By popular demand, I am ready to share two fantastic herbal recipes for hair products after an extended period of testing: hair spray and hair gel. These recipes are so simple to make and each performed better than my expectations.
Clients have shared various reasons with me why they are interested in switching from popular brands. For many, making their own provides comfort for themselves, to ensure the ingredients are as organic and toxin free as possible. Not only do our bodies consume the food we ingest but also the products we apply externally. For some, it’s a conscientious decision around chemical sensitivies or even ethical issues such as with vegans. For me, my hair tends to turn into a frizzy looking cotton ball, like some of the characters in a Dr. Suess book, and taming my hair for the public seems like the humanitarian thing to do. Often homemade hair products cost less than their store bought counterparts. Making these recipes in your home could also just be good old-fashioned fun where you get to control the outcome or a neat project to do with children to make gifts.
Remember to test all products on a small area before applying widespread. Although these contain mainly edible products, I would not suggest ingesting these. And keep in mind that it is a good idea to run through each recipe once but these recipes are very flexible to allow you to adjust them to meet our desired results. Have lots of fun and play around with some of the suggestions or create your own.
•1-2 citrus fruits: lemon, orange, tangerine (depending on size)
•2 cups water
•1 T witch hazel
•5-10 drops of essential oil of your choice (optional)
•Reuse a thoroughly cleaned spray container.
To prepare: Choose any citrus you prefer. Scrape the peels for the zest into a stove pot. Boil in the water and reduce by half. You can also do the tea steeping method and use half the amount of water but I prefer to really cook this down. After cooking and things have cooled down a bit, add the witch hazel and essential oil. I prefer scents like cedar and pine. Others might prefer the more floral scents. You can look up essential oils in an aromatherapy book for additional benefits. For the spray container, I reuse a great glass bottle from a spray deodorant put out by a well-known German manufacturer sold in most stores. Also I have used more than the recommended amount of fruit zest, which worked fantastically but the extra strength ended up clogging the spray nozzle rendering that bottle useless until recently. That bottle apparently broke down enough to re-continue use!
•½ - 1 tsp plain gelatin OR ¼ - 1 tsp Agar Agar
•1 cup warm water
•1 T Witch Hazel
•5-10 drops essential oil of your choice (optional)
•Reuse a thoroughly cleaned container.
To prepare: Simply bring the water to a low simmer, and add the gelatin or Agar Agar and let cook for about 15 minutes in order to thoroughly dissolve and mix properly. Add Witch Hazel and essential oil if desired (see comments above in hair spray.) For people with ethical concerns, the Agar Agar might be a better option and the one I used. Gelatin presents concerns for vegans especially. In either case, start with the lower end of the measurements in your first round, then you can increase based on your results and your preferences. Results will very depending on brands used, water types, and elevation. Once the gel has finished cooking on the stove it will look like a shiny silky water. Don’t be disappointed, as it will definitely turn into the “gel” consistency after a couple hours of cooling. I got a little concerned in my first test and added too much. Much later I found that I had created a gel brick that was beyond applicable hair gel properties.
Results for both: I had expected each product to spoil quickly, however the Witch Hazel and essential oil act very well as a preservative and they show no deterioration after about three. I have had each product in and out of the refrigerator, which is not recommended. Recommended is keeping these in the fridge for longer storage. Ultimately you can decide what you are comfortable with. Typically I don’t believe these small amounts should last so long for daily use. I’d like to reiterate the essential oils are purely optional, as many people prefer products that are scent-free.
I was quite surprised by the results. Each behaves much less like the stiff and drying products on store shelves and are more like a leave in conditioner that actually treats and feeds the hair. The hold was absolutely what I asked for, kept every hair in place, and pretty much held that way until the next day. And because it is a nourishing product, it was surprising to feel the hair felt silky soft and clean. No more complaints from partners who get creeped out by running their fingers through a head full of product.
Because water is involved, I always like to take advantage of converting this into a tea if possible, to add to the beneficial affects. Add kelp to re-mineralize and rejuvenate the hair and scalp. Certain herbs are made into a tea to enhance hair color as well.
Enhance with colors
•Dark hair – Rosemary, Thyme, Black Tea
•Light hair – Chamomile
•Red hair – Calendula
Simmer these in tea prior to making the gel and spray because straining out the herbs could become and issue and change the results.
These are definitely products I have had success with that I will continue to make going forward. I hope you have great results as well and are able to adjust the recipes as you see fit to the results you prefer. Please sharewith us your experience and any helpful tips you discover along the way. Bons cheveux!
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