During and after pregnancy scents were never the same. During pregnancy they were downright offensive, afterwards they were extremely irritating. I had learned about some of the chemicals coming off these scents. Their exact detrimental effects are debated but there is no benefit to my health. I started moving away from fragrant plastic packages to natural options. Many items were a fairly simple switch. Natural hair care has been a journey.
Shampoo and conditioner shopping became a daunting event as the so called organic options are so expensive and even they are not void of questionable ingredients. I had heard of the term “no poo” and using natural alternatives. I decided to roll the dice and give it a try. At first it was quite awful to be honest. The grease in my hair built up in alarming amounts! I wore my hair up for days on end. In time I learned how to cleanse, nourish and repair my tresses with herbs and simple kitchen ingredients.
How to Do it at Home!
I started by using baking soda paste with a few drops of essential oil to clean the oil off the scalp and add a nice subtle scent.
Here are some basic applications:
- To soften, use strained citrus or vinegar diluted with water does a gentle cleanse and softens the hair.
- To nourish, make deep steeped herbal infusions. Some favorites are nettle, lavender, horsetail, oat straw and rose petals. Combined or separate they are lovely.
- To grow, use a mixture of peppermint, rosemary and nettle.
- For volume, use nettle
These are just some of many herbs that are suitable for hair application and to aid with consistency make a large pot of the infusion. Maple syrup jars or whatever’s on hand are great for storing in the fridge. I like to make 5 for the week. It can be cold coming out of the fridge so if you like warm up before use. The ideal time to leave it in is an hour. Some days that just doesn’t work so I put it in when I get in the shower and rinse it before I get out.
Need calming, conditioning or a boost?
On sunny and warm days I like to use an infusion of chamomile and hops in a spray bottle to add subtle blond highlights. It is a relaxing blend of herbs so if you need to be energetic for the day use a combination of stained lemon juice and water. To achieve stay salt water and aloe gel combined can give a gentle hold. About once a week I oil the ends with a 1/2 tbsp., preferably almond. I aim to do a mask once a month. Avocado thoroughly blended and honey left in for an hour is a nice combination.
Economical and Environmental
Sometimes it can be challenging to adhere to the commitment. Some things I focus on to stick with it : environmentally friendly, low cost, custom, natural and safe. Indoor pollution research is startling and these ingredients are often heated in the shower and can be smelled in the home long after. Xenoestrogens are a particular concern that motivates my choice. They are linked to many cancers and are best avoided when possible.
My son is 7 and has never used conventional hair products. I am astonished by how clean and healthy his hair is. It’s mostly cleaned with water and occasionally herbal infusions. As he gets older I will introduce other ideas.
I love the natural smells that fill the home when I’m making natural products and how those scents settle in my hair once applied. It has been a great change and an ongoing learning experience.