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Upkeep your Crowning Glory - The Herbs Way

Poohbear

Fearfully Wonderfully Made
My friend Faith (chilled_princess_06) who is a lurker here at LHCF wanted to share this article with you all. She thought it would be helpful and wanted to see your insights about it:

Herbs for Hair

Some ideas and insights into the upkeep of our crowning glory – the herbs way.

By Kanika Goswami, 11/3/2004


Our hair is actually protein matter called keratin. And news is- what we see on our head, the jungle of protein that we so passionately care about, is actually `dead’. The living part of the hair s below the surface of the scalp, called follicle, which supplies these dead cells to keep our mane flowing. At the base of the follicle is a cluster of living cells called the papilla, which eventually forms hair. Next to the follicle is the sebaceous gland that actually keeps the hair shiny and looking vibrant. Excessive sebum activity can make hair unduly oily while lack of sebum activity can make it dry and lifeless.

The hair follicle is fed by blood circulated around it, which is why a healthy body makes great looking hair. Anemia or a fall in blood count can affect the hair. In fact one can go to the extent of saying that an unhealthy body is first reflected in unhealthy hair.

This, in short is the geography of our hair. The most common complaints that every human faces some time in life are to do with hair loss, graying and lifeless hair. Irrespective of the color of your hair (decided by genetic predisposition, racial characteristics and of course, the color of the dye used), all of us face these problems in our lifetime.

The first thing that hair needs is a thorough oil massage which comes at a hefty price in hair specialists’ clinics but can be managed at a fraction of the cost at home. All you need is some authentic oils. Warm olive oil is one of the best alternatives since it nourishes as well as moisturizes the hair. Another good oil could be warmed coconut oil. The best, however, is one’s own oil, so a good brush every now and then is a great idea. However, oily hair can do without such vigorous handling of hair, so a fortnightly deep conditioning with warm oil is useful.

The remedies for other specific complaints are large in number and varied. What is however, common to all of them is, that they are all based on herbs, herbal extracts and are straight out of the kitchens of the East, but can be found in the Oriental and among exotic foods in western superstores too.

Let us take the problems one by one.

Lifeless hair can be easily remedied by a good oil massage and then perhaps, a regular henna conditioning. But graying and hair fall are graver. One has an option of taking drugs and harsh chemical treatments for these conditions, but a natural and herbal solution to the problem takes away the risk of undesirable after effects.

The first thing to know is that a certain number of hair shafts will fall everyday as a natural process. But if it exceeds about ten strands, there is cause for worry.

One of the most traditional and still very widely used treatments for promotion of hair growth naturally is henna. A herb that grows freely in the tropics, henna has been used since time immemorial to dye and condition hair as well as the skin. The court ladies in ancient India were known to dye their palms and fingernails red with crushed henna leaves, a practice that is still very much prevalent in India, during marriages and festivals. Henna, when made into a paste with other herbs and additives like gooseberry extract, maybe coffee and lemon juice, is an excellent cure for hair fall as well as lifeless hair. It also gives a auburn sheen to dark hair while tinting lighter color hair a rich deep red, with no counter effects of ammonia dyes.

In addition, one must continue the massage with warm oil routine. If fresh green coconut s available, try to massage in warm coconut milk in the hair and keep for about an hour and a half, wrapped in a towel. Then rinse with warm water. This can be done twice or thrice a week. For making hair still more soft and healthy, rub in Aloe Vera gel once a week and then rinse your hair. This should be done for at least two months for best results.

Sometimes, the reason for hair loss is some infection that is harming the follicle or the scalp and the best way to get rid of it is to wash air with water in which neem leaves have been boiled for about 5 minutes. Then this water is cooled, and used as a rinse for shampooed hair. Neem is a powerful disinfectant and completely harmless for the hair shaft. It also cures dandruff, (which again may be a cause for loss of hair).

Honey is another of nature’s gift to humankind, and is useful for solving almost every problem known to human body, both internal and external. Accordingly, a paste of warm olive oil with honey and a teaspoonful of cinnamon powder can be rubbed onto the scalp (not along hair), and left on for about 15 minutes before washing hair. It promotes hair growth and keeps hair soft and shiny. Alternately, a solution of extract of crushed olive leaves mixed with vinegar applied on hair, is also a great treatment for falling hair. A mixture of honey and egg yolk can also promote growth of hair, but leaves an unpleasant raw egg smell. This can be countered by the last rinse with lemon juice in warm water, which also acts as a conditioner.

Ayurveda recommends that one’s diet should be conducive to hair growth, a fact that modern medicine endorses. Accordingly, plenty of Vitamin A in the diet takes care of hair loss, so go for those green, leafy wonders like spinach, and tank up on salads, milk and sprouted beans. Proteins that promote hair growth could be buttermilk, wheat germ, Soya beans, whole grains and nuts. An interesting idea is to have a glass of water with one teaspoon of cider vinegar every day for two weeks.

Always remember, beautiful hair adds beauty to a personality and it is only a healthy body that can be capped with beautiful hair. So eat well, and make sure, no chemicals for your crowning glory. More on herbal remedies in the following articles.

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/11-2-2004-61097.asp
 

Nita81

New Member
Cool read!!!! Thanks for sharing. Now I just have to figure out how to massage my hair correctly while I have a sew in.
 

carameldiva

New Member
ty poohbear- i love incorporating honey in my regimine and last nite i stocked up on spinach and green french cut string beans
 
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