In 2004 the study by University of Reading found that skin tissue of women with breast cancer in most cases contains parabens. They get into our bodies through food, hair and skin care products. While human digestive system is advanced enough to deal with damaging chemicals, our skin isn’t. As scalp is the largest area with the biggest amount of pores and follicles it’s easy for chemicals from hair care products to get into your body if you are not careful reading the labels and picky choosing your hair care products.
The development of cosmetic industry in the last 50 years has brought to the largest organ of human body – skin – many new challenges. Not just parabens but also other dangerous chemicals in commercially produced hair care products are used to aromatize and preserve these products for longer time. The question many people nowadays ask themselves is how to keep hair healthy, strong, soft and shiny without unnecessary chemicals? Nature has the answer: natural hair care – herbal infusions do the work healing and pampering also your skin.
Two Ways of Making Herbal Infusions for Hair Care
There are two methods of preparing herbal infusion for hair care: infused water and infused oil.
Preparing herbs infused water for washing or rinsing your hair is easy: pour hot water over herbs, cover with a lid and let them steep for 15 to 30 minutes. Hot water will extract the active ingredients from the plant material. When the infusion is ready, strain the liquid and use it.
Making infused oils at home take a bit more time, but they are very effective, deeply nurturing and healing to your hair and scalp. To prepare infused oils for haircare you need a natural oil of your choice (olive and jojoba are pretty popular oils for hair care), herbs and a jar with tight-fitting lid. Fill the jar with herbs, add oil, cover with a lid, shake to mix well and leave the jar in a warm place for about two months, shaking it daily to encourage the extraction of active ingredients into oil. Herb infused oils are used as hair masks: massage infused oil into your hair and leave there for at least 30 minutes, then wash and rinse your hair.
Botanicals to Use for Infusions
Herbal infusions can be made out of a great variety of plants. We would probably need a huge book to cover all botanicals that are used for herbal infusions for hair care. These are the most popular herb that have gained and kept their popularity through centuries:
Stinging nettle helps to heal different scalp conditions, for example, dandruff, sensitive skin and itchiness, it also can bring balance back to dry or oily hair, strengthen weak hair and improve hair growth stimulating scalp.
Chamomile is especially advised for naturally light hair, as it has lightening properties and it can brighten the natural light tones of your hair. Chamomile infusions soften hair and help to soothe different problematic skin conditions. It is helpful also for reducing dandruff and treating dry and oily hair.
Rosemary has hair darkening properties, so rosemary infusions are advised for keeping naturally dark hair. Besides that rosemary infusions successfully treat oily hair, dermatitis and dandruff, and are popular remedies for hair loss. It makes hair strong and shiny. By the way, rosemary has healing properties to help your brain as well – it’s one of the best natural memory stimulants.
Calendula is highly beneficial for treating different skin conditions and can help to soothe and restore balance of the skin of your scalp. It also helps to keep your hair healthy and is suitable for all hair types.
Calamus root is helpful for those who fight with weak hair and hair loss. Calamus root infusions strengthen hair and improve hair growth stimulating blood circulation in your scalp.
Burdock infusions are among the oldest and strongest remedies to pamper your hair with vitamins and strength. All parts of burdock are used for strengthening hair and helping weak hair to recover, but the most valuable part of burdock is the root. It’s used in preparations for treating dry and damaged hair, and can be successfully combined with other herbs to improve hair growth.
Natural herbal treatments are worth a lot more than you pay for chemical packed commercial hair care products. Parabens, formaldehydes, styrene and polysorbates are just a few of them. Even very small amounts of toxic chemicals can be stored into our bodies and cause serious health issues. Cosmetic industry is slowly changing and bringing to us safer hair care options, but as long as we support manufacturing of chemical products by buying and using them, they will be around us. While you haven’t found your safe hair care products give a try to natural hair care – herbal infusions cost almost nothing if you harvest herbs in wilderness, besides that, they really do the work and help to get and maintain healthy hair and scalp.
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