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Natural Hair Care: Your Hair Will Thank You

First of all, you can make a shampoo at home, without having to purchase a ready-made shampoo. Mix 1/2 cup of liquid dish detergent with 1 cup [or more] of water.

For body and shine beat an egg and massage it into freshly washed hair, wait five minutes, and rinse out with cool water. Don't use warm or hot, as it tends to cook the egg.

Mayonnaise is an effective conditioning treatment. Massage it through and preferably keep it on overnight, [or at least for 15 minutes] but cover your head. Rinse with cool water or it will set in your hair.

For oily hair, use a tablespoon of vinegar to the final rinse after shampooing.

For shine, beer is excellent. Rinse your hair in beer, then rinse out. Use a mild beer so that it doesn't have too strong an odor. Herbs can be used to add shine and manageability. Use any of the herbs by making an infusion. Steep 1/3 cup of each herb in a quart [litre] of boiling water for 15 minutes. Cool, strain, and use as a final rinse after shampooing.

Chamomile adds highlights and gloss to blonde hair.
Ginseng adds sheen and flexibility by replenishing moisture.
Rosemary adds sheen.

Rosemary is effective for dandruff.
Yarrow adds manageability.

Hair spray may be bad for your lungs. Pump bottles are safer than aerosols because you're less likely to inhale the vapors. Hair sprays contain polyvinylpyrroidone, which has caused cancer in test animals--as well as caused kidney and liver damage. For a safe hair spray chop up a lemon, or an orange [for dry hair] and boil in a pot with 2 cups of water with the lid off, until reduced to about 1 cup. Cool, strain, and place in a spray bottle. Add 1 ounce of rubbing alcohol. This will keep for up to two weeks outside the fridge. If it is too sticky, add a little water. Sugar water makes a good hair spray as well.

A hair gel can be made by mixing 2 parts of unflavored gelatine to 1 part of water.

If your hair turns limp at mid-day, a small bottle of water can be used to mist the hair lightly. This will re-activate any mousse, gel, or spray.

If you're going to use a hair dye, it is safer to use semi-permanent or temporary coloring containing henna or vegetable dyes. There has been some question as to whether they cause cancer. Stick to highlighting to protect your scalp from the dye and rinse well. Use gloves. For temporary streaking or coloring you can use food coloring or powdered drink mix. You can go from mahogany to neon orange by using the right mixes---but wear rubber gloves because you really have to scrub to get the color out of your hands.

With grey hair, yellowing is the biggest complaint. Most of the shampoos on the market that are made for silver/white hair are effective, but can be overdone, in which case the hair will have a purple or blue tinge. If you use these shampoos, alternate with your regular shampoo. You can remove buildups from sprays and products that can add to the yellow problem by mixing baking soda with some white vinegar. Make a paste and apply to your hair. This can be used by anyone to remove buildups.

Grey hair is much coarser and drier than naturally pigmented hair. A few drops of almond oil spread on your hands and applied to the hair will moisturize dry hair.

Hair loss can be caused by a nutritional deficiency, especially of omega-3 fatty acids. These are supplied by salmon, sardines, herring, or mackeral, two or three times a week. Fish oil capsules may be contaminated with toxins. You can get your omega-3s from 2 tablespoons of flax meal daily. Buy the flax seeds whole, keep in fridge, and grind enough for a week at a time, using a coffee grinder or a blender. Fortified flax powder by Omega-Life is available in health food stores. Supplements of GLA [gamma-linoleic acid] in the form of black currant or evening primrose oil, in capsule or soft gel available at health food stores--should also be taken. Give it 6 to 8 weeks to notice a difference.

Hair benefits from exercise, because it results in improvement in circulation. It helps to get some form of exercise at least three times a week for 20 minutes a day. Get enough sleep, eat right, don't smoke, avoid hot styling tools, don't over-use bleach or perms. If your hair has been over-exposed to the sun, use a conditioner, cover it and leave in for awhile, or use a 'leave in' conditioner. Wear a sun hat at the beach or if outdoors for an extended period of time.

Your hair will thank you.

I don't guarantee any results--these are for your personal experimentation.

By Margot B

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