DIY Herbal Hair Recipes
As previously mentioned, I’m horrible at maintaining my natural hair. I am a work in progress though, and day by day I get better. My hair spends most of its days in braids, under wigs, getting oxygen in the evenings when I take my wig off, or on weekends when I wash and rinse my hair. I have a ways to go when it comes to a healthy relationship with my hair, but I’m glad to state that we are on SUCH better terms now. She no longer goes weeks without air or moisture! She gets good treatment now! She gets herbal hot oil treatments, and herbal hair rinses, AND she gets steamed…I mean. Come on. We’ve come a long way.
Adding natural and botanical ingredients to your hair routine will help your hair grow and maintain a solid growth process throughout all 4 stages of hair growth. (I’ll go further into the 4 stages of hair growth in a future post) Natural products like ACV can add shine and detangle, while botanical ingredients like peppermint or nettle can stimulate growth. Depending on what your desired result is, there are dozens of different herbal hair rinses you can do on your hair.
Herbal hair rinses and oils have been formulated and used for centuries by our ancestors who knew the benefits of each herb and how to formulate depending on what their hair (and scalp!) needed. They knew that each and every herb had its own properties and when used singularly or formulated together, added glorious benefits to their hair and scalp.
How to do a herbal hair rinse depends on the person. Personally, I like to steep the herbs in water for a little while and strain. I then transfer the cooled mixture to a spray bottle and spritz my hair until it's saturated, but not dripping. Then I let it sit for 30 min under a towel or turban and go about my business. Sometimes, though, I take that cooled mixture and stand in the shower and pour the entire pot over my head in a modified FLASHDANCE move. (I'm a millennial, we reference the 80's here) Other times after saturating my hair I put my hair in a plastic shower cap and put a thermal conditioning cap on for about 30 min to do a deep conditioning steam!!
Below you will find some common herbs used in botanical hair care. I encourage you to DIY and make your own based on what you know about your own hair. I’ve also included 3 recipes for some common ailments that affect most black women at one point or another…no matter what curl pattern you have. Have fun creating your own hair rinses, and make sure to leave a comment below with your very own formulation!
Common Hair Herbs
Nettle – Rich in silica and sulfur. Silica strengthens hair and sulfur influences hair growth.
Peppermint - Known stimulant. Increases circulation, influences hair growth and prevents hair loss.
Horsetail – Rich in silica, highest concentration of silica in any plant! Helps with shine and luster.
Rosemary – Promotes hair growth. Relieves dry, flaky scalps. Helps with dandruff.
Lavender – Prevents hair loss and shedding. Encourages hair growth.
Black Tea – Promotes growth, stimulant. Enhances color, adds sheen and shine.
Green Tea – Increases healthy hair texture, stimulates growth. Reduces sun damage.
Apple Cider Vinegar–Clarifies and exfoliates your scalp, helping with product buildup, dandruff, and oily hair.
Witch Hazel – Absorbs oil and cleanses scalp and hair. Increases circulation in the scalp.
Chamomile – Promotes hair growth, brightens hair, prevents split ends.
Yarrow – Relieves itchiness, promotes thickness.
Lemon Balm – Astringent, tones hair and combats oiliness.
Calendula – Protects the hair from free radicals, hydrates and brightens hair and scalp.
Comfrey – Detangles and smooths hair.
Rose – Moisturizes and conditions hair.
Dandelion – Helps with dry hair, lightens hair.
Parsley – Enriches color, helps with dandruff.
Sage – Astringent and toner, helps with dryness.
Mullein – Soothes irritated scalp, lightens hair.
Herbal Hair Recipes
Hair loss or slow to grow? Try this!
Herbal Stimulant Rinse
Horsetail – Peppermint – Nettle – Rosemary – Lavender – Black Tea
Mix well and store in resealable container.
To use, steep 4 tbsp of mixture in 2 cups of water for 45 min. Strain herbs from water and let water cool. Transfer to a spray bottle and spray on my hair until saturated. Leave hair damp and saturated for 15-30 min under a towel or a twist turban and rinse out. You can also just towel dry and style hair as usual.
Oily or dandruff ridden hair? Try this!
Herbal Clarifying ACV Rinse
Witch Hazel – Yarrow – Lavender – Chamomile – Lemon Balm
Mix well and store in resealable container.
To use, steep 4 tbsp of mixture in 2 cups of water for 45 min. Strain herbs from water and let water cool. Add 2-4 tbsp of ACV to mixture and transfer to spray bottle. Spray mixture onto hair and let saturate damp for 15-30 min, rinse, and style hair as usual.
Dull, dry, sad hair? Try this!
Herbal Conditioning Rinse
Chamomile – Dandelion – Mullein – Parsley – Sage – Green tea
Mix well, store in resealable container.
To use, steep 4 tbsp of mixture in 2 cups of water for 45 min. Strain herbs from water and let water cool. Use spray bottle to saturate hair, or pour over head in your best flashdance move (in the shower please!)