Health

15 Best Natural Home Remedies For Dry and Damaged Hair

Looking good is important to every one of us. It is a well-known fact that if we think that we look good, it influences how we… Simi - December 28, 2017

Looking good is important to every one of us. It is a well-known fact that if we think that we look good, it influences how we carry out our daily tasks. Looking good boosts our confidence and allows us to get on with our daily tasks with vigor and enthusiasm. The opposite is also true, when we feel uncomfortable with ourselves, we tend to shy away from responsibility, and we do not put our best foot forward in our day to day life.

Hair grows from a follicle and is mainly built from keratin (the same substance that is in your fingernails). It consists of three layers, the cuticle (outermost layer), medulla (middle layer) and cortex (innermost layer). Damage can happen when these layers are altered either physically or chemically.  This damage causes dryness, and eventually, the keratin is dissolved causing the hair to thin and become brittle.

Damage comes from many sources, some self-inflicted and others are health reasons. In the self-inflicted camp are things like excessive washing with harsh soaps and shampoos, constant use of heat appliances like hairdryers and curling tongs, long-term use of harsh chemicals such as bleach and long exposure to harsh environmental conditions such as sunlight and chlorinated water in swimming pools.

Damage can be caused by some health issues such as a thyroid complaint, malnutrition and anorexia nervosa. The cost of professional treatments can be prohibitive but fear not there are many remedies that use ingredients that are already in your kitchen or available from the local store. These remedies can have a huge impact on the condition of your hair. Let’s have a look at some of these home remedies that can improve the condition of your hair.

Olive Oil

Yes, that same oil that is so delicious as a dressing on your salad will also work wonders on your damaged hair. This oil has a high proportion of fatty acids, loads of Vitamin E, and many antioxidants, so it works well to seal the cuticle and preserve moisture in the hair.  With the cuticle sealed, further damage from the environment is prevented.

Take enough olive oil to thoroughly saturate your hair, and place in a small bowl. Gently warm this oil in the microwave or place the bowl over a pot of boiling water. The oil must not be hot it must be a comfortable, warm temperature. Slowly pour the oil over your head, gently massaging the oil into your scalp and rubbing it on the hair all the way from scalp to tip.

Cover your head with a warm towel and leave the oil on your hair for at least 30 minutes.  Wash the oil out with a gentle shampoo and condition as normal. Use this treatment once a week for a head of soft, shiny hair.

Olive oil is a natural oil similar to jojoba oil, sesame oil, rosemary oil or sweet almond oil.  You can use any of these natural oils in the same way as olive oil to achieve the same result. Try them and see which one reacts best with your hair.

Honey

Honey is one of the miracle foods on earth. Honey is packed full of vitamins and minerals, and it has strong natural antibacterial properties. In addition to this honey is a natural humectant, meaning that it attracts moisture. This humectant property moisturizes the hair and keeps it in tip-top condition. Another benefit is that frequent use of honey masks on your hair will naturally lighten it. Take a ¼ cup raw organic honey and thin with a little water.  Apply this mixture to damp hair and leave it to soak in for at least 30 minutes.  Rinse out with warm water and shampoo and condition as normal. This treatment is very effective when carried out twice a week.

An excellent hair mask can be made using honey and natural yogurt. Take a small bowl and mix one tablespoon of oil (coconut, olive or almond), 1 tablespoon of natural or plain yogurt (sour cream will also work well) and 2 tablespoons of honey. Gently warm the mixture in the microwave or over a pot of hot water. The mixture must be blood temperature; you do not want to scald your scalp!  Massage the warmed mixture into your scalp and hair and cover with a shower cap. Find a warm, comfortable place to spend the next 20 to 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Shampoo and condition as normal.  Use this treatment once a week.

Take ¼ cup of olive oil and ½ cup of honey.  Mix them well in a small bowl and warm in the microwave or by placing the bowl over a pot of hot water. The mixture must be a comfortable temperature as you don’t want to scald your scalp. Gently massage this mixture into your scalp and along the length of your hair from root to tip.  Leave the treatment in for at least 30 minutes and then rinse out with warm water. Shampoo and condition as normal. This treatment can be carried out once or twice a week for a soft, shiny head of hair.

A deep treatment mask can be made using honey, rose water and avocado pear. Take one avocado pear and mash the pulp well.  Mix in five tablespoons of rose water and two tablespoons of honey.  These ingredients must be blended very well, and a blender may be necessary to get them mixed properly.  Massage this mixture into your scalp and along the length of your hair shafts and leave it to soak in for the next 30 minutes.  Rinse it out with warm water and then shampoo and condition as normal. You will see a dramatic improvement in the quality of your hair if your carry this out at least once a week. If you have very long or very thick hair, you may have to adjust the quantities listed here.  Make sure you make enough of the treatment to soak your hair thoroughly.

Avocado Pear

This delicious fruit is not only a must for your summer dinner table, but it is also so good for your hair!  It is packed full of vitamins, fats, proteins, essential fatty acids and natural oils, all of which work together to close up the hair cuticle, retain moisture and block free radicals from further damaging your hair.

In a small bowl mash the pulp of an avocado and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil.  Blend to a smooth consistency.  Take the mixture and massage it into the hair and the scalp.  Leave the mixture in for an hour then rinse it out with warm water.  Wash and condition as normal.

An alternative recipe is to take the pulp of a ripe avocado and mash it with one egg yolk.  Thin the mixture with coconut milk to the consistency of thick cream.  Now massage the mixture into your scalp for 5 mins using the tips of your fingers and a circular motion.  Leave the treatment on the hair for an hour and then rinse with warm water.  Shampoo and condition as normal.

Both of these treatments can be done once a week to promote a healthy scalp and shining bouncy hair. Covering our hair with a wig, scarf or hat is not the answer.   There are many remedies for repairing damaged hair but understand that they can all go only so far.   If you use these remedies and they do not make a significant difference within a few weeks consider a good trim or cut.  This may be the only way to go but don’t obsess over the length of your hair, rather have healthy hair as the length will grow back.

Egg

Eggs are not only a nutritious food for your body, but they also provide excellent nourishment for your hair.  The yolks of eggs are packed full of protein, essential fatty acids, and minerals that are highly nutritious for your hair and scalp. In addition to this, there are enzymes in the albumen that will clean your hair and scalp. Egg will help to repair the hair shafts and smooth the cuticle layer helping to deal with frizzy hair and dryness.   Vitamins B and E, found in eggs, will rejuvenate the hair and Vitamin A increases the natural production of sebum which will moisturize the hair.

Take an egg and crack it into a bowl. Whisk the egg and when it is firm and frothy, massage the egg mixture into your scalp and down the length of your hair.  Take the time to massage it in well. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave it on for at least 20 minutes. Rinse the mixture off with cool water and then shampoo and condition as normal. Another way of using egg to enhance the condition of your hair is to take two eggs and break them into a bowl.  Add ½ cup unsweetened, natural yogurt, juice of one lemon and a couple of tablespoons of olive or sweet almond oil. Whisk this to a creamy consistency and apply it to the scalp and hair. Massage the mixture in well and cover your head with a towel.  Leave the treatment on for at least 30 minutes and then rinse off with cool water.  Shampoo and condition as normal.

Adding cucumber to an egg mask enhances the moisturizing properties as well. Take an egg and place in a blender. Chop a cucumber (skin and all) and add to the blender with enough coconut or olive oil to make a smooth paste. Massage this into your hair and scalp and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse off with cool water and shampoo as normal.

Another versatile and nourishing hair mask is to use eggs, olive oil and vitamin E. Take 3 egg yolks and beat them until light colored and fluffy. Add a tablespoon of olive oil (you can use jojoba or sweet almond as well) and 5 drops of vitamin E oil. Mix well and massage the hair and scalp. Leave the mixture in for at least 15 minutes and then rinse with cool water and shampoo as normal. If you have issues such as dandruff or an irritated scalp, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to this mixture to help alleviate these problems. These treatments can be applied once every two weeks.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is one of the most useful products that you can keep in the pantry. Not only is it fabulous for your hair it is also wonderful as a face mask and, of course, but you can also use it as a laxative sometimes when suffering from constipation. The juice from this marvelous plant contains antioxidants and vitamins.

Aloe Vera has proteolytic enzymes that help in the nourishment of the hair and helps to repair the damaged cells. It has anti-inflammatory properties that work wonders for your scalp. It reduces itchiness and dryness as it removes dandruff and the flakes.

You can apply raw Aloe Vera juice directly onto your hair, leave it to soak in for approximately 15 minutes and then rinse off with cool water. Shampoo and condition as per normal. For a richer and deeper treatment, take four tablespoons of Aloe Vera gel and mix it with two tablespoons of coconut oil and three tablespoons of natural yogurt. Mix well and apply to your hair.  Make sure that the mixture saturates the hair. Leave this treatment on for at least 30 minutes and then rinse with cool water. Shampoo and condition as normal.

These treatments can be undertaken on a weekly basis. Apart from the clothes that we wear one of the most important components of looking good is our hair. Clean, shiny hair is our crowning glory, but if it is dry, damaged, brittle and not looking good, it had a serious impact on how we view ourselves. Aloe vera is a great option to overcome the problem of these hair problems.  

Coconut Oil

This wonderful, natural product is high in lauric acid which has an incredible affinity for the proteins in your hair, so it penetrates the hair shaft with ease and closes the cuticles thus preventing damage, locking in moisture and leaving the hair soft, manageable and shiny.  Take enough oil to saturate your hair and scalp and pour it into a small bowl. Warm the oil in the microwave or by placing it over a pot of hot water. You do not want the oil scalding hot; it must simply be body temperature so you can comfortably massage it into your scalp and soak the length of your hair.

Cover your head and leave the oil mousse in your hair for several hours or preferably overnight to allow the oil plenty of time to penetrate deeply into the hair shafts. Wash and condition as per normal. This treatment can be done several times a week for a rapid improvement. Once your hair has recovered its natural bounce and shine, you can use the treatment once or twice a week.

Another wonderful way to use the oil is to take 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and mix it thoroughly with ¼ cup of honey. Massage the mixture into your hair and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and shampoo and condition as per normal.  This treatment can be done a couple of times a week, and these two natural products combine exceptionally well to ensure your hair swiftly recovers its condition.

Combining two of nature’s greatest oils by using coconut and avocado together will make one of the deepest nourishing masks for hair. Take the pulp of a ripe avocado and mash well. Mix in enough coconut oil to make a smooth paste that you can spread over your hair. Massage this into your hair very well and leave in for at least 60 minutes. Rinse with cool water and shampoo as normal.  This will provide deep conditioning for your hair and will help repair the damage caused by sun and harsh chemicals. It can be used weekly.

Banana

Here is another wonderful natural product that will have a lasting effect on your hair.  This fruit is very high in potassium, loaded with natural oils and bursting with vitamins that will fortify and strengthen your hair. The vitamin A in bananas encourages the production of sebum which will help moisturize the hair. These treatments will help to soften your hair and give it a degree of elasticity making it stronger and better able to withstand brushing and combing.

Take one or more ripe bananas (depending on the length of your hair) and mash well.  Work the pulp into your hair and then find a warm place to sit and relax for an hour. Rinse off with warm water and shampoo and condition as usual. Alternatively, take the mashed bananas and add a couple of tablespoons of warmed coconut oil. Apply this to your hair and leave in for an hour. Rinse off with warm water and shampoo and condition as usual.

For a deeper treatment use banana to make a hair mask that you can leave on for an hour and then rinse off.  Take a couple of very ripe bananas and blend with two tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of honey. Apply this mask to the hair massaging it well into the hair. Wrap your head in a warm towel and find that warm spot to relax for an hour or two. Rinse well with warm water, shampoo and condition as per normal. This treatment works well when applied once a week to keep hair in tip-top condition.

Another deep treatment mask can be made using banana, papaya, and yogurt. Take equal quantities of banana, papaya and natural yogurt (or sour cream) and mix together well.  Apply generously to your scalp and massage well down to the tips of your hair. Cover with a shower cap and leave on for the next 30 minutes. Rinse off with cool water and then shampoo as normal. The ingredients in this mask will nourish your scalp as well as leave your hair smooth, sleek and smelling gorgeous. 

Hibiscus

Hibiscus or rosa-sinensis is a tropical shrub, and the leaves and flowers make a wonderful treatment for your hair. The roots of this treatment come from Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine and have been used for many hundreds of years. Not only does it make a deep conditioning treatment it is also renown as a herb that promotes hair growth, and it also has anti-greying properties. This means that you can keep those dreaded grey hairs at bay while enjoying a treatment that will leave your hair soft, shining and full of life.

Take a cup of coconut, olive or almond oil and crush 8 – 10 hibiscus flowers into the oil.  Heat the oil slowly until the flowers are charred. Strain the oil and when it is just warm massage it into your hair and scalp. Leave it on for around 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Shampoo and condition as normal.

Take a pestle and mortar and grind up 3 or 4 hibiscus leaves and the petals from 2 or 3 hibiscus flowers using a little water to make a paste. Apply this paste to your hair and leave it on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Shampoo and condition as normal.

Obviously, if you have long or very thick hair, you may need to double or treble these quantities but make enough to thoroughly soak the hair. Initially use these remedies at least twice a week to bring your hair back to its natural shine and condition, but then you can reduce the treatments to once a week.

Black Tea

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice cup of tea?  Well not only is tea a pleasant anytime drink it is also very good for your hair. Tea is a rich source of vitamins C and E as well as polyphenols. It starts the repair process for damaged hair and leaves it soft and shiny. Black tea will also protect hair against damage from UV rays so it should be a permanent fixture of everyone’s’ summer hair treatment routine.

Tea will enhance the color of your hair, so if you are blonde, you may be better off using chamomile tea instead of black tea. Brunettes can use black tea. This treatment is slightly different from many others in that it is a final rinse for use after you have shampooed your hair.  It will provide all the benefits listed above as well as leaving your hair smelling wonderful.

Take a cup of boiling water and drop in one black tea bag. Leave the mixture to steep for the next 10 minutes while you wash your hair. By then it should be cool enough to touch.  If it is not, add a little cold water until it is a comfortable temperature.

Drop in a couple of drops of jasmine or any one of your favorite essential oils. Pour the mixture over your head making sure that you soak your hair thoroughly. Leave it on for at least 15 minutes and then rinse off with cool water. Style your hair as normal

White Vinegar

The clarifying properties inherent in white vinegar will help to remove the build-up of residue from the hair shafts as well as helping the cuticles to close. This will lock in moisture and leave the hair soft, shining and easy to manage. For retaining moisture there are other methods too. Gently massage your scalp for a few minutes before bed. Not only does this feel great it will stimulate the hair follicles.

Wash your hair with a mild shampoo.  Try not to wash it every day unless you have to. If you do have to wash it every day, then ensure you use deep conditioning treatments to ensure your hair does not dry out and become damaged. Gently squeeze the water from your hair when you have washed it or after swimming. Do not take a towel and roughly scrub the hair dry

Not only is vinegar good for your hair, but it will also help to restore the pH balance of your scalp and will help to promote healthy hair growth. Take a cup of good quality white vinegar and mix it with 3 cups of warm water.

After shampooing, pour the vinegar mixture over your head making sure you thoroughly soak the hair. Leave it in for 5 minutes and then rinse it out with cool water. Style as normal. This treatment should not be used more than once every two weeks.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Another common resident of the pantry is apple cider vinegar, and it is not only good for weight loss, but it can also be used as a final rinse for our hair. There is evidence that using this rinse, immediately after coloring your hair, will help to lock in the color.  Many colorants have an alkaline pH which tends to open the hair’s cuticle.

Using a simple apple cider and water mix as a final rinse immediately after coloring will help to close the cuticle, thus locking the color in. Mix one part apple cider vinegar with four parts of water to make the rinse.

To make a treatment for your hair, take 3 egg whites and place them in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of your favorite oil (jojoba, coconut, olive or almond) and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Mix well and then massage into your hair. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave in for at least 30 minutes. Rinse the mask out with cool water and then shampoo as normal.

You also must be aware of the health benefits of the apple cider vinegar when consumed. You are what you eat, and this is also true for your hair. Follow a healthy eating plan and include lots of leafy, green vegetable and fruits. Drink plenty of water during the day. Follow a moderate exercise plan, so your body is in tip-top condition. The health of your body will reflect in your hair.

Henna

Henna has been used for many hundreds of years as a treatment for hair. It is the best beauty treatment that India has ever shared with the rest of the world. Remember that henna is a natural dye so it will color your hair.

Henna works by penetrating the hair shaft and binding to the keratin, strengthening the cuticle and making the hair more resistant to breaking. To make a deep conditioning treatment make a cup of black tea by dropping a tea bag into a mug of boiling water. Allow the tea to steep and remove the tea bag.

Place 5 tablespoons of henna powder in a bowl and add enough tea to make a thick paste. Add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons natural, plain yogurt. Apply the paste to your hair and leave it on for an hour. Rinse the mixture off with cool water and then shampoo as normal.

Another deep condition treatment can be made by taking a ripe banana and mashing it.  Add henna powder to the banana until you have a thick paste. Apply this paste to your hair and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse off with cool water and shampoo as normal.

Rice Milk

Rice milk and honey makes an excellent deep conditioning treatment for your hair and is especially good for dry hair with split ends. To make rice milk, take a cup of rice (white or brown) and soak it in 4 cups of water overnight.  Next morning drain but do not rinse the rice. Place the rice in a blender with 4 cups of water and blend for at least 3 minutes. Place a muslin cloth over a bowl and pour in the blended mixture. Allow the rice milk to strain through the muslin cloth.

It has inositol, a carbohydrate, that is found to be useful to repair damaged hair. A research shows that inositol stays inside the hair even after you rinse, helping greater hair protection and keep them shiny. The amino acids in the rice water has a direct effect on the scalp. It keeps the roots strong, provides nourishment to hair which makes them look shiny and provides volume. These amazing benefits tell us loud the 6 feet, strong and healthy, and beautiful hair of the Yao women who have been known to be using Rice milk and water for hair care for centuries.

Take a cup of the rice milk and mix in 2 tablespoons of honey. Massage the mixture into your hair paying close attention to the ends. Leave in for 20 – 30 minutes, rinse with cool water and shampoo as normal. For keeping your crowning glory soft, shiny and bouncing with good health. Granny used to advocate brushing your hair for 100 strokes before going to bed.

This is good advice but use a soft bristle brush and be gentle with your hair. Stress will quickly show up in limp, damaged hair. If you are in a highly stressful environment, take time to learn how to relieve the stress, and your hair will thank you for it, along with the rest of your body! Use hair accessories that are gentle on your hair. Avoid accessories that will tangle in your hair causing you to tug to get them out.

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise, yes that delicious salad dressing that you have in the fridge is packed full of L-cysteine. L-cysteine is a very powerful antioxidant that will give your hair strength, shine and add volume to give a lovely thick head of hair. It’s actually the egg yolks in mayonnaise that are beneficial for hair growth. It’s safe and an inexpensive method to promote hair growth.

You need a full-fat creamy mayonnaise. Take a huge scoopful and start slathering it all over your hair from root to tip. Cover your head with a warm towel of a shower cap and look for a comfy spot to while away 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse the mayo from your hair with cool water and shampoo as normal.

An alternative is to take a cup of full-fat mayonnaise and blend well with a handful of fresh strawberries. Massage the mixture into your hair and cover your head with a shower cap.  Leave the mixture in for 20 minutes, rinse with cool water and shampoo as normal.

The strawberries will work to clear excess oil from your scalp, and the mayonnaise will work with the strawberries to nourish your hair shaft. The fatty acids and vitamins in the mayonnaise stimulate hair growth and help sealing moisture in the hair. 

Beer

Beer is one of the most nutritious drinks around and is full of lovely B-vitamins that will help heal damaged hair and give it a lustrous sheen with a soft touch. Beer is especially good for limp, tired hair as it will give the hair a life and bring it back to life. Take a beer and pour it into a bowl. Leave it to go flat. Mix in 2 cups of water.

After shampooing your hair as normal, pour the beer mixture through your hair, making sure to wet all the hair shafts. Dry your hair by squeezing it in a towel and allow to dry naturally.  This final rinse can be used several times a week.

A quick fix for oily hair, if you have no time to shampoo, is to place cornstarch or baking soda in a shaker and liberally shake all over your head. Brush the powder out of your hair for an instant lift until you can shampoo properly.

Try to let your hair air dry instead of blasting it with hot air from a dryer. Limit the number of hot appliances you use on your hair. Make sure you thoroughly rinse your hair in fresh water after swimming in either a pool or the sea. Protect your hair from the damaging UV rays from the sun. Wear a pretty sun hat to protect the fine skin on your face as well.

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