Great Hair, Naturally! (Part Three)

This is the last in our series on hair and today you will learn how to put together all those things that you learned in the past two weeks. In the past two articles I have been naming natural herbs, oils, and foods that you can use to help yourself and improve the condition of your hair, while also improving your general overall health. But we haven’t really talked much about how you can actually use these things.

When you are using natural essential oils it’s usually best to put them into a base oil. I like to use olive oil (cold pressed extra virgin, ideally), but calendula oil is even better (although it isn’t widely available). There are other oils that are nice also, like coconut oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, and others. Almost any type of oil can be used as a base. All you need is around 3 drops of essential oils to every 5 ml of base oil (which is about 1 teaspoonful. In some cases you might want to add a few more drops if you want more concentration. You may also want to use your essential oils pure, in that case make sure that you are choosing essential oils that will not bother your skin when you use them. Oils like eucalyptus, cedar, sandalwood, lemon and others like that will be fine usually. But, if you have very sensitive skin, be sure to test them first.

When using whole herbs there are several different ways you can use them. You can make a tisane or infusion, which is basically like making a tea out of them. For this all you do is boil water, and then add the herb. You cover it and let it sit for half an hour to a day. The longer you let it sit the stronger it will be of course. When using herbs for hair (not for drinking) you can allow the herbs to sit for a longer time and become quite strong (you wouldn’t want to do this with tea, since the taste would become bitter and unappetizing). You can also accomplish this by adding the herbs to water in a jar and leaving it in the sun for a period of time, even up to several days. You will then have a very strong infusion of herbs that can be used for your hair and scalp. These types of concoctions can be used as rinses or soaks and applied directly to the hair and scalp for good results.

You may prefer to use the herbs themselves directly on the hair or scalp, and for this method you would want to powder the herbs first. You can do this by putting them in a spice mill and grinding them until they are a fine powder. They can be stored as individual herbs or as blends if you have several favorite herbs that you like to keep together in that way. Then when you want to use them you simply add some hot water to them to turn them into a paste. Don’t add flour though, when you’re using them on your hair, because you will end up with a really messy blob of paste that you will have great difficulty getting out of your hair again later. So, just add hot water that is enough to get a nice thick paste, that isn’t too dry or too wet. (If you’ve ever used henna, the normal consistency of henna is a good measure to work from). Then, let it cool down to room temperature and apply it or store it for later use. If you’re going to be storing it for a long period of time, it’s probably better to put it in the refrigerator or even the freezer in order to keep the herbs as fresh as possible. You can then put this on your hair and even massage it into your scalp and leave it for a period of time, washing it off later. Light or vigorous massage is fine, depending on what you prefer. This method gives nice results, but it’s a little messier than just using a tisane or infusion.

When it comes to using fruits and vegetables as fresh herbal mixes for the hair or scalp (things such as lemons, bananas, cucumbers, etc may be used) you want to blend or mash them into a fine pulp and apply them more or less like a mask to the hair. You may also prefer to massage them into the scalp, which is fine also.

All this methods may be appropriate and effective depending on what you need and prefer. So, be creative and try out different things until you find what suits you and helps the most. Don’t get discouraged when one method doesn’t work, because another one certainly will. When in doubt, read, or ask, because you don’t want to do something that is going to harm you in the long run, and here’s to beautiful, thick, shiny hair!!!

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