Has the dry winter weather been making you sing those dull hair and ashy skin blues? Spring is just around the corner and it’s time for some serious repair and rejuvenation. Whether you enjoy making your own, are frugal or like natural remedies, we have a few tips and treatments that you can do from the comfort of your home with ingredients you may already have on hand.
- Even your most tried and true hair regimens can lose their effectiveness after continued use – almost like your hair gets too accustomed to it and thus gets desensitized to the active ingredients. So break up your hair routine every few weeks by using an alternate shampoo and conditioner for a day or two. This really can make a huge difference on how your hair looks and feels, and you can fall in love with your favorite products all over again.
- Keep split ends trimmed so they don’t do further damage.
- If you are thinking about which to splurge on – shampoo or conditioner – go for the conditioner. That’s where it really makes a difference.
- For a shine boost, every couple of weeks pour 1 cup lemon juice (for lighter hair shades) or apple cider vinegar (for auburn and brunette hair) through your hair after shampooing. Rinse well and condition as usual.
- If you tend to have dry hair and/or split ends, vamp up your hair care with a weekly DIY oil treatment. Here are two of my favorites:
- Mix virgin coconut oil with equal parts lime juice. Apply liberally, cover with a shower cap and leave in for 5-15 minutes. Shampoo as usual.
- Boil ½ cup of water, then add ½ cup of olive oil. Once it cools down to the point that it won’t burn your scalp, mix well. [It may be best to designate a water bottle for this treatment. Secure tightly and shake vigorously until well mixed.] Massage into your hair, cover with a shower cap and leave on for 15-30 minutes. Wash as usual.
Here are several homemade hair masks that can rescue dull, dry strands. You can do most of them once a week for repair and maintenance. With each, my suggestion is to comb the tangles from your hair prior to application. Then after applying the treatment, use a wide toothed comb to evenly spread the mixture throughout your hair. Also, keep in mind that most of the masks can cause quite a mess. Wear something to protect your clothing and cover with a shower cap or plastic cling wrap. It will also be further beneficial to wrap your hair in a warm towel or use a hair dryer on a low heat setting to deeply penetrate your locks. Oh, and you may want to coincide the weekly treatments with the days you clean your tub – the oil in the masks will leave a slippery residue in your tub or sink.
The Olive Oil Basic: Massage a well-mixed paste of 5 T of olive oil and 2 and/or use a wide-toothed comb to spread evenly. Cover hair with a shower cap for 15-20 minutes, then rinse well. Shampoo as usual.
The Sweet Life: Mix 1/3 c honey, 3 T olive oil and 1 egg yolk. Apply to hair, cover with shower cap and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo as usual.
Sweet and Sour: Mix 1 T olive oil, 2 T honey and 1 T apple cider vinegar and massage into the hair and scalp. Cover with a cap for 1 hour then rinse and shampoo as usual.
Land of Milk and Honey: Massage a paste of 2 ripened mashed bananas, 2 T honey and ½ c milk on to hair. Cover with a cap for 20 minutes, rinse and shampoo as usual.
Heal It Now: Apply a thick paste of 1 T oatmeal, 1 T milk and 1 T almond oil to hair. Cover with a shower cap for 20 min, rinse then shampoo as usual.
Strawberry Fields Forever: Mash 8-10 medium strawberries and mix with 1 T mayonnaise. Apply to hair, cover with a shower cap for 30 minutes, rinse and shampoo as usual.
Almond Joy Power Punch: Add a few drops of almond oil to 1 ripened mashed banana. Massage into hair, cover and leave in for 15 minutes. Rinse with soda water, then shampoo as usual.
The Green Frizz Tamer: Mix together 1 ripened mashed avocado, 1 T honey and 2 T olive oil. Apply creamy paste to hair, cover and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo as usual.
The Exotic Super Fruit Plus: Add ½ c plain yogurt to 1 (seeded) pureed papaya. Apply and cover. After 30 minutes rinse and shampoo as usual.
Dry No More: Apply a well-blended mixture of ½ c mayonnaise and 2 T honey to hair. Cover for 30 minutes, then rinse and shampoo as usual.
One product I love for both hair and skin is Kaia House’s Shea Luxe Butter Creme. Not all Shea butter is created equal. Kaia’s is smooth (not gritty), thick, non-toxic and perfect for (my son’s mild) eczema spots, dry hair, chapped lips, and everything in-between! At $24 for 12 ounces, it does seem quite steep in price, but it certainly lasts a long time. I use mine daily and it lasts several months. Speaking of dry skin, check back tomorrow for more homemade dry winter blues remedies.
As always, consult your physician before trying any of these or other natural remedies, and always watch for allergic reactions.