While one’s hair can be an amazing way to express uniqueness, hair styling, coloring, straightening and the myriad of other things we do to our locks all eventually take a toll. The use of products and excessive application of heat or chemicals to your hair can not only damage your scalp but also break down the cuticle, the protective layer coating each strand of hair. This can leave your hair exposed, weak and prone to breaking and split ends.
Even for those of you that don’t use product, frequent exposure (or even lack of exposure) to the sun, as well as the havoc-wreaking effects of pollution and excessive use of shampoo and conditioner, can all lead to your hair becoming weaker. At first, you might hardly notice a change in your hair, but suddenly, you’ll find your hair falling and thinning simultaneously and in some cases, damage to your scalp can also develop. To combat this common but all the more heartbreaking problem, here are a few remedies you can try with various items around the house to treat your damaged hair.
1. Neem Oil
The Neem Tree is a native of India, also sometimes called the Indian Lilac. Neem Oil's scientific name is Azadirachta indica, and it is known for its numerous healing properties. It is a key ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines, derived from traditional Indian medical practices. In addition to being an anti-bacterial, anti-fungi and great for your skin (among many other properties), it can also help you protect your hair from lice and dandruff and heal damaged cuticles.
In addition to that, it is packed to the brim with fatty acids like oleic acid and linoleic acid that can moisturize dry and broken hair follicles. As an antioxidant, it also works to protect your scalp from oxidative damage (caused by these things in the body called free radicals that basically attack certain cells, like skin cells) and promotes better hair growth.
That’s right. It’s not just the perfect coating to make your movie theater popcorn delicious, it is also extremely good for treating dry hair. While there are recipes for making hair masks out of butter, it can be applied as is too. All you need is a bar of unsalted butter, left out and ever so slightly melted so that it is just the right texture to massage into your hair. After covering every inch of your hair with butter, cover it up with a shower cap and leave it for an hour. Then its time for your usual process of lather, rinse, repeat.
A point to be noted, using butter is much more effective if you avoid using a shampoo that has an excessive number of harmful chemicals. Shea butter, derived from the nut of the Shea Tree found in Africa, is also great for camouflaging split ends.
This common salty fruit is great with nachos and for your hair. It is chock full of nutrients, like vitamins A, C, E and B6, amino acids, minerals like potassium and magnesium and proteins, which make it great for strengthening your roots and moisturizing your scalp. The best part about avocados is, you don’t necessarily need to apply it to your hair for it to be effective, like butter. Just eating half an avocado a day can help your hair growth and strength improve drastically over time.
Combined with regular applications of jojoba oil, it is also great for helping you get your product-damaged hair back to its old lustrous glory. A study conducted in 2013 showed that a regular dietary inclusion of Avocados can also help in weight management and promote the health of your heart. Click Here to Read the Study!
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
This household item has an endless number of benefits for both your skin and your hair. But don’t go to a grocery store and just grab the first bottle you find. For the best effects, you’re going to need unfiltered, unpasteurized, 100% (or as close as it gets) organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV for short). It is also important to note that the best part of apple cider vinegar (for your hair at least) is what is referred to as the “mother” of vinegar. That’s the muddy thick sediment that tends to settle to the bottom.
Despite its less than savory appearance, this is the part of ACV that really does the trick. It is packed with over 30 different enzymes including, but by no means limited to, various kinds of amino acids, proteins, vitamins, minerals and alkaloids that can do wonders for a damaged scalp. t has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that can help improve the pH level of your hair and scalp and even help fight split ends.
However, this high-intensity quantity of strong, albeit beneficial chemicals increases the acidity of this mostly-liquid. So it's important to remember that if you decide to use it for your hair, mix a little less than a quarter cup of AVC with a quarter cup of water and then apply to your hair and scalp. After applying, wrap your hair up in a towel, and after 20 minutes, rinse twice thoroughly. As with all home remedies, it's most effective if done on a weekly basis. There are also recipes available to make a highly effective ACV hair mask.
Green tea, chamomile tea, black tea, earl gray, the list can go on and on. Each of these teas has its own variant set of properties that make them beneficial for your health in some way or the other. They also have their own unique positive effects on your hair and scalp. Green Tea, for example, is a fantastic applicant for reducing dandruff and making your hair grow.
Just brew a pot of it, have a cup for yourself and let the rest cool. When it's lukewarm, pour or spray it on to your hair, massage it into your scalp and cover it with a shower cap for 30 minutes. Make sure to rinse it out with cold water, and you can add honey to the mix for an extra radiance!
Chamomile tea is great for brightening blonde hair, rooibos and hibiscus are ideal for red hair, and black tea is perfect for brunettes looking to darken their locks while sage tea adds strength to grays. Honey and lemon can help the color to sink in and shine. Black tea also reduces hair loss. To make applying it easier, you can make a big pot of the tea and pour it into a spray bottle after it cools. Then, just spray it on 20 minutes before you go for a shower.
It might not be the best thing for your cholesterol, but egg yolk is absolutely amazing for your hair. It's one of those wonderful things that’s awful for you while also being so good for you. It is filled with all those nutrients and vitamins that make your hair more resistant to damage, especially in this age of smog we live in, and can also add a thick lustrous shimmer to your hair.
However, that isn’t to say the egg whites aren't packed with proteins too. You can use the entire egg, but it's also a great way to make use of the yolk if you’re on an egg white-only diet. Mix it with a little olive oil and you can make yourself a hair mask that will help moisturize the scalp and follicles.
A major problem with applying egg to your hair is the smell that follows, even after multiple washes. But its a quick fix. Just make sure to add citrus juice (i.e, lime juice) to the mixture before you begin massaging it into your scalp. It's important to note, if you have an egg allergy, it doesn't extend only to eating. The application of any substance you are allergic to on your body will result in an allergic reaction.
Take a look at a few other everyday food items that can do wonders for your hair.
7. Olive Oil
In terms of flavor, aroma and health benefits, this oil derived from the fat of the Mediterranean fruit, the olive, is fast becoming a favorite to add to food dishes and is also a tasty option for anyone practicing great weight management. It's great on pastas, salads, and your skin and hair!
Olive oil is a great moisturizer for your skin and your hair, soothing the scalp and strengthening the cuticles to promote better hair growth. But keep a lookout for high-grade olive oil, what the markets label as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is the highest grade and Standard Virgin Olive Oil.
These are especially potent and provide the most number of health benefits because they have been extracted through the process of “cold-pressing”, which essentially means extracting the oil directly from the olive. It is so beneficial largely because this form of extraction doesn’t expose the oil to any heat or chemicals that could dilute its nutrient content.
Refined Olive Oil and even what the market labels as Pure olive oil (despite it usually being a blend) are put through a fairly rigorous chemical and heat-based extraction process. Pomace oil, which makes use of the leftover olive pulp to extract oil is high in nutrients but still considered not to be high grade as a chemical process is used for extracting it.
Olive oil is easy enough to use for your hair. Just massage it into your scalp, let it sit for 20 minutes and then wash thoroughly with shampoo. Don’t forget, olive oil is a little thick and strong, so it might take two or even three washes to get it all out. But it can work its magic with just one use a week, although you can increase the number of times you apply it if you have incredibly dry hair and an immense amount of patience. Olive oil isn’t just for women, it can also help to reduce balding in men and drastically strength the scalp and roots.
This refreshing summertime healthy snack is often seen on TV covering the eyes of actors in the midst of a scene at the spa. It is well known for its rejuvenating properties for the skin and can help cool the body. That’s why you’ve probably seen a lot of face-washes and face packs using Cucumber as a major ingredient. But this vegetable-fruit can be extremely beneficial for your hair as well. And the best part about it is, you can make an all-natural totally organic and healthy hair mask or conditioner for yourself at home using just normal household items.
All you need is a quarter of a peeled cucumber, one egg and a single tablespoon of olive oil. Pop it all in the blender and get to mixing. It should eventually become a thin paste-like mixture that you can just scoop up and spread evenly through your hair, giving a little extra attention to some of the parts that are more damaged. Make sure you leave it in for at least 15 minutes and then rinse it out thoroughly. This treatment is great for regular swimmers, and applying it once a month can help combat any damage caused by exposure to chlorine.
This culinary delight also happens to come with some fantastic healing properties. Not only does consumption of it help to enhance your memory, it also works as an anti-inflammatory, anti-flu, anti-migraine, a digestive aid and can also help reduce oxidative damage in the body. But what can it do for your hair? A whole lot, as it turns out. There are two majorly useful and easy ways to use rosemary for your hair.
The first is almost effortless. You can purchase a ready-made bottle of extracted Rosemary essential oil. It’s the same kind you can use in a diffuser to make a room smell lovely. Apply and massage thoroughly into your scalp, and then wash it off with shampoo. It will help to strengthen your hair follicles right from the roots, which will reduce hair loss.
The second way of using Rosemary is more of a home remedy, but still a simple enough one. Brew yourself a big pot of Rosemary tea, strain the brew well and after the liquid cools fully, pour it (or spray it, as suggested for the other teas) onto your hair. Wrap your soaked hair up and let it sit for a while before rinsing it off. There are also ways of using Rosemary to get rid of head lice!
10. Onion Juice and Coconut Oil
These are two household ingredients (the latter especially so if you’re from anywhere in South Asia) are more than just for adding flavor to your meals. On their own, each is still quite effective as a hair treatment ingredient.
Onion juice, among its numerous health benefits, can assist in stimulating the blood flow to your scalp when applied. This can increase the rate at which your hair grows and its anti-bacterial properties help keep your scalp free of any skin diseases and can also reduce dandruff. It has even been thought to slow down the graying of hair! Coconut oil can increase the amount of Vitamin E in your hair and can also enrich your hair to better prevent loss of important proteins which can cause thinning of the follicles.
However, these two potent remedies, with their unique properties can be mixed together in the right proportions to create an amazing concoction that can do wonders for your hair. Regular applications of this mixture can add to the thickness of your hair and the strength of the roots of your hair and your scalp.
As someone who is always attempting to save my poor damaged hair from the madness I’ve done to it in an attempt to assert my individuality, I’m a firm believer in giving everything a try. And I know it’s always better to have options so you can figure out what works best for you. But all these treatments come with a fair warning. You are likely only to see results after a prolonged period of regularly applying whatever treatment you choose. So take your time to pick one you like, and then stick to it!
Oh, and here’s an added tip for any swimmers out there, try conditioning your hair, either with a standard deep conditioner or a natural protective ingredient like coconut oil, before going for your swim. This can help keep it safe from the harmful effects of chlorine and other bacteria that may be in the water. A swimming cap can also give your hair an added layer of armor. We hope these tips help you treat your damaged hair and do share this post with anyone you know that is struggling with weakened hair and hair loss.