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Friday, June 4, 2010

How Rosemary Can Help Your Hair Grow

by Christiana Roberts

Rosemary is a lovely aromatic herb that has been extensively used in traditional societies as a folk remedy against hair loss. It has needle-like, dark green leaves and delicate blue flowers. The name “rosemary” is believed to be derived from the Latin language, meaning “dew of the sea”. Since the herb is native to the Mediterranean region, it indeed thrives in the salty, calcium-rich soils of dry costal areas.

Due to its strong, pungent, but undeniably pleasant flavour, rosemary is famous for its hair-conditioning properties. People of Italy, France, and Northern Europe often use this herb in refreshing hair rinses and even put several dry sprigs under the pillow to have pleasant night’s dreams and promote the growth of new, healthy hair!

Rosemary is used to combat the fall of hair, stimulate the growth of new locks, strengthen hair roots, support hair follicles, eliminate dandruff, and clean the scalp and hair of impurities. Both fresh and dry plants can be utilized successfully to make hair-friendly water or spirit infusions to use as aromatic hair conditioners, splitz, or beneficial rinses. In addition, home-made rosemary vinegar, as well as rosemary oil, can be applied to the hair roots or used in different other ways to stop hair loss.

When you buy or harvest rosemary, refrigerate fresh sprigs for several days in a plastic bag, or just place their stem ends in water. To dry, hang fresh herbs in a warm, dry, and preferably slightly windy place, before transferring into cotton bags for a long-term storage.

Both fresh and dry rosemary is very effective for making various herbal infusions that can be used to benefit your hair. To make a very simple, yet healthful water infusion, just put several handfuls of rosemary into a water-filled pot, bring to boil, and gently simmer for about five to 15 minutes. Allow to cool, strain into a clean container, and pour throughout your hair just after shampooing. Due to a very pleasant aroma and strengthening effects of this rosemary rinse, you do not need to wash it off with additional fresh water. The procedure can be repeated every time you wash your hair (we recommend that you do it only one or twice a week, since more frequent shampooing is damaging for your natural hair oils).

Rosemary oil is even more effective to fight hair loss and especially eliminate dry dandruff, than water-based rosemary infusions. In season, when rosemary is inexpensive and plentiful, make several bottles of this wonderful oil to use throughout the year. Extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil is extremely helpful as a scalp and hair-nourishing substance; it also lends itself most naturally to a rosemary infusion. Fresh herbs are the best to use in the preparation of rosemary oil, but dry rosemary can do the work, too. To make the oil at home, wash and dry a handful or two of fresh rosemary sprigs, rub them lightly between your palms to release the flavour, and place them in a clean bottle (you can also add several slices of fresh ginger to intensify the flavour and medicinal qualities of rosemary). Pour extra-virgin olive oil to cover the herbs, seal tightly, and leave in a dark cupboard for at least two weeks. To use, massage some rosemary oil into your scalp and hair and leave overnight for the beneficial particles of olive oil, rosemary, and optional ginger to penetrate deep into your hair roots and shafts. Repeat weekly and watch your hair quickly regaining its strength and vitality!

Another way to use rosemary for topical hair applications is to make rosemary vinegar. It is advisable to infuse rosemary only in raw and, preferably, organic apple cider vinegar of the highest quality you can find. Apple cider vinegar has long been praised for its hair-rejuvenating properties. Combined with rosemary, this vinegar makes a super-remedy for dull, weak, and shedding hair. To prepare, fill a clean jar or bottle with fresh or dry rosemary sprigs and pour raw, unheated apple cider vinegar over the herbs to cover them completely. Seal and leave to infuse for at least a fortnight in a dark place, shaking the jar occasionally. You can store ready rosemary vinegar in a dark cool cabinet or a cellar to undergo further beneficial fermentation. Use weekly to make a hair rinse by mixing several tablespoons of rosemary vinegar with lukewarm water and pouring the mixture onto your scalp and hair. This rosemary remedy has a power to completely rejuvenate weakening hair just within a few months!