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You are hereHome › How to Get Lustrous Hair Without Chemicals
How to Get Lustrous Hair Without Chemicals
How to Get Lustrous Hair Without Chemicals
Winter may be over, but the season’s dry, heated indoor air, harsh winds and wooly hats often take a toll on hair—leaving it dull, parched and with about as much luster as a gray December sky. Rather than pay for a costly salon treatment, treat your tresses with a mellow, all-natural rinse that’s easily whipped up in your own kitchen.
Safe, nontoxic and gentle, these après-shampoo elixirs can be used weekly to restore luster to locks—and are even safe for color-treated hair. Use each on its own, or mix them in pairs to up the ante on their gloss-making potential. Of course, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t try these rinses if you have an allergy to any of their ingredients.
Rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6, along with proteins and natural sugars, beer has both body- and shine-enhancing virtues. No need to stock up on pricey imported brews: any natural, hops-derived beer will do, provided you let it become completely flat before using it. In fact, beer is considered so effective at adding shine and body, it’s becoming a commonplace ingredient in high-priced commercial hair products. It’s especially good for oily hair.
How to use it: Shampoo and rinse, then pour flat, undiluted beer through your hair, working it into the roots with your fingers. Style and dry as usual. You may smell a bit yeasty for a while, but the scent is temporary and will fade once your hair is dry. If you’re still sensitive to the scent, add a few drops of a favorite essential oil to the beer before applying it to your hair.
Like beer, tea has found its way into a host of hair care products. Soothing to itchy scalps, and used throughout history to address a multitude of health issues, tea is especially good for dry hair. White, green and black teas all offer scalp-soothing and shine-boosting benefits. White and green teas are best for enhancing blond and red hair, while black tea is great for darker brunette and ebony shades.
How to use it: Place three tablespoons of tea leaves or two tea bags in a teapot or other suitable container. Pour two to three cups of boiling water over the tea, and allow to steep for five to 10 minutes. Remove tea bags or strain tea leaves. Allow tea to cool until warm or tepid, and use as a final rinse over freshly washed hair.
Apple cider vinegar
Vinegar was celebrated by ancient Greek physician Hippocrates for its purported health benefits. Apple cider vinegar is prepared from the liquid left behind when apples are crushed or processed. Using slightly acidic apple cider vinegar as a rinse after shampooing restores the PH balance to scalp and hair. Additional benefits include removing buildup caused by styling products, and relief from the flaking and itching associated with dandruff.
How to use it: Mix ½ cup apple cider vinegar with 1 quart warm water. After shampooing and thoroughly rinsing, pour the cider mixture through hair, massaging into the scalp. Dry as usual (the cidery scent will fade within about an hour of drying).
Like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice is rich in fruit acids. This means it has good astringent qualities that can remove dulling product buildup and restore shine. Its astringent nature also acts as a mild exfoliant, so work it into your scalp if flaking is an issue. Sweet bonus: Unlike some other natural remedies with strong odors, lemon juice has a lovely, sunshine-filled scent. Note, however, that it can have a lightening effect on all hair colors.
How to use it: Roll an organic lemon across a table or counter surface, applying slight pressure to release the juice. Slice in half, and squeeze the juice through a strainer into 1½ cups tepid or warm water (double this recipe if your hair is especially long or thick). Pour through hair, being sure to wet the roots. Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly with warm water and style as usual.
By: Debra Bokur
Debra, a former Contributing Editor at Fit Yoga Magazine, Travel & Wellness Editor at Healing Lifestyles & Spas, and Managing Editor at Delicious Living Magazine, has been covering health, travel and wellness for over 25 years. She currently writes for Global Traveler Magazine and serves as the poetry editor at the national literary journal Many Mountains Moving. Previously, she trained horses for the sports of dressage and combined training, and worked for a variety of equestrian magazines including Spur, Horse & Rider, HorsePlay, and Discover Horses.
April 19th, 2012