By Stella Gray, Spa Elder Fern Tree, the Spa at Half Moon
Monday, January 26, 2009
Every year we spend thousands on hair care products when we could easily create our own treatments using ingredients from our own kitchens that will help us maintain strong, shiny and healthy hair.
Hair is made from a substance called keratin, which constitutes not only our hair but also our nails. Hair grows from follicles on our body that are attached to a sebaceous gland. Sebaceous glands produce sebum, which is a form of oil that nourishes both our skin and our hair. Regular scalp massage will help to stimulate blood flow to our hair follicles, which will help the flow of sebum and increase hair growth.
Once the hair has grown from the follicle or root, it is actually dead. So in order to maintain strong, healthy hair it is important that we have a nutrient-filled, balanced diet. Include plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, seeds and lean protein along with drinking lots of water to hydrate and condition our hair from within.
In Jamaica, we are blessed with an abundance of coconut, which is excellent for our bodies and thus our hair. So the nourishment of our hair really comes from inside out.
We have over 100,000 strands of hair on our heads and we lose approximately 50-100 strands
daily; thus our body is constantly replacing hair.
It is wise to invest in the best quality shampoo that we can afford, avoiding shampoos that contain synthetic chemicals; chemicals which are the same as those used in dishwashing liquid. Though these shampoos lather well, they are also very harsh and tend to dry out our hair. If possible, try to avoid shampoos that contain sodium laureth sulfate.
Products containing decyl glucose or decyl glucoside tend to be gentler on the hair. Most health food stores sell shampoos that contain natural ingredients, which are the most gentle for our hair.
Here are a few natural recipes you might like to try at home.
Sugar Scalp Rub
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cold pressed coconut or olive oil
Combine sugar and oil and apply to scalp using only fingertips.
Massage well into scalp using circular movements for several minutes.
Rinse and shampoo as normal.
This is great for those of us who suffer from dandruff. This will stimulate your scalp and also remove any excess oil or residue build-up. It is also excellent for men to stimulate hair growth.
Avocado Coconut Conditioner
1 large piece of avocado pear
Blend avocado pear with enough coconut milk until it reaches the consistency of a thick hair conditioner.
Apply to damp hair, working well into the ends of the hair.
Cover your head with a steam cap for 20 minutes
Shampoo and rinse after.
Ginger & Olive Oil Dandruff Treatment
1 large piece of fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon light olive oil
1/2 large lime (juiced)
Press juice from ginger root and mix with light olive oil and lime juice.
Apply to scalp and allow to dry.
Shampoo as normal.
This can be done regularly to eliminate dandruff.
1/2 Seville orange
2 cups water
Cut up citrus into little pieces and add to water in a sauce pot.
Boil until liquid is reduced by half
Let cool then strain.
Put in spray bottle and place in refrigerator.
If mixture is too sticky add a little Witch Hazel.
You will need to make this
regularly as it should be replaced after about two weeks. However, this is far better for the environment and for your lungs.
Spa Elder Tip
To help control frizzy hair naturally, simply remove gel from a piece of fresh aloe vera. Blend into a liquid and work well into your hair. This not only helps control frizz but conditions your hair at the same time.
Stella Gray is the Spa Elder
at Fern Tree, the Spa at Half Moon, with over 35 years in the spa
industry. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.