Having strong, beautiful hair does not require exotic hair treatments, or they cost a fortune. Simple homemade products can keep hair healthy, bouncy and full of shine – and are easier to make than a pot of soup.

Excellent-looking hair is something we all want, and it’s not hard to achieve. If you eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and get enough rest, your skin and hair will show it. Although proper hair care and conditioning are vital, the most important thing you can do for your hair is to keep it clean and well nourished.

Hair care products, such as shampoos, conditioners and rinses, all perform specific functions that keep your hair looking and feeling at a better time. The shampoo cleanses the scalp first and second, the hair, loosening dirt and oils. Conditioners protect hair from dryness and fragility, and the latter can result in breakage. Clean the hair thoroughly and help remove the remains of hair products.

Be sure to keep homemade hair products in clean containers in a cool, dry place. Avoid germ contamination by washing your hands before preparing and using hair products. If the products are separate, just shake the mixture well. If one of your homemade products smells really bad, it probably is. Get rid of it.

Are you doing your hair properly?

– Shampoo is the liquid soap for washing hair – a combination of water, detergent and some kind of fat or oil. How often you wash your hair is a matter of personal choice, but keeping it clean is important. Here are some guidelines for washing hair:

– Use a small amount of shampoo (the size of a quarter); it is better to repeat the amount than to spend too much the first time.

– Pour the shampoo into the palm of your hand, never directly on your head. Rub your hands together gently to create a foam before applying the shampoo to the hair.

– Remember that you must massage the shampoo on the scalp to get it to really cleanse. A clean scalp is important for hair health.

– Rinse thoroughly for at least two minutes and use the coolest water on which you can stand.

– Dry your hair gently, you can make a turban style hat with the bath towel and wear it on your head for 10 to 20 minutes. This helps absorb water.

– Always use a wide-toothed comb over damp hair, never a brush.

– Most people prefer liquid or cream shampoo. Additional ingredients are often added to shampoos for treatments or benefits, such as more body and desired shine.
The next recipe is for a basic shampoo. It will appear thinner in consistency than most commercial shampoos. The results are equivalent.

– Basic shampoo.

Yield: 4 oz

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup liquid soap, like Castile
  • 1/2 teaspoon of organic light vegetable oil (skip if you have very oily hair.)

Mix all the ingredients. Pour the shampoo into a clean bottle or an empty shampoo bottle. Wash your hair as you normally would and rinse well with cold water.

– Herbal Shampoo

Yield: 8 oz

Certain herbs added to your favorite shampoo can bring out natural reflections from your hair. Chamomile makes a gentle shampoo that is perfect for fine light colored hair; the flowers have a mild bleaching effect. If you have dark hair, use rosemary or lavender to enhance your own natural color.

  • 1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons powder or
  • 1/3 cup fresh chamomile, lavender or
    rosemary
  • 1/2 cup basic shampoo or mild commercial shampoo 2 tablespoons glycerin

Mix the water and herbs and heat gently to make a strong tea. Let the mixture sit for at least 20 minutes. Add the shampoo and glycerin to the herbal water mix and mix well.

Pour the shampoo into a clean bottle or an empty shampoo bottle. Let the mixture stand overnight to thicken.

Wash and rinse thoroughly.

– Shampoo with beer.

Yield: 10 oz

Beer is one of the hair beauty treatments that give shine and vitality. This shampoo is very easy to make and really works. After you try it, you’ll never throw away the stale beer.

  • 1 cup of beer (any cheap beer
    works – fresh or stale)
  • 1 cup of basic shampoo or cheap commercial shampoo (these don’t usually have as many chemicals as the more expensive ones)

Heat the beer in a small saucepan over medium heat and allow boiling until the beer is reduced to 1/4 cup. Add the reduced beer to the shampoo and stir well.

Pour the shampoo into a clean bottle or an empty shampoo bottle. (It is not necessary to refrigerate this product.) Wash and rinse thoroughly.

Conditioners.

Hair conditioner treatments are rich in creams and natural oils. With them they massage clean hair and allow the rich ingredients to penetrate. They are especially effective for dry hair and hair damaged by excess sun or dryers. A weekly treatment will return moisture and life to your hair.

To make your own treatments with natural hair conditioner, skip one or a combination of the products on the list below – for example, avocado and mayonnaise. Mix the products together to produce about 1/4 cup, roughly depending on the length of your hair. Apply the mixture to clean, moist hair. Wrap your hair with a large piece of plastic paper or use a plastic shower cap to keep warm and open the hair follicles for deep conditioning.

Wait 15 minutes and rinse with cold water. Depending on your hair type and the ingredients you use, you’ll probably have to stick with a shampoo.

Natural conditioners according to the type of hair.

– For dry hair: coconut oil, banana, avocado, mayonnaise (better if made at home). See Making a Healthy Homemade Mayonnaise

– For normal hair: mayonnaise, egg, olive oil, yogurt without flavor or sugar. See also Herbal conditioner with vinegar for hair

– For oily hair: Add a little lemon juice (1 to 2 teaspoons) to normal hair products.

Locate hair problems.

The following is a list of products to treat as a final rinse after shampoo. Always remember to rinse your hair with fresh water where you can stand for at least a minute after using these rinses. Each recipe is enough for one application.

Lemon juice: The juice of 1 lemon mixed with 1 cup of water brings life and shine to the dull hair. Baking soda: 1 tablespoon baking soda mixed with 1 cup of water removes hair spray and gel residue.

Apple cider vinegar: 1/2 cup vinegar mixed with 2 cups of water gives your hair shine and vitality.

Tomato juice: 1 cup of tomato juice will remove strong odors, such as smoke, from your hair.

Bentolite, aloe vera gel: to detoxify hair and scalp See How to make a desitoxicant mask for hair and scalp.

Give color to the hair naturally.

There are also many natural rinses that you can use to highlight the color of your hair. These rinses create gradual changes in your hair when used over a period of time, the longer they are used, the more dramatic the results. After shampooing, try one of the following:

Chamomile: This will lighten the blond hair. To rinse, pour 2 cups of hot water with 1/4 cup of chamomile flowers. Cool, filter before use.

Rhubarb: This also lightens the hair. Use 1/4 cup of chopped fresh rhubarb with 2 cups of boiling water. Cool, filter before use.

Sage, lavender and cinnamon: These will darken the hair. Use 1/4 cup of sage or lavender (or 3 cinnamon branches, cut into small pieces) to 2 cups of boiling water. Cool, filter before use.

Hibiscus flowers: These will give red reflections to dark or light hair. Use dried flowers or herbal tea that contains hibiscus flowers. Place the flowers in boiling water. Cool, filter before use. Remember that you can always get darker, so start with a poor mix.

For more information on how to achieve more hair color effects with herbs see Recipes for coloring herbal hair.

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