I love to keep things as simple as possible. The truth is that when you make your own herbal hair products at home, you may get frustrated if you create too many different products, or don’t know how to use them. Instead of going back to chemical hair care out of frustration, I will share with you two sample hair care regimens for different hair types including what I do for my hair.
I feel like every week I have a new understanding or unique revelation with my hair. For example I’m testing out a new theory for the single strand knot problem that I encountered over and over again last year. Being flexible to try a few different hair care techniques and ingredient combinations are important when building a new all natural hair care regimen. You will discover that all of your hair needs can be met by nature.
Dry Hair Care Regimen (What I Do)
I wash my hair now once a week since my hair is maintaining its proper moisture levels throughout the week. If it is not maintaining its proper moisture levels, I will wash my hair midweek. During a midweek wash I will skip Step 1.
Step 1: Deep Conditioning
Henna treatments keep my hair strong, manageable, and easy to detangle. My henna treatment is also my deep conditioning treatment. I deep condition my hair 2-3 times a month. Godrej Nupur Mehendi Henna is my go to henna.
I premix my henna treatment the night before which includes body art quality henna and canned organic coconut milk. In the morning I add either hemp or wheat germ oil to my henna mix. I apply my henna treatment to dry hair. I leave my henna treatment in for 1-3 hours or more depending on my schedule. For the specifics on this recipe and application method read Henna For Hair 101. For more strengthening and conditioning options read Part 3 of this series. Cassia is another wonderful option for deep conditioning hair without imparting the rich color that henna provides.
Step 2: Cleanse
After rinsing my henna treatment completely in the tub, I follow with my herbal hair cleanser. I recently used an herbal mix of yucca, brahmi, and slippery elm for my herbal hair cleanser with great results. Learn more on how to combine herbs for a hair cleanser in Part 2 of this series.
I apply my herbal hair cleanser outside of the shower in four sections. I do this so I do not have to stand in the shower for a long length of time doing my hair. I keep the herbal hair cleanser in my hair for 10-15 minutes, then prepare to rinse and finger detangle my hair in the shower. I very gently use a wide tooth seamless comb on the last 1-2 inches of my hair so that no tangles can form at the ends of my hair. This new technique makes finger detangling the bulk of my hair easier.
Step 3: Moisturize & Style
I use aloe vera juice or an herbal hair tea like catnip in a spray bottle to moisturize and leave-in my hair or as a hair rinse. I also enjoy using 100% Pure Vanilla Bean Body Cream as a hair moisturizer/leave-in. The 100% Pure Body Cream leaves a gorgeous scent on my hair as well as has ingredients that are healthy for the body and do not pollute the water. If I get tired of vanilla bean there are a bunch of other scents to choose from. I also make my own hair lotion, yet absolutely love 100% Pure products.
Another option is to apply a hair butter such as shea butter mixed with other carrier and essential oils on top of my spritz or to use alone. To style I usually braid or twist my hair. For a naturally curly wash-and-go style, I will use a natural oil and/or flaxseed gel.
My hair regimen takes about two hours excluding product preparation which I do on another day, and the length of time I leave henna in my hair which varies. During my henna treatment, I usually either do some work at home or even take a nap if I’ve had a long week.
Oily Hair Care Regimen
If you have been using commercial hair care products, or products that are not pH balanced, your scalp is most likely imbalanced and producing even more oil than it naturally would. Drying chemical shampoos can make your hair actually produce more oil/sebum to compensate. Balancing out your natural sebum production will improve the look and feel of your hair over time.
Although you may experience a transition period without this chemically drying hair cycle, this will be the most important thing that you can do for growing healthy hair in the long run. Depending on the thickness and length of your hair, excess sebum production may be more or less tolerable. Here is a sample regimen for oily hair types.
Part 1: Deep Conditioning
Deep conditioning the hair should be used as needed as oily hair already produces enough sebum which is a true natural conditioner for hair. Conditioning the hair prior to washing is probably one of the easiest methods when using natural conditioners. Oiling the hair with coconut oil is very popular amongst all hair types as coconut oil is one of the few oils to penetrate the hair shaft and also strengthens and moisturizes hair strands. Olive and avocado oil also penetrate the hair shaft and make great conditioning oils.
If coconut, olive, or avocado oil are too heavy on your hair, jojoba oil is most similar to our natural sebum and so much lighter. For your deep conditioning treatment, concentrate your natural oil of choice from mid-shaft to the ends of your hair. Leave-in for at least 20-30 minutes before washing out.
Another choice for deep conditioning the hair is with natural hair coloring/conditioning treatments. Cassia is wonderful is you are not looking for color as it is also called neutral henna. Cassia treatments will give golden highlights to hair and will be completely unnoticeable for darker hair colors.
Cassia and henna can really make a difference for all hair types while preventing the damage that traditional hair dyes cause. You can find premixed henna, cassia, and indigo hair coloring/conditioning treatments by Mountain Rose Herbs and Light Mountain Natural Hair Color. Find more articles on henna here.
Part 2: Cleansing
Aritha and clay washes are extremely helpful for cleansing oily hair. A sample hair wash for oily hair would be with aritha, bentonite clay, and marshmallow root. The marshmallow root will help with detangling the hair as well as provide gentle conditioning. Aritha is pretty amazing on its own too.
A good scalp massage will help break up sebum and dirt prior to rinsing out the herbal hair cleanser. There are definitely other cleansing herbs that can be used for creating an effective hair cleanser for oily hair as well. Read more on herbal hair cleansers here.
Part 3: Hair Rinses
Using an herbal, vinegar, or aloe vera rinse can provide the hair with amazing shine while also further aiding the detangling process. A hair rinse will close the hair cuticle which is very important for healthy hair in the long run. Whether you decide to use the rinse as a leave in or actually rinse with water afterwards depends on your hair needs. Herbal hair rinses can be made like a tea. Use one tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of water for a vinegar rinse. Aloe vera juice can be used undiluted. Always use a wide tooth seamless comb to detangle your hair. Investing in a quality hair comb can really make a difference with the overall health of your hair.
Part 4: Light Oils & Styling Gels
Using a light oil focusing on the very ends of your hair will keep the most fragile part of your hair protected. You will only need a few drops. A few favorites for leaving in hair are jojoba, grapeseed, or coconut oil. Some prefer to apply oil to wet hair and others to dry hair. Try both to see what works best for you.
If you have wavy or curly hair definitely consider making flaxseed gel or even the gel from dried marshmallow root as a styling product. Both flaxseed and marshmallow root are mucilage herbs which will create a gel from boiling and straining. You can read more about how to make flaxseed gel here and about marshmallow root here. Marshmallow root will produce a lighter gel of the two herbs.
Modify these sample regimens as needed for your own hair needs and preferences. Also share any natural hair care tips and techniques you love. If you haven’t read the three other articles from this series, check them out and let me know what you think! Best Wishes!
(Image by D Sharon Pruitt)