DIY herbal rinse for happy hair (+ hair care tips)
The health of my hair improved when I started to neglect it. True story. Well, not so much neglect — but when I stripped back all of the stuff I thought I was supposed to be doing, like washing it every second day. So that's my first tip for healthy hair — don't wash it so much! Yes, your hair will go crazy oily at first — it's accustomed to the soaps and chemicals in shampoo stripping away your natural oils (hence why it goes into oil overdrive between washes). But if you push through the oil slick, your hair will return to balance naturally. I wash my hair once a week, sometimes letting it go even longer (depending on where I'm at in my moon cycle).
So, once a week I have a little hair ritual of sorts, and it takes a bit of (easy) pre-preparation, usually a day in advance. I begin with a warm hair oil treatment, infused with herbs and essential oils that promote hair growth and improve scalp health (would you be interested in having this available in the online store? Let me know!). This is massaged into my hair and scalp and left overnight. At the same time I make a herbal hair rinse, which I'm going to guide you through today.
HERBAL HAIR RINSE RECIPE
STEP 1. Gather your herbs. Fresh or dried is fine. The ingredients of my rinses change from time to time, depending on what I have available. I always like to use rosemary as my base though as rosemary is great for stimulating hair growth and boosting blood flow to the scalp. Below I'll take you through the hair benefits of the herbs I'm using for this batch.
ROSEMARY: Combats hair loss, stimulates new growth, reduces dandruff. Also said to prevent greying.
CHAMOMILE: Promotes soft, shiny hair; fights dandruff. When used regularly, chamomile acts as a natural and mild hair lightener (I'll be making a post on how to do this in the future so stay tuned).
LAVENDER: Antimicrobial action improves scalp health. Fights stress-related hair loss by soothing nervous tension. Conditions dry hair; improves shine and lustre.
BRAHMI: Promotes hair growth; combats dandruff and split ends. Strengthens hair shaft and follicles; conditions dry hair.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: Today I'm also adding in a shot of raw apple cider vinegar to balance pH levels, purify, remove residue and build-up, and increase softness and shine. This is optional.
STEP 2. Grab a jar, bowl or jug and pop your herbs in. I'm making a big batch to last several washes, but if you only have a small amount of herbs on hand, use a smaller jar.
STEP 3. Boil the kettle and then pour the hot water over the herbs into your chosen vessel. The idea is to completely cover the herbs with water.
STEP 4. Now leave the herbs to steep in the water for 8 hours, or overnight. If you're in a rush, you can leave the herbs steeping until the water has completely cooled — the concoction just won't be as strong.
STEP 5. After infusing the herbs overnight, you should now have a nice, rich, dark herbal hair tea. Grab a bottle (or another jar), a sieve, and a funnel (if necessary) and strain the solution. Add in the shot of apple cider vinegar and give the bottle a shake.
Et voilà! The used herbs can now be thrown into your compost or distributed around the garden as fertiliser.
HOW TO USE & HOW TO STORE
STORING: Anything made with water is a breeding ground for bacteria, so this isn't designed to last forever. Store your herbal hair rinse in the fridge, and if you've made enough for a few rinses, aim to use it up within 3 or so washes. If you notice anything wack growing in the bottle, you know it's definitely time to ditch it.
USING: After washing and rinsing your hair with clear water, use the herbal solution as a final rinse, making sure to cover your scalp, hair shaft and ends. There's no need to further rinse your hair. You can still use conditioner prior to this step, but if you've included apple cider vinegar in your recipe then this alone works great as a natural hair conditioner/softener. I don't use conditioner as my hair oil treatment doubles as a pre-wash conditioner.
NOTE: The rinse will be cold coming straight from the fridge! But the cold water works to stimulate blood circulation to the scalp and increase shine, so it's worth it. I just lean my head forward and pour, so the liquid drains into the bathtub, and not down my back — yelp!
So there you have it. Give it a go and let me know what you think! I guess the final hair care tip I'd like to end on is to wash your hair in natural water wherever possible. I know this isn't realistic for everyone but it's something to keep in mind if the opportunity arises. I'm fortunate to live in a beautiful place where I have rain and river water as my water supply, and it has made a dramatic difference to the health and appearance of my hair compared to when I bathed in treated tap water.
Happy hair days!
lil mary lune x