Natural Hair Care

Clean your hair the natural way

Beautiful clean, bouncy, shiny hair is without a doubt an enviable asset. You are not quite like anyone else and your hair in not quite like anyone else's hair. What better way to cater to your hair's needs than to use a natural shampoo? Shampoos made with essential oils are great tonics that can improve the condition of your hair and scalp.

Many essential oils contain active ingredients that can benefit your hair and scalp, helping to improve dry or greasy hair, combat dandruff, reduce hair loss and prevent head lice.

Essential oil shampoos do not foam like regular shampoos, so you may prefer to use them as a pre-wash treatment. This involves rubbing the oils into dry hair and wrapping you head in a towel for an hour before rinsing and washing as normal.

To use oils in the washing process, wet your hair and massage over the scalp being careful not to get any in your eyes. Leave for an hour, then wash and shampoo. Used a few times a week, the essential oils will noticeably improve the condition of your hair.

Making Your Own Shampoo

An important point to remember when making an essential oil shampoo is to keep the mixture light to avoid any leftover residue. Light base oils such as peach kernel or jojoba are ideal. Wheat germ is also good for conditioning hair.

Add essential oils to combat scalp conditions to your regular shampoo - for example rosemary oil to treat dandruff. The best shampoos to use as a carrier product are those labeled with a mild pH. The oils should be added at a ratio of six drops to 50 ml of shampoo.

You can also add essential oils to the water you use to rinse your hair after washing, rather then adding it to the shampoo beforehand.

Avoid using these oils to mix with commercial products as they may react: cedar wood, cypress, juniper, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, pine and ylang ylang.

For clean and healthy hair, the following blend of oils is suitable for any hair type:

  • 500 ml clean water
  • 5 drops geranium
  • 5 drops petit grain
  • 5 drops rosemary

Blend the oils together in a jug and stir, then rinse your hair and pour the perfumed water mix onto your head.

Massage into the scalp and hair and leave for five minutes.

Rinse thoroughly to ensure there is no excess oil left in your hair.

If your hair is excessively oily, try using the following essential oil blend instead:

  • 500ml clean water
  • 5 drops bergamot
  • 5 drops frankincense
  • 5 drops rosemary

Massaging your scalp with oils can stimulate blood circulation and improve your hair's condition, as well as relieve headaches and stress. Make up a blend and massage it into your scalp thoroughly. Wrap your hair in a warm towel. (A folded towel can be warmed in a microwave) Now wash as normal, applying the shampoo before the water to prevent your hair remaining oily.

Many conditions specific to the scalp and hair can be alleviated with the use of essential oils. Try one of the recipe blends given below:

  • Prevent dandruff: 50ml slightly warmed coconut oil, 5 drops lemon grass oil, 25 drops tea tree oil.
  • Reduce hair loss: 50ml slightly warmed extra virgin olive oil, 10-12 drops lavender oil.
  • Improve oily hair: 25ml sunflower oil, 10-12 drops rosemary oil.
  • Treat head lice: 25ml water and 75ml vodka, 1 tsp lavender oil, 1 tsp tea tree oil.

Comb this blend through with a fine-toothed comb and repeat every three days until the condition clears up.

To maintain your hair's lustrous look, you must also maintain all-around good health - the condition of your hair is usually a good indication of how healthy you are. If you feel even slightly out of sorts, it's surprising how quickly your hair will lose its sheen and body.

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is essential, as your hair needs vitamin B complex, vitamin A, calcium, silica, iron, zinc, protein and unsaturated oils or fatty acids to be healthy. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water and make sure that you get enough sleep. Seven to eight hours of sleep per night will do wonders for your hair.

By Janette Peel