Like the skin, the hair reflects inner health and wellbeing. If you are eating well, getting adequate sleep and feel good about yourself, chances are your hair will show this. Medications, ill health, stress and fatigue can all affect lustrous, healthy hair, leaving it dull, hard to manage and you having a ‘bad hair day!’
Regular visits to the hairdresser can do wonders for your soul! It’s time out and there is nothing nicer than having your hair washed by someone else. But keeping hair healthy does not have to take a lot of time or money. Treatments at home are also effective and beneficial.
Choosing good quality hair care products is one of the first steps to healthy hair. Many shampoos claim to be ‘herbal’ but when you read the list of ingredients, the herbal content is somewhere very near the bottom, meaning there is very little of it in there. So be discerning about what you buy.
Commercial shampoos are basically made with the same formula as carpet shampoos. One of the main ingredients is Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS), an emulsifying agent, also found in engine degreasers. We have become accustomed to believing that foam and lots of lather is a sign that the product is an excellent cleanser. But this is not the case, all that lather is for our gratification.
If you really like your shampoo regardless of the ingredients, then try diluting it by half with water. You may be impressed to see it cleans just as well, is far more gentle on your hair and has cost you half the price! Detergent-based shampoos can strip the hair of all its natural oil, which is why you often require a conditioner as well. Opt for shampoos free of the more harmful ingredients. There are definitely more natural ones available and once you start using them you may well notice a significant difference. My rule of thumb is if I see ingredients like SLS, PEG’s, DEA’s, parabens, perfume or fragrance then I will put it back on the shelf.
A simple but great way to increase the health of your hair it to try washing your hair less. Once or twice a week should be more than enough. The body creates it’s only nourishing oils to give your hair its shine and luster but if we over wash the hair it can get excessively oily or dry and become brittle.
Just remember if you have been using more harsh shampoos and conditioners for a while it may take a few weeks for the hair to adapt to the less chemical ones. As with skin care, allow 28 days for new products to take their effect, and don’t give up on them.
After you have washed and conditioned your hair, a lovely way to finish caring for it naturally is with an aromatic hair rinse. These add vitality to your hair and leave a gorgeous light aroma around your head. Before you hop in the shower or bath to wash your hair, simply fill a 100ml glass bottle with warm water. Add 4 drops total of your chosen essential oils then shake the bottle well. Just before you hop out of the shower, turn the tap off, squeeze the excess water out of your hair, take your bottle and shake a couple of times, then tilt your head back and allow the aromatic rinse to pour through your hair. Good essential oils to use would be:
Essential oils for your Hair Rinse
Dark Hair: 1 drop Geranium, 1 drop Lavender and 2 drops Rosewood
Light Hair: 2 drops Rosemary, 1 drop Chamomile, 1 drop Lemon
Red Hair: 1 drop Orange, 2 drops Geranium, 1 drop Frankincense