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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Beauty Channel > Hair Care

PURE BEAUTY: simple recipes for a naturally beautiful hair
by Country Living's Healthy Living

When we are in good health, our hair looks lustrous and full of life. When we are sick or under stress, our hair appears languid and dull. Beautiful hair is a product of a balanced lifestyle; of course, good hair care is essential as well. Any commercial products strip hair of its natural protection by throwing off the proper pH balance, making hair either too dry or too oily.

This homemade shampoo will rid the scalp of any hair-care product residue and cleanse without eliminating the oils your follicles need for healthy growth.

The rinse protects hair shafts against damage from toxins and bring out highlights.

Use the recipes one at a time or in shampoo-rinse sequences as you see fit. Depending on the condition of your hair, you may treat it more or less frequently. Similarly, there are no fixed rules on when to add one of the deep treatments to your regimen. Indulge as often as your hair needs it, or perhaps in preparation for a special event. The result will be beautiful hair you can be proud of: soft, shining, and glowing with health and vitality. In general, these shampoos won't produce the sort of intense lather you get from commercial products. Natural shampoos have a gentle, softly foaming lather that nevertheless thoroughly cleans your hair. The cosmetics industry would have us believe that it is lather that cleanses. It's not; it's ingredients like chamomile and citrus extracts that dissolve grease and clean the scalp.

Peppermint Shampoo

Here's a tingly scalp-cooling remedy for the dog days of summer. The trio of mints cleanses your hair and refreshes your spirit, while jojoba and wheat germ rehydrate hair shafts thirsty from exposure to the sun. This shampoo is great for all hair types, but the moisturizing action of the oils makes it especially beneficial for dry, brittle hair. If you can't find bergamot mint essential oil, substitute five extra drops of spearmint essential oil.

  • 2/3 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1/3 cup distilled water
  • 2 teaspoons jojoba
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon wheat germ oil
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops spearmint essential oil
  • 5 drops bergamot mint essential oil

  1. In a bowl, combine the castile soap and water and blend well. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

  2. Transfer the shampoo to a prepared bottle and cap tightly. Stored in a cool, dark place, it will keep for 2 weeks. Shake before using.

Yield - This recipe makes approximately 1 cup, enough for 5 or 6 shampoos.

To use - Massage about 1/4 cup of shampoo into wet hair, working to a lather. Rinse off with plenty of warm water.

Essential Oil Conditioner

When you don't have time to brew an herbal hair conditioner, try this simple scalp-stimulating solution. All you have to do is mix together four essential oils in the palm of your hand and massage them through the hair. The conditioner immediately penetrates the hair shafts, leaving no oily residue. This recipe is geared for hair of medium length and thickness. Increase or decrease the number of drops depending upon the length and thickness of your hair.

  • 3 drops carrot seed essential oil
  • 3 drops chamomile essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil

  1. In the palm of your hand, mix the oils together with your fingers.
  2. Use immediately.

Yield - This recipe makes enough for 1 treatment.

To use - After shampooing, towel-dry hair. Apply the conditioner by rubbing, brushing, or combing it into hair, starting at the ends (which need the most conditioning) and working to the scalp.

Hot Avocado Oil Treatment for damaged hair

Sun, wind, rain, smoke, pollution, dust, life in general, even many commercial hair-care products: All can wreak havoc on your hair. For natural damage control, apply this oil treatment once a week before shampooing. It will strengthen your hair and leave it shining with vitality.

  • 1/4avocado, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons jojoba
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the ingredients together, then warm them by placing the small bowl into a larger bowl filled halfway with hot water. Stir occasionally to distribute the heat evenly.

  2. As soon as the mixture is at body temperature, apply it to your damp hair.

Yield - This recipe makes enough for 1 treatment.

To use - Apply directly to dampened hair, working from the scalp through the hair to the ends. Wrap your head in a warm damp towel (use an old towel, as the avocado may stain it.) Leave the treatment on for about 20 minutes. Without rinsing, shampoo hair, then rinse thoroughly.

1999 by Hearst Communications, Inc.

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