Feature photo cred goes to Suhyeon Choi from Unsplash.
Our hair is our crowning glory. So, it’s no surprise that we’re always looking for new ways to maintain, grow, and improve our manes. If your goal is a head full of long, thick and healthy locks, then you’ve probably trawled the beauty department in the supermarket more than once weighing up all the product options on display.
Maybe you even paid way more than you could afford for a premium haircare product from your salon. But, did you know that you can create natural, reliable hair treatments with proven effects using ingredients you are likely to find in your kitchen?
Haircare isn’t in the slightest bit new; before modern shampoos and conditioners were invented, people still needed to clean, look after and prime their hair to look and feel its best.
But without TRESemmé or Herbal Essences, what on earth did they use? Let’s find out.
Garlic oil has long been used as a home remedy for hair growth and can be made quickly and easily with garlic, olive oil, and essential oils. However, you should never use pure garlic oil on your hair; it’s potent as hell and you’ll end up burning your scalp.
To use: First, you’ll need to make garlic oil. To do this, crush some garlic cloves and leave them to infuse in warmed olive oil for a couple of days before straining them out. To mask the strong smell of garlic, you can add some drops of your favourite essential oils such as lavender, jojoba, or rosemary oil to the mix.
Take a small teaspoon of the oil and gently massage into your scalp for around fifteen minutes. Then, run your hands through your hair to spread the oil to the ends, and leave it on for half an hour or so. The active compound in garlic, allicin, will encourage blood flow to your hair follicles, facilitating better growth.
Is there anything that coconut oil can’t be used for? If you’re not using it to add flavour to your cooking, you can be ‘pulling’ with it to whiten your teeth, topically applying it to your skin as a moisturiser, or, you can use it as a natural hair conditioner.
100% natural coconut oil can be used as a leave-in treatment for your hair; a super alternative to the chemical-laden hair masques that you’ll generally find on sale today. When used regularly, coconut oil is a remedy for split ends and brittle hair and it will nourish and moisturise a dry, itchy scalp.
To use: Heat up some water in a large bowl or pan. Then, take a small amount of coconut oil and put it into a smaller bowl, which can then be placed into the hot water for the oil to melt.
Once it has melted and is at a comfortably warm temperature, take the oil and gently massage it into your hair from scalp to ends. Then, wrap your hair in a towel or shower cap and leave it to soak up the goodness for at least 30 minutes. For the best results, leave it on for a couple of hours.
What? Beer, on your hair? It might sound incredulous, but the reality is, well – it works! So, next time you have a party and there’s leftover beer in the fridge, take it up to the shower with you (but not for drinking).
Seriously, though – the hops in beer are enriched with proteins that are well-known for their beneficial effects on the hair and skin. And, the sucrose and maltose sugars responsible for the beer lover’s belly can be used for good this way, since they create lustre and shine.
To use: De-carbonate your beer by pouring it into a jug or bowl and letting it sit all day or overnight. The more air it is exposed to, the faster it will go flat, so you’ll be able to use it sooner. It’s vital that you ensure all the carbon dioxide is gone; if it isn’t the beer will have the opposite effect and leave your hair looking tangled and tough.
Then, wash your hair as normal but swap your conditioner for the beer. After rinsing your shampoo off, pour the beer onto your head and gently massage it into your scalp for one minute before rinsing again. Don’t worry about it getting on your skin; the yeast in beer can help to reduce excessive sebum production and certainly won’t harm you (unless you’re allergic to yeast, in which case, you probably won’t be washing your hair with beer anyway).
Repeat a couple of times a week to see lasting results!
The idea of putting mayo on your hair probably gives you that weird feeling you get when two things simply don’t appear to go right together, yet somebody’s telling you that they do.
But, you’d be surprised – mayo is made with eggs and oil, two very protein-rich ingredients. When applied to your hair, they can work wonders for strengthening and de-frizzing, along with adding a generous amount of healthy shine.
To use: Take a small amount of mayonnaise and let it get to room temperature. The amount you’ll need depends on the length and thickness of your hair; you will want to use enough to cover your hair from roots to ends but be careful of using too much – this can be tricky to wash out and will leave your hair looking greasy.
Once the mayo has reached room temperature, massage a small amount into your dry or slightly damp hair, covering it completely. It’s best to start off small and gradually add more if you need it. If you like, you can add some warm water to avoid clumping and a few drops of your favourite essential oil for a nicer smell.
Then, cover your hair with a shower cap and leave on for 30-60 minutes, depending on the level of conditioning you need. For maximum benefits, leave it on overnight and wash it out in the morning.
Strawberries and cream, mmm. But, don’t eat them all – strawberries aren’t just a gorgeously sweet and nutritious fruit that go well in jam, they can also double up as a hair treatment. The best bit – they definitely smell nicer than the rest of the items on this list.
Adding strawberries to your selection of hair care products not only improves the lustre and shine of your hair, they also act as a natural moisturiser. Strawberries have natural potent antioxidant effects, which protect the cell membranes of the scalp and help to get rid of dry flakes and dandruff.
To use: Mash eight to ten ripe strawberries in a bowl and mix one tablespoon of full-fat mayonnaise until a smooth paste is formed. Or as an alternative to mayonnaise, you can use an egg yolk.
If you are trying to lighten your hair naturally, a few drops of lemon essential oil can be added to the mixture. For enhanced dandruff-busting results, add a drop or two of an antifungal essential oil such as tea tree or thyme.
Then, apply the paste all over your hair and scalp before covering it with a shower cap for 15-30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo as normal. You won’t need conditioner; the mixture will thoroughly nourish and moisturise your hair, leaving it smoother, stronger, and shinier than ever.
Which natural products have you tried for your hair? Did they work? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.