Are there too many chemicals in your life? There are those who believe that we should be going to all natural ingredients in foods, cleaning supplies, and personal care items. Will botanicals keep my scalp healthy and my hair shining and full of body? In my research I did not find a conclusive answer to these questions, but I found some very interesting facts and suggestions for hair care that are worth looking into.
For centuries herbs have been used in hair care to enhance the natural beauty of a woman’s hair. In Cleopatra’s time, Egytian ladies used henna and indigo. The women of Rome, admiring the blond slaves brought back by Caesar’s armies, bleached their hair with mixtures of ashes of plants, oils, nutshells and vinegar. Renaissance women mixed alum, sulphur and honey to become fair-haired.
In my grandmother’s era herbal solutions were reputed to thicken hair, stimulate growth, curb hair loss, and control or cure dandruff. Rosemary was a highly regarded herb for the hair. It was said to be a good general conditioner leaving the hair silky, fragrant, and slightly darker. Sage was prized as a darkener and conditioner. Two herbs used to enhance blond highlights were chamomile and the golden flowers of mullein. Other herbs, such as lavender, simply left the hair with a wonderful scent.
Try these recipes for herbal shampoos and conditioners: Herbal Conditioning Oil, Herbal Egg Conditioner, Bouncing Bet Natural Shampoo, Quick Herbal Shampoo, Blond Highlighting Rinse, Deepening Rinse for Dark Hair, Egg/Lemon Whip, Herbal Vinegar Rinse, and Flaxseed Setting Lotion.
Too busy to formulate your own? The modern hair care industry offers a large selection of products that contain various amounts of natural ingredients. Botanicals such as Kiwi, Tea Tree, Chamomile, Chinese Ylang Ylang Oil, Aloe and Nettles are combined to produce pleasing aromas as well as to improve the condition of the hair.
In the department store/drug store selection, the herbal ingredients were low on the list of ingredients, which means they were probably a very small percentage. Salon brands, I examined, basically rated the same in the percentage of botanicals except for Artec Textureline products where, after water, there are five natural ingredients listed before the normal cleansing ingredients and Aveda with a list of organically grown botanical ingredients.
Your local natural food stores have a variety of shampoos and conditioners that are stated to be all-natural. You will also find organic permanent waves that contain no thioglycolic acid (the traditional ingredient in perming). There is also hair color derived from herbs using a low percentage of peroxide.
Hair care products with 100% natural ingredients are found on abundance on the Internet. Follow the links to find formulations that contain your favorite herbs.