While the salons are brimming with potions and concoctions for your hair, there are many products that may be right in your refrigerator or pantry that can accomplish similar results, at a far lower price. Why pay a premium price for products that boast all-natural ingredients when you can just use all-natural ingredients themselves?
If your hair’s moisture content drops below this level the key is to increase the hair’s ability of attract and retain moisture. This is accomplished by using moisturizers.
Good ones have “humectants” that not only replace lost moisture but actually attract moisture and retain it in the cortex of the hair. Essential fatty aids (EFA’s) are great moisturizers. One of the best and most cost effective essential fatty acids is safflower oil. It is the kind you can buy to cook with. It is rich in EFA’s.
The scalp produces the best EFA’s called sebum. The problems is once the hair grows past the neck line or does not have direct contact with the scalp the scalps natural oils can not be utilized throughout the hair shaft.
One household product that has been used for generations, even in my own family, is olive oil. As an infant, olive oil was rubbed daily onto my scalp. The oil moisturizes the scalp and the hair, and is rumored to make the hair grow in thick and curly. Of course, that is just an old Italian myth, but olive oil does have it’s benefits. It is best massaged into the scalp, as it will keep the scalp moisturized and pliable. It will also improve the condition of the hair, but shouldn’t be applied to hair that is naturally oily.
Another item that has been used for generations is mayonnaise. I first heard of this “home remedy” from an African-American woman who says that mayonnaise moisturizes the hair, adds shine, and strengthens the hairstrand. Mayonnaise is comprised of oil and eggs, and both ingredients have beneficial effects on the hair. The protein found in eggs will strengthen weak, dry, and damaged hair, and the oils will add shine. Mayonnaise treatments should be used on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, since it may make the hair appear greasy if used more often.
Vinegar can also be used to make the hair shiny. My mother often told stories about getting vinegar rinses as a child from her mother. The acetic acid found in vinegar seals the hair’s cuticle, acting as a detangler and providing sheen. For those who don’t want to smell like a salad dressing, you can try using carbonated water as a rinse. The carbonic and phosphoric acids will have the same effect as vinegar, but without the smell.
A product that we use in the salon that most people have in their home is baking soda. I mix baking soda with shampoo in equal parts, and use the mixture to remove build-up from the hair caused by styling products. The abrasiveness of the baking soda also removes dead skin cells from the scalp. I recommend using this mixture once a week to remove any buildup from the hair. I’ve been using this formula for years, and have been thoroughly pleased with the results.
An old German beauty secret is to wash the hair with beer. Some haircare manufacturers have capitalized on this idea by making beer-based shampoos and conditioners. If you opt to use a can of beer, I recommend boiling it first to remove the alcohol, which can dry the hair.
Some other products can be used to lighten the hair. Lemon juice has been used for decades to lighten hair, but only works on hair that has never been colored or chemically-treated. I’ve heard that a mixture of lemon juice, chamomile tea, and yogurt will lighten the hair as well. Don’t expect any dramatic results though, as the effects will be subtle.
Ketchup can make just about anything taste good, but it also has a beneficial effect on the hair. The red color of the ketchup can be used to neutralize unwanted green tones caused by chlorine on blonde or bleached hair. This works because red is the direct opposite of green, according to the laws of color, and opposite colors will always neutralize each other. Tomato soup can also be substituted if ketchup isn’t available, but unless you live in a grass hut in some obscure corner of the earth, chances are there’s a bottle of ketchup nearby. I noticed the other day while grocery shopping that they now make green-colored ketchup for kids. I suppose that this green ketchup can be theoretically used to neutralize unwanted red tones in the hair, although I haven’t heard of anyone trying it.
As you can see, there are many things you can use to achieve similar results to those found in expensive products.
You can manually replace the lost EFA’s by:
Placing 1 or 2 drops of safflower oil in your palms and rub them together.
There should only be enough to make your hands “shine” in the light.
Carefully take your hair (while dry) and “scrunch” the small amount of oil to the ENDS first and work toward the scalp.
Leave this in your hair.
1-2 drops of safflower oil on dry hair is so small, you won’t notice it is there.
Doing the above as often as necessary will ensure your dry hair will have the proper amount of humectants to attract and reatin moisture. The key is that a small amount will go a long way.
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