Natural Treatments for Hair Care

Our hair requires protein and other nutrients that come from the inside.

Image of a maned lion

A plethora of external treatments will not correct an unbalanced diet.  That said, you might have a great diet and still have abused hair.  Too much sun, blow drying, straightening, perms–all can wreak havoc on your hair.

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

What goes into us, creating a healthy immune system, is the primary determining factor of how healthy we are on the outside.  To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

It is always preferable to get your nutrients from food rather than from supplements.

  • Adequate protein (lack of protein contributes to hair loss and slow growth)
  • Avocado
  • Bone broth
  • Chickpeas
  • Eggs
  • Flaxseed
  • Indian gooseberry
  • Iron-rich foods
  • Liver
  • Marmite
  • Oatmeal, steel-cut, slow-cooking
  • Omega 3-rich foods
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Spirulina
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tangerines
  • Vitamin A-rich foods
  • Vitamin C-rich foods
  • Vitamin E-rich foods
  • Wild salmon
  • Yellow peppers
  • Zinc-rich foods

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Alcohol
  • Chemicals; use natural products on your hair
  • Chlorinated water
  • Diet Soda
  • Fatty fried foods
  • Processed foods
  • Processed sugar
  • Smoking has a negative effect on hair thickness and oil balance
  • Starches

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

You can use any of the teas below as a hair rinse as well as for drinking

  • Chamomile
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
  • Kombucha
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Matcha
  • Nettle tea
  • Oolong
  • Rosemary tea
  • Sage tea

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Aloe vera
  • Basil
  • Black pepper
  • Burdock root
  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Fenugreek
  • Ginger root
  • Gotu kola
  • Hibisucus
  • Hops
  • Horsetail
  • Indian gooseberry
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil on the skin, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress. For hair treatments, add some drops to your natural, organic shampoo or conditioner or use them in a carrier oil for a scalp massage.

  • Birch
  • Cedarwood
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage
  • Juniper berry
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Ylang ylang

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Biotin
  • Omega 3’s
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

HYDRATION

Dehydration hinders healthy hair growth. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½-1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

Exercise serves several functions that promote healthy hair, including increased blood flow to our scalp. That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stress causes hormonal imbalances that can, in turn, cause hair loss. Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Cover your hair outside.  (Yeah, hat hair…)
  • Keep you hair out of chlorinated water or apply some leave-in conditioner before going swimming.
  • Sleep on a silk pillowcase.

Treatments

  • Massage warm oil (like olive) through your hair, put on a cap, and let it sit for an hour before rinsing.  Massaging your scalp will encourage circulation.
  • Use sour cream or plain yogurt on your damp hair.  Let it sit for 20 minutes and then rinse out before shampooing.  Do this a couple times a month.
  • Pamper your hair with a honey treatment once a month or so.  Massage honey into c,lean, damp hair and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.  You can add some other foods, like olive oil or avocado.
  • For very greasy hair, sprinkle cornmeal or cornstarch on your dry hair, wait several minutes and brush it out.
  • For frizzy hair, try an avocado and mayo treatment a couple times a month.

Shampooing

  • Hard water may contribute to dry hair.
  • Don’t shampoo so often that you strip all the natural oil from your hair.  Shampoo even less if you have color-treated hair.  If you simply cannot go a couple days without a shampoo, try just rinsing it and then styling, between shampoos.
  • Use cool water, rather than hot water, when shampooing. If you don’t want cool water on your body, rinse your hair under a faucet or use a hand-held sprayer.
  • Use a mild, organic shampoo.
  • Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar for pH balance.
  • To get rid of the shampoo or other hair applications, rinse after shampooing with a mixture of baking soda and water.  Let it sit for several minutes and then rinse.
  • Apply lemon juice to your hair after the final rinse.

Conditioning

  • Use a conditioner as a lubricant, perhaps alternating with rinse-out conditioners and leave-in conditioners.
  • Mayonnaise can be used as a conditioner.
  • Egg conditioner.  Whip up an egg or two (for enough to cover your hair).  Apply it to clean, damp hair and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing with cool water.  You can use whites (best for dry hair) or the whole egg.

Styling

  • Cut back on the blow drying and hot irons.  When you blow dry, use a warm or cool setting and don’t get it closer than a couple inches from your hair.
  • Spray beer on your hair before styling; it may help your hair to shine.
  • Don’t brush wet hair; comb it.
  • Don’t pull and stretch hair.
  • Keep your brushes and combs clean.
  • Get a trim often enough to avoid split ends.

 

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