By Robin Silver
Haircare is a crucial part of everyone’s beauty routine. Whether that involves shaving it, dyeing it, curling or straightening, it takes effort to achieve and maintain your ideal coiffure.
Natural hair texture—curly, straight, thin, fine—as well as your living environment, weather, and changing seasons can all get in the way of the all-too elusive great hair day. Thankfully, you don’t need to drop large chunks of change at the hair salon to get your desired results. You can find solutions to just about every hair problem in your own home. With a little bit of creativity and can-do DIY spirit, nobody will be able to tell the difference.
Problem: Dull, Dry Hair
If your hair has lost some of its lustre, use the same pick-me-up you might use if you were feeling sluggish mid-afternoon: black tea. Brew some strong tea (3 tea bags or 3 tbsp loose leaf tea), let it sit until it’s room temperature, then apply to your hair by pouring it on directly or mixing it with coconut oil. Wait 10 minutes before rinsing it out, and your hair will be softer and shinier. Repeat as often as needed.
Bonus for our curly-haired friends: black tea can also help with curl loss and excess shedding.
Problem: Dry, Irritated Scalp
If your scalp is itchy, flaky, and otherwise uncomfortable, turn to the kitchen cabinet staple and DIY beauty holy grail, apple cider vinegar. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a powerful dandruff destroyer. Combine two parts water to one part apple cider vinegar. After shampooing as normal, towel dry your hair until damp. Then apply the mixture to your entire hair shaft, focusing on massaging it into the roots and scalp. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Follow up with your conditioner and styling routine as usual. Repeat weekly.
Bonus: since it also balances your scalp’s pH, the mixture can reduce frizz and remove product buildup.
Problem: Heat Or Sun-Damaged Hair
While summer offers lots of fun pastimes, swimming in a chlorinated pool or basking in the summer sun is not much fun for your hair. Summer activities can often make hair brittle, dry, and damaged. If you’ve already tried the tea rinse, maybe you can guess what the next suggestion is (something you can add it to your cuppa as well): honey! Honey is a natural humectant, which means it retains or preserves moisture. Along with its health benefits for your skin, throat, and other body parts, it moisturises your hair and scalp, reduces breakage and frizz, and restores softness and shine.
To get its full benefits, you can make a hair mask using honey as the primary ingredient. A popular and easy DIY honey hair mask recipe combines 2 parts honey with 1 part olive oil. Using raw, organic versions of both ingredients will give you the best results, but whatever you have on hand will do. You may need to heat it slightly to get a workable consistency—be careful that the mixture is a tolerable temperature for your scalp before you begin the application. Thoroughly massage the mixture in from roots to ends, cover with a shower cap, and wash out after half an hour.
Problem: Hair Loss/Lack Of Growth
Thinning hair is an embarrassing problem for many women. Others dream of luxuriously long locks, but their hair grows at a snail’s pace. The remedy for both of these is another kitchen staple and a protein-packed one at that. Eggs have numerous properties that can fortify your hair.
Whisk an egg (two if you have long hair) in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil if your hair is dry and brittle. Once thoroughly whipped, apply to your hair and leave for about twenty minutes, or until mostly dry. When you wash it, be sure to use cool water. If you use warm water, you risk cooking the egg and having hair that smells like an omelette, which while great for breakfast, is not among most people’s beauty goals. If you have oily hair, leave out the yolk—while yolk adds to the conditioning properties, it can add up to more grease for those already prone to it. The whites are still nourishing and help control oil production.
There are easy and natural recipes for any hair problem you might encounter; those listed above are only the beginning. Treating your hair with care is also of the utmost importance. Avoiding the overuse of heat and bleach, being gentle while brushing or combing, especially when wet, regular trims, and a healthy diet all contribute to the health and vibrancy of your hair. When it comes to hair care, remember: less is more!