Herbal Care for Gorgeous Hair
I get lots of compliments on my hair and people are often surprised to hear that I stopped using shampoo and conditioner years ago!
I also think my hair is so healthy because I take good care of my nutritional needs and health. After all, hair, like everything else in our body, grows in response to nutrients, stress and the energy of the outside world. Hair is an expression of our overall vitality and personality!
First of all, even the “natural” stuff isn’t that great. It’s mostly water and packaging that you pay for! What a waste!
Some products are downright dangerous to your health, containing hormone disrupting chemicals (check your shampoos hazard rating here) and even ingredients that cause hair loss (Johnson and Johnson are currently involved in a lawsuit regarding their ‘natural’ line of shampoo and conditioner, OGX).
No matter how good your shampoo is anyway, it is designed to wash away your natural oils and then attempt to return moisture with heavy conditioners. One of the most common mistake I see people making is OVER washing, drying, processing and chemical product-ing. I believe our hair looks and grows best when we support and accept it, working with the body, rather than attempting to control and change it.
Here are some of my top tips for GORGEOUS HAIR:
-Let go of societal beauty standards and trying to follow fads and trends. Embrace your own unique beautiful self.
-Eat a healthy, nutrient dense and diverse diet. This diet will not only help you look healthy on the outside, you’ll be healthier on the inside too. I take JuicePlus every day for the last 8 years and drink copious nettle leaf tea.
-Use a gentle shampoo such as the recipe below OR use a shampoo bar like the ones from Moon Valley Organics found here. Just like a diverse diet will help our health, rotate your shampoo because even the best one used continuously over time can create imbalance.
-Wash your hair only as often as needed-this might only be once or twice a week. I often shower and just RINSE my hair with water. Unless I have been sweating hard or got it very dirty otherwise, I adhere to the less is more motto.
-When you are in the shower, use this time to massage your scalp. You can use a wide toothed comb to gently stimulate the scalp too. This will bring more blood flow to the hair follicles and can stimulate growth.
-After every shampoo, use a vinegar rinse to restore normal pH and add shine and softness without heavy chemical coatings which build up and weigh down the hair.
-End your shower with a cold rinse. Its great for your hair, scalp and skin as well as immune system and mood! It will leave your feeling invigorated!
Your Best Herbal Shampoo
I used to make this but now I use Moon Valley Shampoo Bars purchased here. I like this recipe because it is completely customizable so you can make it YOUR BEST unique product.
8 oz filtered water
1 oz herbs (your choice from below)
3 oz liquid castile soap
25 drops essential oils (your choice from below)
Bring water to a boil and add the herbs. Cover and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Strain and cool. Gently add the castile soap, mixing slowly. Then add the essential oils. Store in a empty shampoo bottle. Shake before using. Use only enough to shampoo the scalp-most of us use too much shampoo on the strands and ends which will dry them out. This wont be as bubbly as commercial shampoos with their foaming agents. Rinse thoroughly.
Super Shine and Conditioning Vinegar Rinse
Sounds weird but vinegar restores normal pH to the scalp and hair, helping dandruff, itchy scalp and even normalizes dull and dry hair. Apple cider vinegar is great for most hair, but wine vinegar can be used for dry hair. The smell of vinegar fades quickly and the essential oils help mask it as well.
Apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar
Herbs of your choice from below
5-10 drops of essential oils of your choice from below
Fill a quart jar about 1/2 way with herbs. Then fill the rest of the way with vinegar. Cap tightly with plastic lid or use a piece of parchment paper between the metal lid and the vinegar. Vinegar can erode metal so its best to keep them separate. Shake every day for a month with intentions for self-love and optimal health. Strain with cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. Compost the spent herbs (called marc) and add essential oils. Store in one of your old conditioner bottles (or I use the glass mason jar--most people say this is a no-no because it will be in the shower and could get broken. Use glass in the shower at your own risk!). After you shampoo and rinse, shake your infused vinegar and dilute with water. If you hair is oily, use about 1:4 ratio and if it is dry, use 1:6 or 8. No need to stress over exact measurements, just use more water if you hair tends to be dry. Pour it over your scalp and massage your scalp gently. Rinse with warm water and then cold.
calendula, chamomile, comfry leaf
sage, nettle, comfrey, horsetail, black walnut hull
marshmallow leaf and/or root, calendula, nettle
rosemary leaf, witch hazel bark (not extract), yarrow
From Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal, one of my dear teachers and grandmother of folk herbalism