Recently I had a mishap with my hair color. I had been sick for some time with an upper respiratory infection and was on aggressive antibiotic treatment. My scalp paid dearly for this. My immune system had suffered so badly, I never even considered my skin’s reaction when I went for my next round at being a redhead. My scalp felt as if it were on fire. By the time I realized just how badly my body was reacting, much damage had already been done. When I exited the shower after a thorough rinse, my scalp was still searing and painful. The next day it was covered in scabby sores. My scalp was in crisis. I was going to have to explore new hair care products.
As I began to research the chemicals and ingredients in my shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray, I became very ashamed as to how unkind I was being to my body and the environment. I resolved to not only go organic, but to go so far as to even make some recipes from scratch. Most of the ingredients I either already had in my kitchen or could easily pick up at the store.
If you decide you want to give natural hair care a go as well, keep in mind that every individual scalp can react differently. Be certain to try any new hair care product on a test patch in a hidden unseen area underneath and in the back. If you experience any irritation or negative reaction, don’t use that recipe. Try another with a completely different set of ingredients. Also, these recipes are for my own hair which is quite short. You may need to double recipes if you have long hair.
Creamy Avocado Conditioner (weekly deep conditioning treatment)
1 small jar of mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip!)
Preparation & Use: Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Mix with mayonnaise in a bowl. When the mixture is smooth, work it into dry or damp hair. Wrap with a shower cap and let it set for about twenty minutes. For added moisture you can wrap with a hot, damp towel over the shower cap. After twenty minutes, rinse out and style as usual.
Daily Conditioner of the Tropics
Preparation & Use: Peel the avocado and discard the pit. Mash the avocado. Add coconut milk, mixing as you add slowly, until you get a smooth mixture the texture of commercial hair conditioner. After shampooing hair, work conditioner in. Leave in for a few minutes and rinse out. For deeper conditioning, you can leave in for up to fifteen minutes and then rinse out. Style as usual.
Nutty Jojoba Oil
2 teaspoons jojoba essential oil
1 teaspoon sunflower oil
Preparation & Use: Combine ingredients and warm gently. The easiest way for me to do this was to pour the oils into a small glass vial with a cap I could tightly screw on. I heated a coffee mug of water in the microwave and placed the glass vial in the mug of hot water for a couple of minutes. When the oils were sufficiently warm, I massaged them into my hair then put on a shower cap. I let my hair soak for about 15 minutes. Shampoo, rinse, condition and style. For a more fragrant mixture, you can add some fresh rosemary or fresh lavender, or, dried if you don’t have access to fresh. Rosemary will feel refreshing and tingly, lavender will be more soothing.
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup liquid castile soap
1/2 teaspoon sunflower oil
Preparation & Use: Mix all ingredients together and pour up in a bottle and use as needed, like any other shampoo. If you want to add scent, you can add fresh or dried rosemary or lavender, or a few drops of essential oil of your choice.
Preparation & Use: Chop fruit and boil in 2 cups of water until it reduces by about half. Cool, strain and pour up in a spray bottle. It can be stored in the refrigerator as is. If you want to store it at room temperature, add one ounce of rubbing alcohol. Its shelf life is about two weeks. If it becomes too sticky, you can add a bit of water.
My hair and scalp are so much healthier since I have discontinued use of commercial hair care products. These things are so simple to whip up! I don’t know why I didn’t start this sooner!