Achieving great-looking hair without synthetic chemicals is not difficult, nor does it need to be expensive. With a few common kitchen ingredients and some specialty oils, herbs, and flowers, you can create a variety of treatments that your hair will respond to quickly.
The time you invest in creating these easy formulas will be rewarded with healthier, more radiant hair.
Choose herbs for your shampoo that will enhance your hair color and texture, and that address any special needs you may have. You can mix and match herbs from the following lists to develop an individualized combination that is best for your hair.
Dry: Comfrey root, avocado, elder flowers, orange blossoms.
Normal: Dandelion, horsetail, clover.
Oily: Watercress, strawberry leaf, white willow bark, lemon grass.
Ethnic: Comfrey, nettle, cherry bark, olive oil.
Shine: Egg, raspberry, nettle, vinegar, quassia.
Manageability: Yogurt, cherry bark, beer.
Softness: Cherry bark, burdock root, olive oil, marjoram.
Dandruff: White willow bark, birch bark, comfrey, nettle, peppermint, vinegar.
Growth: St. John’s wort, nettle, sage, basil, rosemary, onion juice.
BASIC SHAMPOO FORMULA
2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
1 cup spring water
¼ cup fresh herbs (2 tablespoons dried)
1 teaspoon almond or apricot kernel oil
2 drops essential oil
1. Place herbs in a clean 10-ounce glass jar with a lid.
2. Boil the spring water and pour over the herbs.
3. Cover and let steep for 10 to 20 minutes.
4. Strain the liquid from the herbs into a bowl.
5. Add the liquid castile soap and almond or apricot kernel oil and mix thoroughly.
6. Scent with essential oil and mix again.
7. Bottle in a plastic container with a spout or a clean recycled shampoo bottle.
Yield: Approximately 24 shampoos
HERBAL HAIR CONDITIONERS
Herbal hair conditions help make hair more manageable and often impart a smoother and softer texture. They are especially good for those who cannot live without hot rollers, curling irons and blow dryers.
1 cup rose floral water
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
10 drops vitamin E oil
1. In the top of a double boiler, gently warm the rose water.
2. Once rose water is warm, add jojoba oil.
3. Pour the mixture in a blender and add the vitamin E. Blend at high speed for 2 minutes.
1. Wet hair with warm water.
2. Pour the conditioner onto your hair and scalp, massaging in thoroughly.
3. For damaged hair or extra conditioning, leave on for several minutes, perhaps while bathing.
4. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
5. Shampoo lightly and rinse again with cool water.
Adapted from The Herbal Home Spa, by Greta Breedlove. Copyright (c) 1998 by Greta Breedlove. Reprinted by permission of Storey Books.
Adapted from The Herbal Home Spa, by Greta Breedlove.