What robs the shine and body out of our hair? Health conditions, improper maintenance, the lack of nutrients and sun exposure are among many factors that lead to dry or damaged hair. Nevertheless, dry hair doesn’t spare anyone regardless of sex, race or nationality. It can ruin the look of a sassy hairstyle that you spent hours trying to achieve.
Dry hair is a result when the cuticles do not lay flat. Undamaged cuticles lie flat, hold moisture and reflect light. Whether your hair is colored, bleached, straight, permed, textured or natural, the most important aspect in obtaining healthy hair is giving it the moisture it needs. You do not have to resort to hiding your hair under a scarf or a hat to keep your tresses at bay. There are many ways to skin a camel. We will take a look at a universal trend which is slowly becoming adapted in our Western culture.
Holistic living is a lifestyle which reconnects us back to the “earth” from which we are made. Our bodies and our hair are part of our creation. Herbalism, which is practiced in holistic living, connects us with our environment in the same way. Our bodies naturally absorb herbs made by nature as opposed to anything man made or artificial. Holistic health and self-care for some people are not only medicinal, it is a way of life in which you are one with it, literally.
We all know that natural oils such jojoba, avocado, and coconut, among others, can contribute to our hair’s body and shine. Olive, babassu and castor oil are best for thick and dense hair. Other oils work best for medium to fine hair. Adding a few drops of lavender, peppermint, rosemary or aloe vera, will add a pleasant smelling scent to your hair. These herbal oils have special properties which aid in providing moisture and growth in different ways:
Rosemary: These herbs help to relieve dandruff and dry itchy scalp, leaving your hair soft and shiny. Rosemary is known for promoting hormone balance which is essential to healthy hair growth.
Peppermint: This herb has a menthol-rich smell which invigorates the scalp. It acts as a mild anesthetic. When applied to the scalp, it binds the roots of your hair, increases the blood flow to it, therefore making your hair stronger. Peppermint help to balance the pH levels, which help aid in relieving a dry scalp.
Aloe Vera: This herb in known for restoring proper oil balance in the hair. It is nature’s natural conditioner.
You can mix and match the natural and herbal scented oils and tailor it to your hair’s condition.
Create an Herbal Water Conditioner:
You can purchase dry scented herbs that come in pouches. You can combine all of the herbs by using one teaspoon of each or you can select the ones you want for your particular hair needs. Start by adding about two cups of boiling water over the herbs. For thicker hair, double the measurements. Let the water set for about an hour. Strain the mixture and allow it to cool completely. Wash or co-wash your hair the way you would normally do. After washing, pour the herbal mixture into your hair, covering every area completely. Do not rinse out.
Internal maintenance is vital in keeping those tresses moisturized, strong and shiny. These holistic herbs will add to the health of your hair:
1. Oat Straw is a nutritive herb that stems from green oats, also known as Avena Sativa. Two of its compounds are calcium and silicic acid. This herb is a natural tonic which is known for increasing energy. In addition, the calcium in this herb does the body well for bones, nails and yes, of course, the hair. It comes in capsule form or powder.
2. Evening Primrose Oil contains fatty acids needed for healthy skin and hair. You can purchase it in capsule form or you can buy the oil in which you can add a couple of drops in your favorite tea.
3. Flaxseed is a nutritive herb. They contain high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in omega-3 fats. Flaxseed gel is a popular favorite which is used as a natural hair styler for wash-n-go’s, braid outs, twist outs and for roller sets without the use of heat. You can purchase flaxseeds in capsules or buy the natural seeds. They come in whole or grounded. If you use the natural seeds, a little goes a long way. A teaspoon a day added to your oatmeal, yogurt or as a topping on a salad, will enrich your hair follicles from the inside, providing fatty acids for added moisture.
When using herbs for medicinal purposes, never use them while pregnant or nursing without seeking counsel from a physician. If you are on prescription drugs, it is best to check with your doctor. While most herbs are deemed safe with little to no side effects, they can be dangerous when taken in large doses or in the wrong form. It is always best to start off with taking the lowest dosage.