Having healthy shiny hair goes a long way to giving us the boost we all need to feel confident and beautiful. Long, short, straight, or curly, and in all the colors of the rainbow — regardless — our hair needs the same love and care we give to the rest of our body.
You don’t have to spend oodles of money or time on expensive hair products or the hair salons: All you have to do is go to your kitchen and mix up a batch of these readily available natural ingredients and you’ll have the hair that gets that double take!
Try out any these easy-to-do tricks for healthy, problem-free hair.
For Extra Shine
- Tea Rinse – Use 3-4 cups of freshly brewed and cooled unsweetened tea as your final rinse after you shampoo. Pour the tea on damp hair and let it stay for 10 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a week to nourish and boost hair growth. Tea contains catechins which block the causes of hair loss.
- Egg and Banana – mix one egg and a mashed banana until it is a thick paste. Apply to your hair and leave it on for 10-30 minutes then wash using your usual shampoo and conditioner.
- Egg and avocado – Mash a ripe avocado with one egg and apply to wet hair. Leave on for at least 20 minutes then rinse several times. Do this once a week for damaged hair and once a month for healthy hair. Avocados contain vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids that give luster to hair. Eggs are the best conditioners as the yolk contains fats and proteins. The whites are useful for removing unwanted oils. Use whole eggs to condition normal hair, egg yolks for dry hair and the egg white for oily hair.
To remove build-up
The constant use of commercial shampoos can leave our hair dry and our scalp itchy due to the chemical build-up.
- Apple cider vinegar – mix ¼ cup organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) with one cup water. Lean back and pour the mixture on your hair. Allow it to run through the hair, being careful not to let it get into your eyes. Apple cider vinegar helps keep the pH balance of our hair cuticles. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil – peppermint, rose, lavender – so you don’t smell too vinegary. ACV helps close the hair cuticle thus helping it reflect light and makes hair look shiny. ACV removes the build-up with its cleansing and clarifying properties.
- Baking soda – combine one part baking soda with three parts water, apply at the roots and leave for three minutes, Rinse with warm water. If you have dandruff, squeeze one lemon and add to your mixture.
Dry hair and dandruff
- Coconut oil – after washing hair, mix two teaspoons of coconut oil with 5 drops of your favorite essential oil. Massage into scalp well, from neck to forehead and behind the ears. Cover with a shower cap and increase the heat by sitting in the sun for 20-30 minutes or by using a hair dryer on low heat to the cap. Remove the cap and wash with a gentle natural shampoo. Repeat this 2 to 3 times a week or more.
An itchy scalp can be caused by dry scalp, allergic reactions to food and harsh shampoos, dandruff, and a poor diet as well as other scalp-related diseases like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.
- You can relieve the itchiness by mixing 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and water. Massage your scalp with this mixture and leave on for at least 20 minutes. Wash off with a mild shampoo. The lemon juice helps remove the dry flakes while the olive oil moisturises the scalp.
- Honey, olive oil and egg yolk – Mix ½ cup of honey, 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and 1-2 tbsp of egg yolk. Apply the mixture on your hair for 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water. This treatment will help replace damaged keratin-protein bonds.
- Coconut oil – mix a teaspoon of coconut oil with 5 drops of sandalwood essential oil. Put a small amount in your hands and apply to the hair shaft and ends and then rub scalp. Cover with a shower cap and leave on overnight. Wash off with a gentle shampoo.
- Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. When regularly applied on hair, it improves scalp health, supports hair growth, adds volume and shine without the use of harsh chemicals.
Taming frizzy hair
- Avocado – Mash one ripe avocado, add a little olive oil and mix well. Shampoo your hair then apply the mixture throughout your hair. Leave for 30 minutes then rinse. To make a smoother paste, you can add mayonnaise. Use this mixture once or twice a week as a hair mask to prevent dryness and to condition your hair. Avocados contain good fatty acids that soothes the frizziness.
- Egg and Olive oil – Whisk one raw egg and add a spoonful of olive oil. Apply this to your hair before shampooing. Leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse and wash as usual. Eggs have the fats and proteins that moisturize and remove unwanted oils while olive oil acts as an emollient that locks the moisture.
- Aloe vera and coconut oil – blend aloe vera gel with ½ teaspoon lemon juice then add 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Apply on hair and scalp for 20 minutes then wash your hair as usual. Aloe vera contains proteolytic enzymes that repair dead skin cells on the scalp. It improves follicle growth thus promoting hair growth.
Eat your way to stronger hair
The nutrients we eat lay the foundation for all our new hair, skin, and nail growth. Since hair is made up of keratin, a type of protein, it makes sense to eat protein-rich foods like eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy, shellfish, red meat and soya. This will reinforce the keratin in our hair for stronger, healthier tresses.
Guest post by M Pimentel