The best herbs for naturally strong and shiny hair and a healthy scalp
Due to all kinds of events in my life, my hair has endured some blows. It probably is the same for mAt my age, perimenopause also has its effects. In short, my head of hair is no longer what it used to be. While I certainly don’t think this is a big deal – there are more important things in life – I find it an interesting challenge to make my hair as strong and shiny and my scalp as healthy as possible in a natural way. I go about this in two ways: some things I don’t do and others I do do. Cryptic, right… A tip of the veil: herbs are involved in what I do do.
What I avoid to ensure naturally strong and shiny hair and a healthy scalp
What I don’t do is use store-bought shampoo or conditioner. Even the most natural ready-made shampoos and conditioners contain substances that damage your hair. You can find plenty of information about that elsewhere, so I won’t go into that here. Suffices to say: I don’t use it. What I also don’t do is wet my hair often. Water damages your hair. I know it sounds contradictory, but, externally, water dries out your tissues. And wet hair breaks more easily. My best friend in the bathroom is my shower cap.
Seriously? But surely your hair is really dirty, isn’t it? Well… no. My hair is cleaner than the hair of most people who use all kinds of products. Shampoo dries out your hair and scalp, causing your scalp to secrete more sebum thus causing your hair to become greasy faster. And it causes your scalp to flake. Wax, foam gel, etcetera attract dirt. My hair contains, well, hair, minimal amounts of sebum – enough to protect my hair – and the occasional clip or elastic band. It doesn’t smell. Or, if it does, it smells of the herbs I sometimes use.
What I do do to ensure naturally strong and shiny hair and a healthy scalp
That’s something I definitely do: use herbs for my hair. When I wash my hair, I simply rinse my hair with not too warm water. When I’m feeling brave, I even use cool water. Occasionally, I use a bit more to wash my hair. These are mostly homebrewed hair waters and oils. My favourite herbs to use in hair waters are birch, nettle, lavender, rosemary, sage, walnut and watercress. These plants help support your hair and scalp and prevent hair loss. Dandruff and itchy scalp disappear like snow in the sun.
Tip: sage also makes your hair a bit darker and is therefore a must use for people who want that. If you have some grey hairs, with sage hair water those will be less noticeable. Walnut (leaf and husk) is even used for store-bought brown hair dye.
I don’t use chamomile myself, because that can make your hair lighter. But if you want to enliven blond hair, then chamomile might be your go to plant. As a blonde, it is better not to use birch (both the juice and decoction of the leaves). It might your hair a somewhat drab colour. Note: just as hair water can affect your hair colour, it can also colour other materials. You can, for example, get stains in older shower tray materials. It is, therefore, advisable to test on a small and inconspicuous spot beforehand.
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