Throughout time, hair has served as a bodily adornment, protector from the elements, and defined the person. Growing only one-tenth of an inch per week and shedding roughly forty to eighty hairs per day hair is vital to a person.During one’s twenties, hair is at its fullest, most lustrous stage. By contrast, as the first gray appears during the thirties, hair begins to grow finer in texture and thins out through loss. This pattern picks up speed as people reach their forties and fifties.For women, as menopause sets in, hormonal fluctuations trigger radical changes in hair growth patterns, textures, and total hair mass. Hair spas have become very popular these days as they promise to combat a number of hair related problems like dandruff, hair loss and dull and dry hair. A hair spa not only helps rejuvenate the scalp and hair, but it also boosts blood circulation, thereby helping you feel relaxed and calm.
Try this five step hair spa therapy to give your hair a spa like treatment at home.
1) Scalp massage
Begin by giving your scalp a 15 minute head massage. You can pick any good carrier oil suited for your hair type or an infused oil or a combination of oils.Warm this oil a little and use your fingers to give your scalp a good massage.
2) Steam the hair
The next step is to steam your hair. For that you will need a towel or a cotton cloth dipped in hot water and then squeezed out to remove the excess water. Take this towel and wrap it around your head to cover your oiled hair. This will ensure deeper penetration of the oil in your scalp, thereby nourishing your hair better. Leave this on for another 15 minutes.
You can now wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Make sure to use cold or lukewarm water to do so as hot water causes dandruff and can damage your roots.
4) Conditioner/ Herbal Rinse
After you shampoo your hair, it is time to apply some conditioner to it.You can pick between a readymade conditioner or a herbal rinse. Leave the conditioner on for a good 10 to 15 minutes.
5) Hair mask
The final step of this hair spa is the hair mask. This hair mask will provide your hair with all the essential nourishments. You can either buy this hair mask or make your own homemade mask.
You can give yourself a hair spa once a week or twice a month to keep your hair healthy and nourished.
The lists below will help tailor the hair treatment to the needs of your hair and scalp.
Hair Oils for Hair Care
You can use a single oil or create blends that work for you.
- Normal Hair: Jojoba Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Olive Oil
- Oily Hair: Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil
- Dry, Damaged, Coarse or Frizzy Hair: Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Olive Oil, Argan oil,Virgin Coconut Oil
- Irritated Scalp or Dandruff: Virgin Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Sesame Oil
- Thinning Hair: Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil
Essential Oils for Hair Care:
- Normal hair: Carrot seed, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Cypress, Geranium, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Rosemary, Sage, Sandalwood, Thyme, Ylang Ylang.
- Dry hair: Carrot seed, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Orange, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang.
- Oily Hair: Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Tea Tree, Thyme, Ylang Ylang.
- Scalp conditions (dandruff, sensitive skin, itchiness, inflammation, dermatitis): Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Cypress, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Myrrh, Orange, Patchouli, Rose, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Tea Tree, Ylang Ylang.
- Hair loss/thinning: Basil, Cypress, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Ylang Ylang.
Herbs for Hair Care
1. Aloe Vera
Enzymes in aloe vera dissolve dead skin cells and excess sebum which can clog hair follicles. Aloe contains salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory and mild anti-biotic. Aloe gel is also an excellent moisturizer with a molecular structure similar to keratin, the prominent protein that makes up skin and hair. For this reason, aloe vera is one of the best carriers for other herbal remedies that promote hair growth.
Amla, the Indian Gooseberry contains several anti-oxidants including vitamin C which is necessary for collagen production. Elevated collagen levels accelerate production and increase strength of new hair growth. Amla is also an excellent remedy for premature greying of hair.
Basil is rich in magnesium, an often overlooked mineral that is essential for hundreds of chemical processes within the human body. When applied to hair and scalp as an herbal rinse,basil acts as an anti-inflammatory, strengthens hair against breakage, and improves circulation in the hair follicles which helps to stimulate growth.
Also commonly known as maka, Eclipta alba or bhringrajis an ancient Ayurvetic herb considered to be one of the most helpful natural means for encouraging hair growth.
5. Burdock Root
The root of the Burdock plant has many traditional medicinal uses including as an anti-inflammatory and scalp treatment. Rich in fatty-acids, burdock root oil can be used by itself or combined with other herbs such as rosemary to promote scalp health and encourage stronger hair growth.
The flowers of Calendula, also known as marigolds are rich in minerals and anti-oxidants. Calendula oil applied to the scalp promotes growth of stronger hair by increasing collagen production and circulation in hair follicles.
Fenugreek is a vitamin-rich herb that helps to improve circulation and stimulate hair growth. Fenugreek seeds should be soaked in water overnight then ground into a fine paste.
Lavender oil stimulates circulation in the scalp, strengthens new hair growth, and helps to balance the natural oil production of the scalp, making it a popular choice for people of all skin types. As an added bonus, lavender oil is also a natural insect repellant which can ward off disease-carrying parasites like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and head lice.
9. Horse tail
Mineral-rich Equisetum arvensa is a hugely popular natural solution for promoting hair growth and a healthy scalp. Horsetail works by stimulating blood vessels that supply oxygen to hair follicles. Also, horsetail contains quercetin, a flavonoid with anti-allergy and anti-viral capabilities and silica a nutrient which helps to repair damage and fortify new and existing hair against breakage.
Hibiscus flowers contains vitamins and anti-oxidants that improve scalp and hair health. Add fresh blossoms (or if you can’t find them fresh, use dried hibscus) to coconut oil and grind into a fine paste. When applied to scalp and hair regularly, this mixture increases hair growth while at the same time warding off premature greying and dandruff.
The flowers of the hops plant, Humulus lupus contain a nourishing oil that is widely recognized as a hair growth stimulant as well as for its ability to thicken and strengthen existing hair. Furthermore, hops flower oil is a natural anti-septic which can help to combat infections of the scalp and hair follicles.
12. Oat Straw
Oat straw, Avena sativa is another herbal source of silica and magnesium which promotes scalp health and hair growth.It is very effective for dry scalp conditions.
Marshmallow root is also rich in mucilage, a natural hair detangler. It contains lauric acid, the medium chain fatty-acids present in coconut oil which give the fruit its outstanding list of health benefits.
Glycosides, triterpene saponins, and flavonoids naturally occurring in licorice root work to nourish the scalp and heal damage caused by fungal infection, eczema, environmental allergens, and chemical exposure.
This esteemed herb contains vitamins B and C, as well as magnesium, zinc, and potassium, all of which improve the growth and strength of hair. Sage is also antibiotic and anti-allergic, and anti-septic making it ideal for healing skin ailments that may stunt hair growth.
Acacia concinna, a shrub native to the warm plains of Asia has been used for thousands of years as an herbal hair cleanser as it promotes growth,strengthens roots and improves scalp health.Dried shikakai fruit may be ground into powder or steeped in warm water to make a healing cleanser.
Thymus vulgaris is known to have anti-septic and anti-fungal properties. Thyme also contains minerals magnesium, potassium, and selenium which are known to promote stronger hair growth.
The aquatic herb,watercress is richly packed with vitamins and minerals including biotin which has proven benefits for skin health and stronger hair growth.
Yarrow is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and astringent making it an ideal herbal remedy for treating scalp conditions which may stunt hair growth. Because it is high in natural saponins and fatty-acids, yarrow extract is perfect for making natural scalp and hair cleansers.
Nettle,stimulates the scalp, improves circulation, and helps promote promote fuller, more radiant hair. Nettles have a long-standing reputation for preventing hair loss and making the hair soft and shiny. Nettle, an excellent hair conditioner, is rich in minerals and plant hormones, is tonic and astringent and gives a healthy gloss to hair.
Plantain,a weed commonly found in the wild, moisturizes the scalp and is one of the most effective anti-itching herbal remedies available. It is a good scalp stimulant and used in many hair loss treatments.
22. Rose petals
Rose Petals,has healing properties that are useful in treating mild scalp inflammation, moisturizing and nourishing qualities that promote shine and stimulating properties that increase blood supply in the scalp to promote hair growth.
Seaweed or Kelp, mineral rich, adds protection to the surface of hair, reducing moisture loss and infusing it with vitamins. The proteins, in particular, seem to strengthen roots, add body and shine and condition the scalp and hair.
24. Yucca Root
Yucca Root,an emollient that contains natural saponins, a natural cleansing and foaming agent, making it an ideal ingredient in shampoo and other hair care products. It soothes and nourishes the scalp.
Mullein, rich in mucilage, has been used as a soothing emollient for inflammatory scalp conditions and dry hair and scalp.
26. Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm, a mild astringent, makes a very good rinse for those with oily hair. The toning properties of Lemon Balm help balance and refresh hair and scalp.
27. Green Tea
Green Tea, is loaded with antioxidants which benefit the hair and scalp by preventing hair loss and soothing hair conditions like dandruff and psoriasis. It contains natural vitamin C which helps guards against damage from UV rays, vitamin E which helps dry or damaged hair and panthenol which helps strengthen and soften hair and prevents split ends.
Ginger Root,helps increase scalp circulation which stimulates hair follicles and encourages growth. The fatty acids composition of ginger root is great for thinning hair. Ginger also has antiseptic properties that work to help with dandruff.
Flaxseed or linseed,comes from the flax plant, an annual herb. It is rich in mucilage, a complex mixture of polysaccharides that form a soothing gelatinous substance when water is added. The mucilage provides slip like a conditioner that helps detangle hair. Flaxseed, very rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, strengthens the hair shaft and may help with hair loss.
Dandelion root rich in iron, helps treat dandruff and dry hair issues. Dandelion leaves are loaded with minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin A, that help balance sebum.
31. Elder Flowers
Elder Flowers, are mildly astringent and help soothe a dry, irritated scalp. Hair-softening elder flower also helps dry damaged hair.
Comfrey,soothes and stimulates the scalp, and enriches lifeless hair. Comfrey tea, made from root or leaves, poured over hair as a rinse, makes hair soft.
Chamomile,is used to soothe the scalp and condition hair. Chamomile makes a fantastic hair rinse,strengthens scalp tissues, and promotes healthy hair growth by correcting issues with scalp
Aritha,also known as Soapnuts, is an excellent hair tonic, long known for its benefits for healthy hair and scalp. Used for centuries as an anti hair loss shampoo, the natural antifungal and antibacterial properties may help with dandruff. The natural saponins not only cleanse hair, they add body and sheen and make hair feel thicker, silky and smooth.
Parsley is full of vitamins and anti-oxidants which increase keratin and collagen production in the scalp, increase circulation, promote healthy hair growth, and protect skin and hair from damage by free-radicals. Parsley also contains zinc and copper which work together to regulate metabolism and synthesize melanin, the pigment that protects skin and hair from sun damage.
The moisturizing oil contained in peppermint leaves is anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. When applied to the scalp, peppermint oil can help to heal chemical, microbial, or environmental damage while also stimulating growth by boosting circulation and stimulating hair growth.
37, Rose Hips
The fruit of Rosa canina, the wild rose is one of the best sources of vitamin C (containing around fifty percent more than oranges) making rose hips a powerful herbal stimulant for hair growth. Simmer or soak rose hips in water until they become soft enough to crush.Avoid over-cooking rose hips as vitamin C is heat-sensitive and denatures when boiled.
Rosemary is vitamin-rich, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and by far one of the most popular and effective herbs for scalp health and hair growth.
Herbal infused oils, great for treating damaged, dry, dull, or frizzy hair and scalp conditions, are a terrific way to supply additional moisture to the hair shaft and naturally sooth and condition the hair and scalp.
Directions: Place approximately 3-5 tablespoons of herbs in a glass jar. Cover with 1 cup of organic carrier oil and steep this mixture in a tightly closed jar for two weeks. Shake the jar daily. Once infused, strain out the herbs.
Tip: If you don’t want to wait two weeks, speed up infusion by gently warming the mixture on the stove at a very low heat for about 15-20 minutes and then steep overnight.Use this oil for your hair oil massage treatment.
Hot herbal oil blend
Directions: Warm 1/4 cup of coconut oil and olive oil and 1 tablespoon of castor oil till warm to touch and add 6 drops of rosemary essential oil. Apply to dry hair, either the whole scalp or just to the ends to prevent split ends. You can also use argan oil if you have really coarse hair.
Wrap head in hot towel and leave it on for at least 20 minutes.
I.e Make your own oil blends as suited to your needs with herbs or essential oils etc .
Herbal Tea Hair Rinse
Directions: Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 3 or more tablespoons of herbs. Steep for at least 30 minutes covered. Strain herbs from the tea and make sure it’s not too hot. As you slowly pour the tea over your wet head, massage the infusion into your hair and scalp. Keep a large bowl under your head to catch the liquid and reapply several times. Gently rinse with cool water or, for extra conditioning benefits, just leave it in and towel dry hair.
Herbal Vinegar Rinse
Vinegar rinses have the same advantages as water-based hair rinses, and they also help restore hair’s pH balance. Vinegar is beneficial for oily hair, itchy scalp, dandruff, dull hair, and other scalp conditions. To make, place 3 tablespoons dried organic herbs and 8 oz organic Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass jar, cap tightly, and infuse for 3-6 weeks. Shake the jar daily. Once infused, strain the herbs out. To use, apply 1-2 tbsp herbal infused vinegar to damp hair and scalp and thoroughly massage in, then rinse out with water. Or combine the infused vinegar with water and rinse hair.The infused vinegar will keep for at least a year if stored properly in a cool and dry area.
Some basic hair masks
1) Protein Hair Mask
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 avocado
Mash egg and avocado together. Apply to the ends of your hair and massage all over your head if needed. Wait 10-15 minutes and rinse with cool water. Shampoo and rinse again. The protein and fats in the yolk add moisture, and the avocado oils smooths out frizz.
2) Hibiscus Hair Mask
- Hibiscus petals
- Raw milk
- Olive oil
Soak hibiscus petals in water overnight. In the morning, blend them with raw milk or olive oil. Apply this mask on your hair. Rinse with water after 20-25 minutes. This pack will make your strands silky and soft.
3) Fenugreek Hair Mask
- Fenugreek seeds
- Amla powder
- Hibiscus petals
- Lemon juice( dandruff) optional
Soak fenugreek seeds in water for a night. Grind them in the morning with the rest of the ingredients to get a thick paste. Apply it on your head. Leave it on for 20-25 minutes. Before rinsing off with a mild shampoo, massage your head.
4) Oatmeal hair mask
- Almond milk/ fresh milk
Blend the two together And apply it on your scalp.Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse thoroughly using a mild shampoo followed by conditioner.
Note: Oils and hair masks can be made to suit your needs.Please be aware of any allergic reactions to any ingredients.Kindly use organic products for such treatments.