Taking care of your hair with a regular hair care regimen can cost you a lot in terms of time, money and effort. Hair care can involve hours consulting hair stylists and experts in salons, buying expensive products in beauty aisles and trying them out at home – all for the sake of managing our manes and beautifying our hair. And it should be rightly so! Our hair, beautifully maintained and styled can be one of our foremost physical assets – they deserve our proper care and nurturing.
You might not always need to go out and drive to a salon or splurge on hair care products just to get the best for your crowning glory. Sometimes the best can be found right at your doorstep – or rather, inside your home, most specifically, your kitchen! It might require a bit of effort on your end as you will be the one to do the needed concoctions on your own but doing so will definitely save on time and money. What’s more, nothing beats going natural with ingredients that can be found around your home and in your kitchen pantry!
But before finding out what the best do-it-yourself hair care treatment you can do for yourself at home, first ask yourself this: are you just looking for regular hair maintenance treatments to pamper your hair or do you experience any hair problems, common or unusual?
Remember, for more serious hair problems, it would be best to consult an expert on the matter. But for problems that can be easily treated at home, you’ll have no trouble sourcing the materials and ingredients from you local grocery stores, as these are every day items you use at home.
Common and affordable kitchen ingredients such as eggs, yogurt, and fruits can be natural homemade treats, not just for your body apparently, but for your hair as well.
Raw eggs, for instance, are highly moisturizing and remove unwanted oils at the same time, acting as a natural and well-balanced conditioner. If you have normal hair, use the whole egg and come up with a ½ mixture. You can make more if needed for longer hair. Apply this batch on hair that is clean and slightly wet and leave on for about 20 minutes. The next step would be to rinse off and shampoo your hair, but make sure to use cool water so the egg doesn’t cook in your hair. Do this once every month for shiny and moisturized hair. If you have oily hair, use only the egg whites and copy the same procedure. In case it’s the opposite and you have dry hair, you can use the egg yolks instead.
But let’s get down to business and find out what natural remedies and solutions we can cook up for the usual hair problems we women face, especially black women.
Hair loss, which is scientifically called alopecia, is a common hair problem with African-American women and is a reason why most see specialists like dermatologists (whose expertise include the scalp, which may be a cause of the hair loss) or endocrinologists, as the disease might be stemming from a genetic or hormonal factor. Hair loss is also common in black women as the types of hair they usually have are more fragile plus they engage in hairstyles like braiding too tightly that contribute to the loss.
Fortunately, there are several natural home remedies that are easy for you to access and make at home that can be tried and tested on your hair. Ingredients such as coconuts help promote hair growth while having ingredients that strengthen the hair strands, from root to tip. Massage your scalp regularly to protect against hair loss and if you notice any thin or balding areas, apply a mixture of squeezed out juice from grated coconut meat and apply it overnight on the area. Rinse it off the following morning.
Another concoction to try out for hair loss is a mixture of onion and garlic, which helps the production of collagen, therefore stimulating hair growth. Try it out by squeezing the juice from finely chopped onions and applying to your scalp and letting it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse off with a mild shampoo and proceed to the next step – boil a few cloves of crushed garlic and add a little bit of coconut oil. Let this cool down until warm then massage into the scalp. Let sit for 15-30 minutes then rinse off.
If you suffer from hair loss or thinning hair, remember to always use a mild cleansing shampoo during your hair wash routine. Doing so will avoid putting unnecessary chemicals into your hair that might just bring more damage.
OILY HAIR WITH RESIDUE
If you need to wash your hair with shampoo every day because it gets limp, dank and greasy, you are probably suffering from excessively oily hair. This is actually a problem of the scalp, as it overproduces oil. Avoid putting too much hair products on your scalp, including regular shampoos, conditioners, and styling products.
One popular ingredient to easily help out an oily hair and scalp problem is lemon juice. Just squeeze the juice out of one lemon, mix with a cup of water to dilute then massage on to your scalp and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing off. What is does is it basically takes away the excess residue and build-up of your current shampoo from your hair.
Rather than hair, oil and cooking are a better match, so why not use a common cooking ingredient found in the kitchen to take out the grease in your hair? Just get a tablespoon of cornstarch and sprinkle onto your hair. For better sprinkling and distribution, use an empty saltshaker. After 10 minutes, brush out the cornstarch. This is effective, cheap, and simple.
DANDRUFF AND ITCHY SCALP
There are a number of reasons why dandruff, called seborrheic dermatitis or just seborrhea, and itchy scalp problems happen. It may be caused by simple enough problems like having dry skin or by cleaning and washing your hair either too much or too little. But it can also be caused by more complicated reasons like fungal infections brought about by poor diet, or even by a stressful environment! Whatever the case, dandruff and itchy scalp can be controlled through natural ways.
There are a variety of oils to use to massage into your scalp to help alleviate the itch and dryness such as coconut oil, jojoba and olive oil.
To help remove dandruff flakes naturally, mix a cup of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of water. Since these two are liquids, you can put the mixture into an empty spray bottle for a convenient way of applying to your hair and scalp. Leave on for about 15 minutes on your hair then rinse off with a mild shampoo. Do this once a week for better results.
Baking soda also helps get rid of dandruff and itchy flakes on the scalp as it kills the fungus found on your scalp and gently exfoliates it, getting rid of the flakes and excess skin. To make, just add and mix in 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water. Apply and massage into hair and scalp like a shampoo and rinse off thoroughly. Do this once a week for better results.
Another good and natural exfoliate to remove those excess flakes and relieve itchiness is salt. Just gently massage salt onto your scalp for 3 minutes, whether regular salt, Epsom or Dead Sea salt if you have any available. Rinse off with shampoo immediately after.
The next ingredient is a favorite among home beauty experts as it not only helps with unmanageable frizzy hair but it actually helps in repairing dry and damaged hair as well.
Avocados are super fruits when it comes to hair and skin care as it contains light and natural oils that mimic our own skin secretions and has proteins to help nurture and repair unruly hair. To help tame and smooth down your frizzy hair, just mash up half of a regular-sized avocado and massage onto clean, damp hair. You can also opt to add other complementary ingredients to help in the moisturizing process, such as egg yolks, mayonnaise or sour cream.
Yes, it might sound like the beginnings of a bowl of guacamole but this is a very effective home remedy that’s earned praises from its users. Leave the mixture on for about 15 minutes, rinse off, and you’ve got yourself a head of manageable, frizz-free hair! Try rinsing off with cold water to help close off the hair cuticles and seal in the moisture. This homemade treatment can be done every 2 weeks.
DAMAGED AND OVER-STYLED HAIR
One of the leading causes of hair problems in these times is our tendency to change what is natural and overdo things. While the pursuit of better hair is always a good thing, overdoing it, through too much styling and overexposure to harsh elements and unnatural hair products, can cause more stress and hair problems. It’s always a good idea to keep your hair healthy the natural way.
One such natural product that can help in repairing hair damage is honey, which naturally attracts and locks in moisture into your locks. If you find putting honey into your hair a bit unwieldy, add around 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to loosen it up and make for a better consistency. Put in about ½ cup of the mixture into your hair and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off thoroughly.
Whatever the case, remember that hair is part and parcel of our body and the best way to nurture is would be to do it naturally.