Hair care has recently become very interesting in a positive way. Many people are not anymore content with a traditional shampoo and conditioner containing SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate). Today, there are several organic alternatives to hair washing and conditioner. You can prepare yourself moisturizing herbal rinses.
There are several different hair care methods. Most of them emphasize gentleness and natural care. Three subsequent shampoo washes, which were praised by famous hairdressers around the world are now history.
Very important thing in hair care is the acidity of the product, i.e., the pH value. The idea is to wash your hair with a neutral or slightly more alkaline product and then use a more acidic conditioner.
Plants suitable for washing hair
Your hair may not need shampoo or any other alkaline, washing product. Water washing alone is enough for many. Especially for children as well as the elderly, washing hair with water alone is a highly recommended. Young people with very oily skin due to hormonal activity may need surfactant.
Let’s see what natural ingredients you can use in hair washing
You can use the following plants for hair washing as they contain saponins. Saponins are alkaloids that foam like soap. Plants containing saponins have been used for thousands of years for all washing. Saponins are toxic to fish and ruminants. Therefore, never use saponin-containing plants when taking a bath in natural waters. However, you can wash your hair at the cottage with saponins if you soak the used water in the ground and not directly into the water.
Many of us are familiar with soap nuts (Sapindus Mukorossi) aka reed berries, for example from laundry. Wash nut is also a very common ingredient in Indian haircare products. Their washing effect is based on the saponins contained in the berries.
Use of soap nuts in hair washing
The saponin contained in the soap nuts is water soluble. The best way to utilize the saponins is to boil a walnut decoction.
- You will need 3 nuts and 5 decilitres of fresh water.
- First soak the Soap nuts in water overnight
- Cook the nuts gently for 5-15 minutes
- Strain the broth and use as a shampoo
Aloe Vera is an example of a plant that is not a well-known soap plant but contains a surprising amount of saponins. Aloe Vera is highly recommended for hair care as it is an acidic, hair moisturizing plant that also has a gentle cleansing property. Thus, Aloe Vera alone can perform three different functions in hair care; cleaning, moisturizing and acid rinsing. In addition, aloe vera gives your hair more volume if you don’t rinse it off completely.
Although I would like to prefer domestic plants I have not found as diverse a plant as aloe vera is. I fully understand why Alexander the Great spread it everywhere he went to conquer. He simply couldn’t get along without aloe vera.
I have often heard the claim that aloe vera should not be used unless it is obtained fresh from the plant. The reason is that some plant chemicals are destroyed quite quickly. This is both true and false. Aloe Vera contains hundreds of active ingredients. All of the active ingredients in aloe vera are not known. It is also not known with certainty which of the hundreds of plant chemicals in aloe vera are the most effective. Even if a few aloe vera ingredients were destroyed immediately at the harvesting time, hundreds would still be left. Factors important for hair and skin care, such as acidity and saponins, also remain unchanged in freeze-dried aloe vera powder and bottled juice.
You should try aloe vera for haircare yourself. I think you are convinced of its effectiveness. Aloe Vera is definitely my personal favourite in hair care. Aloe vera is a moisturizer for hair. It is suitable for both oily and dry hair. Aloe Vera both cares for and cleanses the hair.
Use of aloe vera in hair care
You can use either ready-made aloe vera juice or powdered aloe vera gel for hair care. Both have the same washing, moisturizing hair and therapeutic effect. The gel made from powder is easiest to use in hair washing.
- Prepare the gel from the powder according to the instructions on the package or use the finished juice.
- If necessary, strain the finished juice through a gauze cloth. The juice sometimes contains nasty flakes that stick to the hair.
- Pour the aloe Vera juice into a bottle that is easy to apply to the hair
- Wet your hair well and pour a bottle of aloe Vera juice into the scalp evenly in parts
- Foam the hair as in shampooing but leave on for 10-20 minutes before rinsing
- Then rinse your hair
- I actually add some aloe Vera juice after rinsing to be left in the hair to give the hair more volume.
- Aloe Vera also works well as a light hair conditioner.
Moisturizing hair rinse, here are suitable plants
Acids are needed to rinse hair. It is very easy to find acidic plants in the plant world. Most plants contain some acid.
Another function of a hair rinse is to moisturize the hair and scalp. Many moisturizing products are not acidic. If you want a moisturizing rinse on your hair, you should choose plants that contain mucus.
If you have washed your hair with an alkaline surfactant, you will definitely need an acid rinse. If you also want moisture for your hair, make a mixture of acid rinse and moisturizing rinse. Only aloe Vera alone takes care of washing, moisturizing and acid rinsing.
Moisturizing hair rinse is created from the following plants
Althaea officinalis is a truly magnificent mallow plant. Mallow grows well everywhere, but herbaceous rose does not really like Nordic, cold climate. Other mallows can be used for this purpose but they have really small roots compared to the marshmallow. You can also buy marshmallow roots from online shop.
I myself have bought marshmallow root from England. It can be obtained very cheaply from foreign online stores. The dried marshmallow root preserves very well, so you can buy a bigger batch it in stock.
How to use the marshmallow root?
- Measure 2 tablespoons of chopped, dried marshmallow root into a pot
- Pour on 0.5 litres of fresh water and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
- Strain the liquid while hot and cool it down. Plants containing mucus are difficult to strain when cooled.
- Use as a hair rinse to moisturize hair. You can let it stay for 10-20 minutes before rinsing.
You can also leave a decoction of marshmallow root slightly in your hair to give volume.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is one of my favourite hair washes. I found a recipe from a popular organic haircare blog called Hairbuddha
The site has plenty of Indian hair care tips. I have tried some and this fenugreek seems to fit well into my hair. Many of Hairbuddha’s guidelines are suitable for coarser, Indian style hair type.
Fenugreek gives the hair a wonderful shine and extra moisture. Lack of moisture is the factor that damages the hair.
Preparation of fenugreek rinse
- 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds
- 5 decilitres of fresh water
- Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight
- Pour off the soaking water and add 5 decilitres of fresh water
- Boil the seeds for 15 minutes
- Strain the broth and use as a hair rinse
Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) contain the same mucilage as marshmallow root. Mucilage moisturizes the hair and at the same time give it volume. Flaxseed mucus is very tough and also acts as an organic hairspray.
I first heard about the use of flax seeds in hair care on Henriette Kress’s herbal therapy course. She advised the use of flaxseed mucus as a hairspray and for hair styling. If you want to make safe cosmetics for children for their beauty plays, flaxseed mucus is a very good hair gel.
Prepare the gel this way
- 2 tablespoons of flax seeds
- 3 decilitres of fresh water
- Boil flax seeds in water until you have only 1-1 ½ decilitres water left. You can decide the strength of the gel yourself.
- Strain the gel immediately when hot, as the flax seeds will no longer separate from the cooled gel.
- Use a gel such as a hairspray. If you want real sprayable hairspray, leave the gel more liquid. You can apply a thicker gel to your hair with your fingers.
- This gel is good when you want to lift your hair up from the scalp.
- Flaxseed gel comes off the hair unfortunately easily when the hair dries. Simply brushing removes the gel easily.
You can get also a very caring hair rinse from flax seeds. The hair rinse is prepared like a gel but use 5 decilitres water and 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds.
You can let the flaxseed gel act on your hair after washing for 10-20 minutes.
If you want extra volume in your hair, you can leave a little flaxseed gel into your hair.
Other hair moisturizing plants
There are other moisturizing plants as well. You can make broths from all of these and use as a hair rinse.
This time I am not suggesting vinegar. I am not in favour of vinegar in hair care. Vinegar may be too dry for many. For some, vinegar suits well.
- Hibiscus juice is a very moisturizing but at the same time red colouring ingredient.
- Sage is very moisturizing and is reported to remove grey hair from dark hair
- Lavender is a neutral hair moisturizer
Acid rinses for hair
There are many very useful plants in nature for hair rinsing. The plants also contain several minerals as well as antioxidants that are beneficial to the scalp. If you want to ferment plants, you also get very useful probiotics from them.
Nettle is a very good hair conditioner
Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a very diverse plant. It is rich in silicon which is good for hair. Small nettles are best for food. Overgrown nettles should instead be used as a hair rinse. They have enough oxalic acid for acid rinsing. Nettle is also a highly antioxidant plant that also treats hair and scalp.
Nettle gives the hair a wonderful shine. The only limitation to the use of nettle is its suitability only for dark hair. Clearly, blonds should not use nettles in hair care.
Prepare the nettle decoction like this
- It is worth making a nettle decoction
- Collect about a litre of nettles. In terms of acid rinsing, bigger nettles are best
- Rinse the nettles, put in a pot and pour 2-3 litres of fresh water on top. You can adjust the amount of acidity with water. More water, less acidity.
- Boil the nettles for 20 minutes
- Allow the broth to cool down and strain it
- Use the broth as a hair rinse
Nettle has a darkening effect on the hair. To try the darkening effect, pour nettle soup several times through your hair.
Thank you so much for your interest and thank you for reading my entire post.
It would be really great if you would share your own natural hair care tips with me and other readers of my blog!
Rice water is one of the secrets of Asian beauty care. There is no need to scientifically prove the benefits of rice water. People having the longest hair in the world do live in the village of Huang Lou, China. They use local rice and pure natural water for hair care. How does rice affect hair and how is it used? Next, I will give you the easiest cosmetics recipe in the world. This time we will take a look at the ways of making rice water and its use.
Rice is an important cosmetic ingredient in Asia
Rice has a long history as an ingredient in cosmetics. In Asian cosmetics, rice has been used in many ways. One article on rice is not enough to talk about its properties and how to use it. In the future, I will certainly talk more about rice.
Read my article on rice bran oil here
Rice is particularly suitable for skin care and can be used in many formulas. This time we are just focusing on rice water. Rice water is also widely used in Asia. It works well for both hair care and skin care. However, the best-known use for rice water is when used in hair care.
Benefits of rice water for hair
Rice water is especially considered as a product that increases hair growth. At the same time, rice water also increases the shine and smoothness of the hair. Why does rice water make hair grow and shine?
The use of rice in cosmetics is making a strong comeback, especially in Asia. Today, consumers may not know that rice has been used in cosmetics for hundreds of years. Natural ingredients are also closely studied in laboratories. Indeed, many skin care and hair care compounds have now been found in rice. Thanks to research, we now know exactly why rice has been such a popular ingredient in Asian beauty care.
Rice water contains inositol
Inositol is an ingredient that strengthens hair. Inositol is a carbohydrate that works well on damaged hair. Hair can be damaged not only due to intense chemical treatment but also for other reasons. The combination of seawater and sun or excessive drying of the hair may weaken the hair. Excessive drying of the hair is caused by the use of curling iron. A really common cause of hair damage is using too much shampoo as well as frequent, excessive washes.
You will recognize damaged hair easily; they do not shine and are usually tangled. Often the hair is damaged only at the tops. When combing, the tops feel tangled and dry. This kind of hair will be broken easily.
Inositol is able to penetrate into the hair and repair damage. Because inositol penetrates the hair, it also does not come off the hair during rinsing. Inositol remains in the hair to strengthen it. In this way, inositol also protects your hair from future damage.
Isn’t that an amazing ingredient! Rice water is just the perfect product for weak, brittle and damaged hair.
Rice water contains amino acids that are important for hair growth
Rice water is also suitable for anyone who wants to increase the length of the hair. Rice water contains numerous amino acids that pamper the scalp. Amino acids are particles of proteins. Amino acids also affect the look of your hair, making them shiny and smooth.
What rice do I choose to make rice water?
To make rice water, you can use whatever rice you want and what you happen to find in the kitchen closet. All rice contains inositol as well as the same useful amino acids.
Personally, I always choose organic quality because organic production does not use strong and harmful plant protection chemicals. Some also like to choose whole grain rice because of the nutrients it contains. I think these are good points.
Some may find the smell of rice water unpleasant. Jasmine rice is a really good rice for making rice water. It has a naturally pleasant, floral scent. Because of the scent, some have also added a small piece of orange peel or some other good-smelling plant to the rice water during the making process.
There are many ways to make rice water
Rice water is an ancient beauty product. There are countless number of recipes how to prepare it. So, there is no real, one and only correct way to make rice water. There are two main methods for making rice water; boiled rice water and uncooked fermented rice water. Both methods are correct. Just choose your own way.
Boiled rice water
Boiled rice water is literally made by boiling rice in water. You just need more water than you would use for cooking. Boiled rice water is thick and slightly gel-like.
- 1 litre of water
- 1 dl of rinsed (washed) rice, always wash the rice yourself before cooking, as it is very dusty
Do like this:
- Let the water to a boil and add the rice. Boil the rice for about 5 minutes in water.
- Turn the plate off, put the lid on and let the rice simmer until the water is lukewarm.
- Strain the rice out of the water, bottle and put it to the refrigerator.
- Use rice water during next 24 hours as it spoils easily.
How to use the boiled rice water?
Boiled rice water acts like a hair conditioner. Always use boiled rice water on washed hair. I like to pack products like this in an empty, plastic (ketchup) bottle. It is convenient to apply this slightly porridge-like product to the hair by using a plastic bottle. Plastic bottles are also safe in the shower.
- Spread the product into washed hair throughout and rub it tightly into the scalp as well.
- Leave the rice water on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water.
Fermented rice water
Fermented rice water is made without heating. The advantages of fermented rice water are its mild acidity, which works better in hair care.
In addition, a number of useful chemicals are generated in fermentation. The combination of these chemicals, kind of an yeast, is named Pitera. Pitera is a registered trademark of an Asian cosmetics giant (SK-ll) ™. In research by the cosmetics laboratory, Pitera is found to be rich in amino acids, minerals, organic acids and vitamins. All of these nutrients are in a very advantageous form due to fermentation. Pitera closely resembles skin moisturizing factors.
Making of fermented rice water
The amount of rice and water is completely selectable. You should try and find the right ratio of water and rice for your own use. If you want to leave the rice water on your hair, without rinsing it off, I recommend mild rice water. If you rinse rice water off, you can use thicker and at the same time more effective rice water.
- 1-2 decilitres of washed rice of your choice
- About 1 litre of water
Do like this:
- Measure the ingredients in a glass jar
- Let the rice soak in water for a couple of hours.
- Close the lid tightly and shake gently until the water becomes cloudy from the rice.
- Strain the rice out of the water. You can use the rice in cooking if you want.
- Leave the rice water to ferment in a bowl, at room temperature for 6-12 hours or even for the whole day. You will notice fermentation from the bubbles on the surface of the liquid.
- Do not close the container tightly, as the fermentation needs oxygen
- You can also ferment rice water for longer (3-4 days). Then it becomes very sour. Always dilute very acidic rice water with water. Too acidic products may dry out the hair. Only by experimenting will you find the right acidity.
- The rice water is now ready for use.
- Fermented rice water survives well bottled in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Lactic acid fermentation continues and the product acquires more acidity. Remember to dilute it. I myself use the product right away because I don’t like very acidic hair rinses.
How do I use fermented rice water?
Fermented rice water is suitable for both hair washing and treatment rinsing. In China, in a long-haired village, hair is always washed with just fermented rice water, never with shampoo.
Washing hair with rice water
For hair wash, you need enough rice water, a bowl and a big spoon to scoop rice water into your hair. Sour, fermented rice water is mildly cleansing. You can also put the rice water in a spray bottle.
Rice water rinsing
- You can wash your hair as usual with a very mild shampoo, yolk, rye flour or other product. Avoid strong shampoos.
- Then rinse your hair and dry it with a towel.
- Spread the rice water into your hair and leave on for a few minutes. You can also use a spray bottle and go through your hair carefully. Do not forget the scalp.
- You can either leave the rice water in your hair without rinsing it off or you can rinse the hair, as you wish.
- Unwashed rice water rinse brings in a little texture and more shine to the hair. You can also leave the rice water in your hair for a while and later on rinse it off.
Unfermented rice water
You can also make rice water without boiling and fermenting it. You can use this kind of rice water just like you would use the fermented one. Unfermented rice water just doesn’t have as many hair-pampering ingredients.
How often should rice water treatment be done on the hair?
If you have very damaged hair, you can first do a rice water treatment with each wash. I personally do a rice water treatment for my hair about once every 3 weeks. If your hair is in good condition, try rice water, for example, once a month. Everything, of course, is very personal so I cannot give any precise instructions here. Just try the power of rice water yourself. It is unbelievable how such a simple and inexpensive product can be so effective.
Have you tried rice water for your hair care?
Hair care has become more and more interesting. Many consumers are no longer happy with the traditional shampoo and hair conditioner containing SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate). Nowadays, there are really many more gentle and natural options for hair wash and conditioner. How do you choose caring herbs for hair care? Next I’ll tell you about herbs for dry hair.
Nowadays there are many different hair care methods. Most of them emphasize gentleness and organic care. Washing hair three times with shampoo, a method introduced by world famous hairdressers is long gone.
Very important thing in hair care is the acidity of the product meaning the pH value. The idea is to wash your hair with a neutral or slightly more alkaline product and use a sour conditioner.
Plants suitable for hair washing
To just wash your hair, it is not necessary to use any kind of alkaline, washing shampoo at all. Water only hair-washing is enough for many. Especially for older people, using water-only method is a highly recommended option. Young people who have very oily skin due to their hormonal function may need more grease washing products.
Let’s have a look what natural ingredients you can use for hair washing
You can use the following herbs for hair washing as they contain saponins. Saponins are alkaloids that foam like soap. Saponins-containing plants have been used for thousands of years for all washing purposes. Saponins are toxic to fish and ruminants. Therefore, never use saponins-containing plants when washing yourself in natural waters. However, you can wash your hair outdoors with saponins if you pour the used water into the ground and not directly into the waters like lake, river etc.
We have got familiar with soap nuts (Sapindus Mukurossi) in laudry. They are actually berry shells of small trees containing cleaning agents. They also a very common ingredient in Indian hair products. Their washing power is based on the saponins.
Using soap nuts in hair washing
Saponin contained in nuts is water soluble. The best way to get the saponins at your disposal is to boil the nuts and use the boiling water.
- You will need 3 soup nuts and 5 dl fresh water.
- First soak the nuts overnight in water
- Cook the nuts gently for 10-15 minutes
- Strain the broth and use as shampoo
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) is the equivalent of soap nuts. It grows on northern hemisphere. Soapwort is easy to grow. You can plant it in your own yard in early summer and dry the plant for the winter.
Soapwort is also a gentle laundry detergent used by museum conservators to clean delicate textiles. It says a lot about the gentleness of the herb.
Soapwort is a detergent ingredient. It does not actually treat your hair. If your hair is dirty and greasy you can try the herb. If your scalp and hair are dry you will not need soapwort at all.
Aloe Vera is an example of a plant that is not a well-known soap plant, but contains a surprising amount of saponins. Aloe Vera is highly recommended for hair care as it is an acidic, moisturizing plant with gentle washing properties. Aloe Vera is therefore capable of performing three different hair care tasks alone.
Even though I would prefer domestic plants, I have not found as diverse a plant as aloe vera is. I well understand why Alexander the Great spread it everywhere he went to fight his wars. He simply couldn’t get along without aloe vera.
I have often heard the claim that aloe vera should not be used unless you get it fresh from the plant. Some plant chemicals are destroyed quite quickly. This is both true and false. Aloe Vera contains hundreds of active ingredients. Not all the active ingredients in aloe vera are even known. Also, it is not known with certainty which ones out of the hundreds of aloe vera herbal chemicals are the most effective. Even if some aloe vera ingredients were destroyed immediately at harvest, hundreds would still be left. Relevant factors for hair and skin care, such as acidity and saponification, remain unchanged in freeze-dried powder and bottled juice of aloe vera.
It is worth of trying aloe vera in hair care. I believe you will be convinced of its effectiveness. Aloe Vera is definitely my favourite hair care product. Aloe Vera is moisturizing. It is suitable for both oily and dry hair. Aloe Vera both cleans and cares the hair.
Read more about aloe vera here
How to use aloe vera in hair care?
You can use either aloe vera juice or aloe vera gel made from powder for hair care. Both have the same cleansing and caring effect.
- Prepare a gel from the powder according to the instructions on the package or use the juice.
- If necessary, strain the finished juice through a gauze cloth.
- Pour aloe Vera juice into a bottle for easy dosing to the hair
- Get your hair wet and pour aloe vera juice from the bottle into the scalp evenly
- Foam hair as in shampooing but leave on for 10-20 minutes before rinsing
- Then rinse your hair
- I will add some extra aloe vera juice to the hair to give it more volume.
- Aloe Vera also works well as a light hair spray.
Plants suitable for hair rinsing
Acids are needed to rinse your hair. It is very easy to find acidic products in the plant world. Most plants contain some kind of acid.
Another function of the hair rinse is to moisturize the hair and scalp. Many moisturizing products are not acidic. If you want to moisturize your hair, you should choose plants containing mucus.
If you have washed your hair using some alkaline shampoo you will definitely need an acidic rinse. If you also want moisturize your hair, make a mixture of acidic rinse and moisturizer. Only aloe Vera is capable to do the washing, moisturizing and acidic rinse.
You can make super moisturizing hair rinses from the following plants
Marshmallow is a truly magnificent mallow. Other mallows can be used for this purpose, but they have really small roots compared to marshmallow. Easiest way to get the root is to order them online.
I actually ordered a Marshmallow root from United Kingdom. In foreign shops you can get the root very cheaply. It also does not get spoiled so you can buy it for a bigger batch at the same time.
How to Use Marshmallow Root?
- Measure 2 tablespoons of chopped, dried marshmallow roots in a saucepan
- Pour 0.5 litre of fresh water on top and boil about 10-15 minutes.
- Strain the soup hot and let it cool down. Plants containing mucus are difficult to strain when cooled.
- Use as a hair rinse to moisturize your hair. You can let it be for 10-20 minutes before rinsing.
You can also leave some of marshmallow broth on your hair to give the hair some volume.
Fenugreek seeds are one of my favourite hair rinses. I found a recipe for one of the popular organic hair blogs Hair Buddha
There are plenty of Indian hair care tips in this site. I’ve tried few of them and this fenugreek seems to fit to Finnish hair very well. Many of the Hairbuddha’s instructions are suitable for coarser, Indian hair types.
Fenugreek gives the hair a great shine, as well as extra moisture and volume. Lack of moisture damages the hair and prevents it from growing.
How to prepare a fenugreek rinse
- 2 tablespoons of Fenugreek seeds
- 5 dl of fresh water
- Let the seeds soak overnight
- Pour off the water away and add 5 dl of fresh water
- Cook the seeds for 15 minutes
- Strain the broth and use as a hair rinse
Flax seed gel
Flaxseed contains the same mucus ingredients as the marshmallow root. The mucus moisturizes the hair and at the same time gives it volume. Flaxseed mucus is very chewy and also acts as an organic hair lotion.
I first heard about the use of flaxseeds in hair care at Henriette Kress’s herbal therapy course. She advised to use flaxseed mucus for fixing and styling hair. If you want to make safe cosmetics for children’s beauty experiments, flaxseed mucus is a very safe hair gel.
Prepare the gel like this
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
- 3 dl of fresh water
- Boil flaxseeds in hot water until you have only 1-1 ½ dl left. Here you can decide yourself the strength of the gel, less water means it is stronger.
- Strain the gel immediately after boiling as flaxseed will no longer separate from the cooled gel.
- You can use the gel for styling your hair. If you want to get a hair spray, the gel should contain more water. You can apply thicker gel to your hair with your fingers.
- This kind of gel is good when you want to lift the hair slightly off the scalp.
- Unfortunately, flaxseed gel does not attach itself to hair very strongly. When your hair gets dryer, it drops off. Even light brushing removes the gel easily when the hair is dry.
You can get also a very nourishing hair rinse from flaxseeds. Prepare the hair rinse same way you made the gel but use water 5dl / 2 tablespoons of flaxseed (2 dl more).
You can let flaxseed gel to work on your hair after washing for 10-20 minutes. If you want extra volume in your hair you can leave some gel in your hair.
Other plants moisturizing hair
There are other moisturizing plants as well. You can make hair rinse broths out of all these plants.
- Hibiscus juice is a very moisturizing but is discolours the hair reddish.
- Sage is extremely moisturizing and prevents grey hair.
- Lavender is a neutral hair moisturizer that is suitable for all colours of hair.
Acidic rinses for hair
This time I’m not suggesting vinegar. I’m not a big fan of vinegar in hair care. For many of us, vinegar may be too drying. For some, though, vinegar is fine.
There are many very useful plants for hair rinsing in nature. The plants also contain several minerals and antioxidants which are beneficial to the scalp. If you want to ferment the plants you will also get some very useful probiotics.
Nettle is a very good hair conditioner
Nettle is a very diverse plant. It contains a lot of silicon that is good for hair. Small nettles are best for eating. The overgrown nettles should be used as a raw material for hair rinse. They contain enough oxalic acid for acid rinsing. Nettle is also a highly antioxidant plant that also cares for the hair and scalp.
Nettle gives your hair a great shine. The only limitation to the us of nettle is its suitability only for dark hair. Blonds should not use nettle hair care.
Prepare nettle rinse as follows
- Collect about one litre of nettles. Big nettles are the best for acid rinsing
- Rinse the nettles, place them in a saucepan and pour 2-3 litters of fresh water on top of them. You can adjust the acidity of the nettle rinse with the amount of water you use.
- Boil nettles for 20 minutes
- Allow the soup to cool and strain the nettle rinse
- Use as a hair rinse
Nettle has a darkening effect on the hair. If you want to try the darkening effect, pour nettle broth several times through your hair – collect the broth and use it again.
There are other moisturizing herbal treatments for hair
I have used myself these herbal treatments. I wanted to introduce only those raw materials I have used myself. Then I know that the ingredient I recommend is functional and useful. However, you better first try out how these herbs work in your hair. We are all individuals and our hair are different.
After trying herbal hair sprays, tell me about your experiences!
Cosmetic clay in hair care is very popular. If you care about your hair you must acquire cosmetic clay and use it regularly. It is extremely versatile and will be preserved for a long time. I’ll tell you next how you can use cosmetic clays in hair care.
Clay has always been used in cosmetics. Clay may even be the oldest ingredient in cosmetics. The use of clay has become widespread so that it is already widely used in both natural cosmetics and in supermarket products. The famous World Brands are also adding clay to their products.
Clay is recommended for many skin problems like acne as well as impure skin. In addition, clay is one of the best natural ingredients in hair products.
Why clay is good for hair
Clay is antimicrobial. As the scalp becomes irritated, clay can soothe and balance excessive microbial growth. Clay is rich in minerals, from which the scalp benefits. Minerals are easily absorbed deeper through the scalp. Clay also helps to soften hair. If you suffer from persistent hair, which always bends in the wrong direction, you can find the aid from clay. It helps to keep hair where you want them to be. It straightens hair and is therefore unsuitable for the curly girl methods. Cosmetic clay in hair care is also a powerful detoxifier.
What is clay
Clay is finely grinded natural rock material. There are several different types of clays existing. Their composition depends on the mineral composition of the local rock. Clay contains all the minerals that are present in the rock. Cosmetic clays contain different percentages of
What makes clay a cosmetic ingredient
Clay has special properties that are very difficult and impossible to create in synthetic products. Clay is negatively charged and therefore attracts heavy metals, liquids and oils. So, clay is a unique product in skin and hair detox treatments.
Clay is a non-toxic natural product. You can use it safely. Clay is not absorbed into the skin, but the mechanism works just the opposite. Clay absorbs moisture, oils and impurities from the skin.
Where can I use clay
Cosmetic clay in hair care is versatile.You can use cosmetic clay for many purposes in hair care. All you have to do is choose the right clay. Learn to find the right one for the right purpose.
Here is a brief list of the most common cosmetic clays
There are really many different types of clay. Many cosmetic clays such as illite clay also have several qualities. I have selected the most common and the most famous clays in the world that are easy to obtain.
Please bear in mind that each type of clay is different product. For example, green illite clay and green French clay are often mixed. They look like the same, but their mineral content is quite different. These clays also behave quite differently. In France there is also has green illite clay, but it is not as appreciated as genuine green French clay.
Bentonite clay is fine-rubbed volcanic ash, or montmorillonite. Now when you know the origin of this clay, you realize that it is quite different from our own Finnish clay. Bentonite clay is highly cleansing and absorbs environmental pollution and heavy metals.
Bentonite clay absorbs water like a sponge. You can make a soft, smooth, greenish-grey paste that is easy to apply to the scalp based on bentonite clay.
- Bentonite clay is suitable for normal and oily hair in detox treatments to remove sebum and impurities from the hair
- Bentonite clay supports curly hair and makes it curl better
- Bentonite clay, with its rich minerals, cares for the scalp and hair
- Bentonite clay is suitable for deep hair cleaning before colouring
Kaolin clay, aka white cosmetic clay, is a very gentle clay. It is almost pure white in colour. Kaolin is also suitable for the more sensitive scalp. For very greasy skin, kaolin is too mild. Then you should choose another clay option.
White clay is as dusty as powder.
White clay mixes well with water but darkens slightly when wet. The moist kaolin paste is easy to apply. It has a very fine texture and feels therefore slippery on the fingers.
- Kaolin cleans dry and sensitive scalp effectively without over-drying.
- Kaolin increases the blood circulation of the scalp and thus prevents hair loss.
- Kaolin improves the elasticity of the hair
- Kaolin prevents dandruff
Rhassoul clay comes from Morocco. Mining of Rhassoul clay takes time and requires lots of labour so it is not very cheap. It is clearly darker in colour than other clays. It is brown-red in colour. Rhassoul clay absorbs oils and liquids efficiently. Therefore, it should not be used for the most sensitive skin types.
You can easily mix Rhassoul clay with water or other liquid. The mixture, a chocolate brown paste, is easy to apply to the scalp.
- Rhassoul clay gently removes impurities from the hair, leaving some of the natural grease in hair
- Rhassoul Clay is not suitable for deep hair cleaning before colouring unless you have a very dry scalp
- Rhassoul clay is suitable for the treatment of irritated scalp due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
- Rhassoul Clay is suitable for regular hair wash for normal to oily hair as it does not absorb too much grease from the hair.
French Green Clay
Sometimes French green clay is mixed with green illite clay. French green clay is a completely different product and comes specifically from France. French green clay has a very exceptional mineral content. It has been found to have an antibacterial effect on the skin and scalp. French green clay has been studied at the University of Arizona in 2007. The mineral contents of the clays are very individual. No other green clay has resulted similar effects. The anti-bacterial green clay is specifically mined in France.
French green clay mixes poorly with water and often remains gruel-like mixture. It does not absorb water and does not expand at all. The clay is light green in colour and slightly granular.
- French green clay is suitable for treating irritated scalp because it has been proven to be very effective in preventing and controlling inflammation.
- French Green Clay is suitable for hair and scalp detox treatments for people with normal or oily scalp
- French green clay cares and treats both hair and scalp.
- French green clay makes hair shiny and easy to style
Illite clay is named after Illinois because it was first discovered there. Today, illite clay is mined from many other places around the globe. For example, red and pink illite clay is mined in France.
Illite clay is available in different colours. The clay is not coloured, but the colour comes from iron. If clay is high in iron, it is more red.
Illite clay mixes well with water. It is an ideal ingredient for facial masks. Illite clay is the most powerful and most drying of these clays. You should not use this clay if your skin is dry and sensitive. Otherwise, illite clay is very similar to bentonite clay.
- Illite clay is suitable for hair detox treatments for persons with oily scalp
- Illite clay is suitable for deep hair cleansing before colouring if your scalp is greasy
- Illite clay removes dead skin cells from the scalp
- Illite clay nourishes and mineralizes hair and scalp
How to Choose the Right Clay
First and foremost, you need to be aware of your own skin type and scalp. Most clays are suitable for normal or oily scalp. If your scalp is greasy, feel free to choose whatever clay you want.
Kaolin is suitable for dry and sensitive scalp
If you have a dry and sensitive scalp, you have to forget about any clay that cleans effectively. They dry your hair too much. Of course, you can slightly soften the cleansing power of the clay by reducing the duration of action.
Kaolin is the mildest clay
If your scalp is delicate and dry you can choose kaolin clay, a white cosmetic clay. It’s the mildest clay you can have. Kaolin is used for many purposes and is also suitable for deep cleansing clay for scalp. For oily scalp, kaolin is too mild clay. You can read more about kaolin here.
Irritated and inflamed scalp benefits from French green clay
If you suffer from seborrheic dermatitis, you may want to try French Green Clay. All other clays are anti-inflammatory as well because they are alkaline and contain healing minerals. Problems like scalp acne and eczema will be also alleviated by clay treatments.
How to use clay
The basic guideline is easy. You need the right clay and water.
- Take about 2 tablespoons of clay and mix with water to form a paste.
- Wet your hair thoroughly and dry off excess moisture with a towel
- Apply the paste to the scalp
- Leave on for 5-10 minutes, do not rub as clay is material made of rock and rubbing can damage the hair
- Rinse your hair with plenty of lukewarm water. Check that all the clay is rinsed off accurately.
- Because the clay is alkaline, you will still need sour rinsing
- ½ dl (1,69 us fl oz) apple wine vinegar
- 2 ½ dl (6,76 us fl oz) water
Mix vinegar and water and rinse your hair. If you prefer, you can gently rinse the vinegar off your hair.
Here are the most common clays listed. You will find your own clay product easily once you understand the difference between them. It’s a good idea to buy a small quantity of different types of clay and try them out at home. Then you see how they behave differently. There is a huge number of other types of cosmetic clays available. When used externally, they are all safe. The properties of more specific clay qualities can only be found through experimentation.
Have you tried clay in hair care? Please tell us about your experience and what kind of clay did you use!
Today, vinegar has become one of the most popular raw material for DIY cosmetics. Vinegar is now being sold in large canisters when it was previously found in half a liter bottle. It tells us something about popularity of vinegar. The vinegar is multi-purpose product. It is used not only in skin care but also in hair care and for variety of minor health problem treatments. The same familiar vinegar is also suitable for cleaning and many other household needs. It would be easy to write a book about tips how to use vinegar.
What is vinegar
Traditional vinegar is prepared by oxidation of either wine or spirits to form acetic acid. Acetic acid also begins to form itself, for example, in an open wine bottle. The process needs oxygen. Distilled vinegar sold in shops contains added water to keep acetic acid content only 3-5%.
Vinegar can be prepared by fermenting all kinds of wines and spirits. The name of the finished product indicates the original wine that has been used. So, there are apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, etc.
The active substance in vinegar is acetic acid, also called ethanoic acid. There is always acetic acid in all products wich are called vinegar. The apple cider vinegar also has this same acid. Acetic acid is one of the most important ingredients in the chemical industry. It is very multipurpose product and nontoxic.
Vinegar is a solvent
The fact that vinegar is a solvent is very important to remember. For skin and hair care, solvent should be used with caution. The vinegar dissolves in water like alcohol. Vinegar can therefore be diluted with water to the desired strength. Vinegar also dissolves inorganic salts and sugars. Again, this is a very good feature in stain removal but not so desirable in the treatment of skin and hair. When cleaning the bathroom, vinegar can dissolve well mineral deposits. Soap combines with minerals in tub water and cause alkaline soap. The mineral deposits are the accumulation of inorganic salts. If you use vinegar in skin or hair care, please take this vinegar characteristic into consideration. Skin sebum layer and minerals can be removed by using vinegar.
Beware of excessive vinegar acid hair rinse
The surface of your hair has a protective sebum layer, which consists of fats. Vinegar can dissolve this membrane from the surface of your hair. Therefore, acid rinse should be performed quickly with a dilute acetic liquid. For dry hair there is no suitable vinegar rinse. You should always use a very soft water to rinse your hair. Vinegar may react with minerals in the water and make the hair tips very tangled and fragile.
Herbal vinegars as raw material of DIY cosmetics
Herbal therapists take advantage of the vinegar’s dissolving ability by extracting different herbs with the vinegar. The extracts are usually made from white vinegar. These extracts can also be used to produce cosmetics.
Vinegar is an acid
Acids are very useful in skin care. You can obtain an excessively alkaline skin from the pH to normal, or 4,5 to 5, 5 readings by using acids. Acids are also used in hair care to close the capillaries opened by the washing. Many people keep vinegar rinses as the best treatment agent. They smoothen the hair and make them soft and easy to comb.
However, acids also have bad effects. Let me give you an example. Have you ever come across a recipe where the fish is cooked with lemon juice or vinegar? When the raw fish has been a moment in acidic broth, fish look like and tastes like it would be cooked. This is explained by the fact that the acids do denature the proteins. They change the composition of the proteins substantially so that the protein is like cooked. Unfortunately, the same kind of phenomenon can also occur on the skin and hair. If too strong vinegar or other acid is used, it can damage your skin or hair. Also, if you let acid stay too long on your skin or hair it may damage them. Acids are very good ingredients in cosmetics, but you should be very careful. The effect times must not be long and the acid should not be too strong.
Vinegar is a preservative
Vinegar is commonly used in the preservation as it inhibits the growth of bacteria and other microbes. The anti-microbial properties of vinegar can be utilized in DIY cosmetics in many ways. Vinegar acts as an effective deodorant, preventing the work of armpit bacteria. Vinegar flushing can also be done on acne skin or on irritated scalp. Skin problems are relieving when skin becomes more acidic and the bacterial strain changes. The vinegar can also be used to lower the acidity of the product.
How to choose a suitable vinegar
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
You’ve probably heard about the raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is for sale in a refined and unfiltered forms. The unfiltered apple cider vinegar is cloudy and usually has a precipitate in the bottom. Fermented parts of the fruit leftover from the oxidation process remain also in this type of apple cider vinegar. This way it leaves a lot of useful ingredients in the vinegar. Fermented parts are good for the body and the skin. It is because of these useful fermented ingredients; apple vinegar is the most popular vinegar in the skin and hair care. The best apple vinegar is also unpasteurized. In unpasteurized apple cider vinegar important enzymes remain in the operational condition. Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar has the membrane of acetic acid bacteria (mother vinegar) on surface.
Apple vinegar is sold in 4-5% strength, i.e. acetic acid content is 4-5% in apple cider vinegar. The raw apple cider vinegar should not be heated to more than 38 degrees. It contains a lot of valuable phytochemicals and enzymes, that are destroyed in hot.
Distilled vinegar is the familiar preserving vinegar. Distilled vinegar is generally used for cleaning, but it is ideal also for cosmetics and herbal extracts. Distilled vinegar is a very versatile product. Especially if you are allergic or hypersensitive to apples or wine, you should choose a clean, clear distilled vinegar.
You can use distilled vinegar the same way as apple cider vinegar. It is equally strong, so no dosage adjustment is necessary. The odor of vinegar has been criticized. It is pungent and repulsive. However, the odor of vinegar changes and eventually disappears. On dry skin and dry hair, not most people cannot notify the odor of vinegar at all. If you mind the odor of vinegar just add essential oils to products. Please bear in mind that adding essential oils to your hair’s acid rinse changes the composition of the product. Essential oils are strong concentrates that contain powerful plant chemicals such as resins and terpenes. Strong plant chemicals may also damage the hair, if they are used as too strong dilutions.
White wine vinegar and cider vinegar work on skin and hair, such as non-refined apple vinegar. They are purified vinegars, so they have no femininized fruit involved. Because of their light color, they are suitable for many purposes.
Red wine vinegar is a similar product than white wine vinegar. However, it has not been very popular in cosmetics because of its strong color.
Rice vinegar and coconut vinegar are exotic products that can be used for acid rinses or for other cosmetics. You can use these vinegars like white wine vinegar. However, they are quite expensive products. Therefore, I would leave them solely for cooking.
How to use vinegar in DIY cosmetics
Hair acid Rinse
One of the most popular use of vinegar in DIY cosmetics today is the acid rinse of the hair. Vinegar rinse is a widely accepted as a hair conditioner. This is due to the widespread use of the soap bar in the hair wash. Vinegar is not exactly a hair conditioner. There is no caring ingredient that will care the hair surface. Vinegar only closes capillaries after washing. This is based on the acidity of the vinegar. Vinegar at the same time restores the scalp’s pH to acid after alkaline washing.
Facial and skin rinses
You can also use vinegar to treat your skin with an acidic rinse to balance the pH. If you use an alkaline detergent in the shower, you can rinse the entire body with vinegar water. The skin do not feel overtighten after washing and there is no need to apply body lotion.
How to make herbal vinegar
If you want some active ingredients for your products, you can prepare herbal vinegar extracts. Herbal vinegar is a very useful product. Many phytochemicals of herbs are concentrated in herbal vinegar. An herbal vinegar extract can be used as a single ingredient for example in facials and deodorants. The vinegar extract is very strong, so add just a drop at a time. Better test first to avoid over adding.
The benefit of vinegar’s disinfectant feature should be used in deodorants. If you are afraid of strong smell of vinegar, you can add herbs or essential oils to the products.
An acidic foot bath is a way to disinfect your feet. If you have walked all day long and you feel your feet tired, try an herbal vinegar foot bath. At the end of the day, vinegar can also be sprayed into the shoes to disinfect them and remove the unpleasant odor.
Would you have thought of how multipurpose product is vinegar? There are many other uses of vinegar, but they are not covered by this blog.
Did you find yourself new ways to use vinegar for skin and hair treatment?