Healthy Hair Naturally...and other hairy tips
Updated: Dec 16, 2021
Straight, fine, curly, thick, afro, coloured, short, frizzy, dry, oily, split, damaged...WILD
…whatever your hair is like right now there are some useful remedies as well as herbs, oils and gorgeous plant butters that will make it even better looking or help alleviate the problems you may be having with it.
That said, there’s no amount of hair products or tonics that will improve the health and shine of your hair without a balanced clean whole food diet. If you are experiencing longterm problems with your hair and scalp then you need first to look at improving your diet and detoxing the body.
My hair is thick, long, curly …and yes, red - courtesy of my North Atlantic ancestry and those early Irish missionaries!!
Personally I love my hair. My hair is a huge part of who I am and I have developed a hair care routine where I get the best out of my precious tresses. ..Firstly, I DON'T comb my hair every day especially not if I have just washed it as it will comb out my curls and my hair will settle into a wide red frizzy orb. However, when I do, I use one of my most precious personal belongings - a wide tooth olive wood comb. I prefer wood to plastic as plastic tend to make my hair static and frizzy. And the wide teeth of the comb also have the added benefit of massaging the scalp thus encouraging the blood circulation and improving the health of the hair.
Unless I have been in a really smokey or dusty environment I only wash my hair once a week as over-washing your hair strips it of all it’s natural oils and irritates the scalp potentially causing dandruff and flakes.
I like to change products regularly as the hair likes to be 'surprised' and (in my opinion) reacts positively to a change of products. My hair tends to become a bit limb and boring if I use the same product all the time. I always comb my hair before washing. I alternate between three products: 1) A mild organic low- foaming shampoo or shampoo bar from Living Naturally Both their liquid shampoos and shampoo bars are based on soap nuts which are the dried outer shells of the berry from the Indian Soapberry tree (Sapindus mukorossi) native to Nepal and India. Soapnuts (which are actually a berry not a nut and completely nut allergy safe!) contain saponin and are very effective and mild and suitable for all hairtypes. They do not foam as much as conventional shampoos but they leave the hair with a lovely feel and don't overstrip the hair of its natural oils. For more info check my HAIR section in my webshop. 2) An ordinary low cost organic shampoo (I use one from Urtekram). I use this one when I'm in a hurry. I don't over-wash my hair as it is quite a bit 'stronger' and more foamy than the shampoo bars and tend to strip the hair of natural oils and make the scalp dry/itchy. But once in a while it is just fine. And the hair seems to like the change. 3) Rhassoul clay Now this one is a bit more controversial...and messy!! But it does wonders for curly hair. Rhassoul clay is full of minerals and it is naturally cleansing in an anti-intuitive kind of way but it works. Depending on hair volume, mix a table spoon (I use two or three) with equal amounts of water into a thick paste. You can add a few drops of essential oils (orange, grapefruit, lavender, rosemary, cypress are all good for the hair) for a more luxury and fragranced hair mask. Now wet your hair, apply the clay and comb through. Wrap your hair in an old clean towel (it will get muddy!) or scarf. Leave the clay in for about 15-20 mins. Now rinse it out. WARNING: it's messy so I rinse into a baby bath or small tub. I find that after a Rhassoul clay treatment my hair feels more wholesome and less frizzy and curls tend to arrange really nicely and more defined.
The humble Apple Cider vinegar (ACV) is a fabulous all-round health tonic and a must in the natural hair care routine. ACV clears away any soap residue, scalp debris, dirt and kills bacteria and it also works as a natural detangler. Make sure you get the good stuff and even a good organic raw apple cider vinegar is not going to blow your budget. Apple cider vinegar balances the PH levels of your scalp and hair giving your hair a healthy shine and lustre.
You can easily make your own Apple cider vinegar hair rinse by mixing
1 part apple cider vinegar
4 parts water
After washing your hair, pour the mixture into your hair or even better, apply the mixture to your hair and scalp using a spray bottle. Make sure you massage your scalp well after applying the mixture. You may even leave the concoction in for a few minutes to ‘marinate’ before rinsing fully with water. And don’t worry, the smell of the vinegar will not linger in your hair.
The apple cider vinegar leaves your hair feeling smooth, soft and clean. If you haven't got time or don't feel like making your own then Living Naturally has a beautiful Organic Herbal Hair Rinse Conditioner based on organic ACV enriched with hair-loving herbs. Pure organic flower waters also greatly benefit the hair, freshens it up, help define curls and gives it a beautiful natural fragrance.
CONDITIONING & STYLING
After the final rinse I squeeze out as much water I can with my hands and then I gently towel dry my hair.
There are lots of herbs, natural oils and butters that benefit the hair and you can use as leave-in deep conditioners.
Personally, I always use my Hemp & Babassu Hair & Beard Balm which combines some great hair conditioning and moisturising oils, butters and essential oils, high in vitamins and healthy fats.
And all ingredients are cold pressed, organic or wild harvested.
I warm a marble sized amount of Hair Balm in my palms and massage it gently into my hair and scalp. I repeat this about 3-4 times and my hair just seem to soak up the balm but if your hair is shorter and/or finer you may want to start with a pea-sized amount. Then I leave my hair to air-dry and set. I never comb or dry-blow my hair at this stage as it would ruin the curls and flatten the hair.
During the week I will add small amounts of Nourishing Hair Oil through the hair or to dry ends or use an aloe vera spritz to define curls, provide soft hold and moisturise the hair.
However you can just as easily and effectively use single ingredients and below I’ve made a list of leave-in remedies, oils and butters. Some of them you can find here or perhaps you already have one or some of them in your cupboard. Aloe vera deeply moisturises and softens the hair, adds shine & enhances curl definition. It is jam-packed full of B-12, vitamin C, amino acids, minerals & salicylic acid. To make a simple Aloe vera spritz leave-in conditioner: 1 part Aloe vera gel or juice
1 part water
Few drops Essential oils (optional) -Rosemary, lavender or grapefruit are all beneficial to the hair. Combine & mix well in a spray bottle. Keep in the fridge. Argan oil: This oil is wonderfully light silky smooth oil that penetrates very easily into the hair. It is a great oil for finer hair types and just a few drops works well. Apply to hair ends to treat split ends. It is very rich in Vitamin E and makes dull and lifeless hair shiny and healthy looking. Find it here
Shea butter is simply a wonderful butter for the hair — especially if your hair is thick & curly.
Naturally high in vitamin A and E, shea butter conditions the hair and aids in keratin formation and cell regeneration. Shea butter deeply nourishes and seals in the moisture very well and gives a natural soft hold to the hair. However if using as a stand alone product then too much can weigh the hair down and make it feel greasy so use it sparingly, especially if you have got fine hair. Nilotica shea butter is slightly lighter and more creamy and therefore easier to apply than conventional shea butter. Find it here Jojoba oil: Although commonly referred to as an oil Jojoba is actually a liquid wax and its composition is very close to our own sebum (skin oil) which makes it a terrific healing and moisturising oil for the hair and suitable for all hairtypes.
A light and silky oil that penetrates deep into the cortex, helping to keep hair beautifully conditioned and shiny. Find it here Almond oil: The humble almond oil is wonderful for the hair, treats split ends and is soothing for the scalp. Almond oil is rich in vitamin A and E and has a pleasant nutty fragrance. It is quite a rich oil so a little goes a long way. Find it here Hemp seed oil is a wonderful natural moisturiser on the light side. Hemp seed oil helps boost scalp health and prevents irritation and dryness. Great for winter usage, because it combats the cold, damaging outdoor air.
High in omega-3 & 6 fatty acids and the vitamins A, B1,2 3 & 6, C, D & E, provides hempseed oil with the ability to effectively revitalise & nourish the hair.
The essential fatty acids along with vitamin E greatly improve the hair condition and contribute to keratin formation, thus helping to make the hair healthier and stronger. Hope this gives you inspiration to have a go at natural chemical free haircare. Castor oil is a shiny viscous pale yellow oil, it is inexpensive and has been used for centuries in haircare. A lot of castor oils beneficial properties can be attributed to ricinoleic acid, the omega-9 fatty acid that makes up about 90% of the oil.
The calming, soothing and protective properties of ricinoleic acid along with vitamin E, and minerals in Castor oil has a strengthening effect on hair follicles, hydrates dry and damaged hair and can help reduce split ends. Babassu oil is a great alternative to coconut oil. The two oils have got a similar fatty acid profile but unlike coconut oil Babassu oil is non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog the pores) or clump hair together and is very easily absorbed without the greasy feel and look. Babassu oil is mild, deep penetrating and it doesn’t strip away the natural oils from the hair strands. Its moisturising qualities conditions and restores the hair’s elasticity and health. Babassu oil is not that easy to find as a product on its own but it is the main ingredient in my Hemp & Babassu Hair Cream Have a great hair day! 🌿🌷🌿 Love Sol