How to care for your hair: Some natural homemade remedies:
Healthy hair is something everyone wants. People go crazy trying to get the kind of hair they want. Some are complaining their hair is falling, some complain that it is too dry or too oily or too frizzy, some want thick hair, some want to straighten their hair, well the list is endless.
There are some very good hair care methods that one can use. The home made variety of hair care is always a little time consuming but worth the effort. When I was younger I used a lot of these homemade and natural hair care products. Sunday was the designated hair –care day. Here are some messy but good methods used for my hair. (these are typically Indian)
To condition your hair:
Fenugreek seeds: soak a tablespoon full of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Grind to a thick paste the next morning. It will be slimy and sticky in consistency. Put this paste on your hair and leave for half an hour or so and then rinse off and shampoo. This is kind of messy but the result is well worth the trouble. You can do this once a fortnight or once a month.
Egg: break an egg in a container. Add a little bit of coffee powder to it and beat it. Apply this to your hair, leave for half an hour. Then rinse off with cool or tepid water and then shampoo. Be careful not to use water that is too hot as the egg may coagulate. This is a little smelly too as your hair may smell of egg if you stay out in the sun too long. The results are very good shiny hair. (if you wish, you can use only the white of the egg. The coffee powder is used for aroma, it just covers up the smell of the egg.)
Henna: make a decoction by boiling a little bit of tea leaves, a rind of lemon, orange peel and some hibiscus flowers usually the red colored variety. Strain out the decoction after it cools. Use this solution to soak some henna powder in an iron vessel overnight. Apply this paste to your hair the next day and leave for half an hour to forty-five minutes. Then rinse out all the henna from your hair and shampoo. If your hair is too dry, then apply some oil to your hair before you apply the henna paste. Henna is available in the powder form. it is also available as a pre-mixed podwer with lots of other herbs mixed in it.)
Henna is also used to color grey hair. Using too much henna over a long period of time may make your hair dry, so a henna conditioning session is always to be followed by an "oil" session. Which means the day after you applied henna, apply a generous amount of oil on your hair and leave it on overnight and then shampoo it off. Use henna once a month or once in two months.
To wash your hair
Washing hair with shampoo was really considered a no-no it was a big taboo. The elders in my family always said that the chemicals in the shampoo will spoil the hair. So shampoo was never bought in the house. To wash and clean hair we used “shikakai” (Acacia concinna ) and reetha nut or soapnut as it is also called (Sapindus trifoliatus). Both these are kind of nuts and are also available as power in the market. To make the hair wash solution we boiled the shikakai and reetha nut in water. Then waited for it to cool and then strained out the water. This water or decoction was used to wash the hair instead of shampoo. It does not produce much lather, but it has cleansing properties and most importantly it does not strip the hair of its natural oils.
To nourish your hair:
To nourish hair we used coconut oil, amla oil or bhringaraj (Eclipta alba) oil. Sometimes hibiscus flowers or bhringaraj leaves were added to the coconut oil and it was boiled on a low flame. After cooling the flowers were removed and this oil was applied to the scalp. These days bhringaraj oil is available in the market; this oil is very thick and so it is mixed with a little bit of coconut oil to lessen its viscosity. Bhringaraj oil if massaged in the scalp before sleeping also helps you sleep better.
These days it seems nobody has the time to use these simply home remedies. And youngsters think they are too messy and prefer the wonderful fragrant concoctions that one can squeeze out of a tube or pour out of a bottle.
I used these home remedies for a long time, nowadays I am also getting a little lazy and use commercial shampoos and conditioners and every time i pick up the shampoo bottle, somewhere in my mind I hear my grandmother admonish me- "you know you silly girl, this silly shampoo will make your hair go grey one day."