Bouncing Bet Natural Shampoo
This is a lathering herb (due to it's high content of saponnin) often called "soapwort". If you are using the powdered version - please use only 2 Tblspns. Expect to see less suds than you would see with your commercial shampoos. Also take heed that some people experience sneezing when using this herb.
3 Tbl spns dried bouncing Bet herb
1 1/2 Tblspns dried Sage leaves
1 tspn pure-grade borax (can be purchased at drugstores)
2 c boiling water
Place bouncing Bet, Sage, and borax in a heat-proof jar or other container you can cover tightly. Pour the oiling water and stir well. Let the mixture steep while being loosely covered until it is cool. Cap the container and shake well. Let stand for a day and shake often. Strain and use in small amounts.
Magic and Medicine of Plants, Reader's Digest; Reader's Digest Assc. New York, 1996
Nature's Medicines, Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing New York,1966
Honey Egg Shampoo
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons liquid soap
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon witch hazel
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon wheat germ oil or almond oil 1 tablespoon rosewater or cologne. Place all the ingredients in a screw top jar, cover and shake well. Makes about 2/3 cup
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup glycerin.
1 tablespoon witch hazel
1/4 cup orange flower water or cologne
2 tablespoons bee pollen
1 teaspoon liquid soap
1 tablespoon alcohol
Place the ingredients in a screw top jar, cover and shake well. Makes about 1¼ cups.
Blond Hair Highlighter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon Irish moss
1/4 Cup molasses
Soak the Irish moss in the water for 5 minutes. Then simmer for several minutes over low heat until the mixture is thick. Add the remaining ingredients. Apply to freshly shampooed hair and let soak for 3-5 minutes. Then rinse off with warm water. Makes about 1 cup, enough for two applications.
HEALTHY HAIR CARE:
How To Have A Healthy Head of Hair!
Healthy, shiny, bouncy hair is a reflection of proper nourishment and a healthy lifestyle. Even if you use the highest quality natural shampoos, conditioners, and styling aids, the condition of your hair will still suffer if your diet is lacking in necessary nutrients. If your hair seems lackluster, try modifying your diet. Eat more protein if your locks are limp, lifeless, and slow growing. Good sources of protein include organic eggs, lean meats and fish, beans and seeds, whole grains, and low-fat dairy or soy products.
Get your ABCs. These vitamins are vital to the health of your hair and scalp. Good sources of vitamin A include cod liver oil; red, yellow, and orange vegetables and fruits; spirulina, egg yolks; and deep green leafy vegetables. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, deep green leafy vegetables, rose hips, tomatoes, berries, pineapple, apples, persimmons, cherries, bell and hot peppers, papayas, and currants. Good sources of vitamin B include lean beef, poultry, egg yolks, liver, milk, brewer's yeast, whole grains, alfalfa, nuts and seeds, soy products, deep green leafy vegetables, spirulina, wheat germ, molasses, peas, and beans.
Cut back on caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar and flour, and junky snacks. These empty-calorie foods deplete your body's stores of vitamins B and C. Include iodine, sulfur, zinc, and silica in your diet. These four minerals are essential for proper hair health. Good sources of iodine include all types of fish, spirulina, sunflower seeds, and sea salt. Good sources of sulfur include turnips, dandelion greens, radishes, horseradish, string beans, onions, garlic, cabbage, celery, kale, watercress, fish, lean meats, eggs, and asparagus. Good sources of zinc include spirulina, barley grass, alfalfa, kelp, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, brewer's yeast, milk, eggs, oysters, nuts, and beans. Good sources of silica include horsetail herb, spirulina, nettle leaves, dandelion root, alfalfa, kelp, flaxseeds, oatstraw, barley grass, wheat grass, apples, berries, burdock root, beets, onions, almonds, sunflower seeds, and grapes.
Now, I won't guarantee that this tea will make you sprout hair as long and lush as Rapunzel's, but this mineral-rich brew is a delightful way to nourish your hair from the inside out. This recipe uses dried herbs and will yield 5 cups of tea.
1/2 teaspoon horsetail
1/2 teaspoon raspberry leaves
1/2 teaspoon oatstraw
1/2 teaspoon peppermint
1 teaspoon chamomile
1 teaspoon nettle
1 teaspoon alfalfa
5 cups boiling water
Honey or lemon to taste (optional).
Add the herbs to the boiling water, then remove from heat immediately. Cover and steep for 5-10 minutes or for 4 hours for a super-nutritious infusion (recommended). Strain. Add honey or lemon to taste, if desired. Sip slowly and enjoy! If making by the cup, use 1 teaspoon of herbs per cup. Store remainder in a tightly sealed container away from light and heat for up to 6 months. It is safe to consume 5 cups of this brew daily. If this is your beverage of choice, you should see noticeable improvement in your hair, skin, and nails within a few months of consistent consumption.
Herbal rinses add shine and bring out the natural color of your hair.
Traditional favorites are:
Fair hair - Chamomile
Red/Chestnut hair - Pot Marigold
Dark hair - Marjoram or Rosemary
Dry hair - ElderFlower or Marshmallow
Greasy hair - Mint or Lavender
Make a herbal tea using 1oz(25g) of your chosen dried herb or 2oz(50g) of fresh to 1 pint (550ml) of freshly boiled water. Allow to stand for 15 mins, then strain twice through coffee filter paper. Shampoo and rinse your hair as normal, before rinsing with the herbal rinse of your choice.
A scented rinse can be made by simply adding lavender water, rosewater, elderflower water or orange water to the final rinse. A strong infusion of herbs is both scented and beneficial, and can be mixed with vinegar or lemon juice or used on its own. Make this with one of the herbs listed, or make up a mixture of dried herbs, whose scent and properties best suit your hair, and keep this in a tight lidded jar in the bath room cupboard. Pour 2 cups boiling water over a handful of the dried herbs before washing the hair and leave to infuse in a covered teapot or pan. Strain into the final rinsing water and thoroughly soak the hair in it.
Scented rinse for blonde hair:
4 parts dried chamomile flowers
4 parts dried marigold flowers
3 parts dried orange flowers
2 parts elderflowers
Scented rinse for dark hair:
3 parts dried sage leaves
3 parts dried witch hazel leaves
3 parts dried rosemary
2 parts dried lime flowers
Rinse for out-of-condition hair:
3 parts dried thyme leaves
3 parts dried nettle leaves
2 parts dried, grated burdock root
2 parts dried nasturtium leaves
1 part dried southernwood leaves
For all 3 recipes add a strong infusion to the final rinsing water.
Scalp Massage Oil:
Use a few drops of essential oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil to suit the condition of your hair or your mood: Lavender for greasy hair and to help you relax Rosemary to invigorate
Geranium to soothe and moisturize dry hair Rub a little of the blended oil of your choice into your hands. Make a fist with each hand and then extend your fingers slightly, keeping them braced. Starting at the nape of your neck, massage your scalp in sections, working methodically round your head.
Pregnant ladies should be very careful of using any essential oil or herbal preparation during pregnancy. Many herbs should be avoided in pregnancy. If in doubt take professional advice. The following herbs should be avoided throughout pregnancy : arbor vitae, barberry, basil oil, black cohosh, blue cohosh, chamomile oil, Dang Gui, Feverfew, goldenseal, greater celandine, juniper, lady's mantle, mistletoe, Motherwort, mugwort, myrrh, pennyroyal, pokeroot, rue, shepherd's purse, southernwood, tansy and wormwood.
Do not take therapeutic doses of the following during pregnancy:
angelica, bitter orange, cayenne, celery seed, cinnamon, cowslip, elder bark, fennel, fenugreek, ginseng, lavender, marjoram, nutmeg, parsley, rhubarb root, senna, sage, thyme, vervain, wild yam, wood betony and yarrow. Do not take alcoholic tinctures or tonic wines during pregnancy.
A Mild Shampoo:
2 tbsp of a strong infusion of herbs
2 tbsp of a pure baby shampoo or dissolved, unscented soap.
Use an infusion of sage for dark hair, yarrow for oily hair, marigold petals for blonde hair, a mixture of nettle and burdock for dandruff. An egg beaten into the shampoo and a tbsp of powdered gelatin dissolved in the warm infusion will give extra body.
Rosemary Oil Conditioner:
2 drops of oil of rosemary
1 tbsp almond oil
1 tbsp glycerin
1 tbsp lanolin
1 egg(yolk only for dry hair)
Combine the oils, glycerin and lanolin in the top of a double boiler and warm gently. remove from the heat and beat in the egg. this is a less oily conditioner that can be rubbed into the scalp after shampooing. Leave it in for at least 10 min. then rinse thoroughly.