Herbal Hair Care: 5 Hair Care Recipes

Five herbal blends for all your hair-care needs.

| August/September 1993

The recipes below are flexible; they are meant to be guidelines. One of the greatest advantages to making herbal hair preparations at home is the opportunity to experiment and find out what works best for your own hair. The list at the end of this article suggests some herbs to try.

Always make and store herbal hair preparations in non-reactive containers; otherwise, you might find your hair turning an unexpected hue. I steep my herbs in an enamel bowl and store leftovers in the refrigerator in a plastic shampoo bottle. Before trying any new herb concoction on your scalp, dab a bit of the preparation on the inside of your elbow and cover it with a plastic bandage. Wait for 24 hours and then check for redness or itching. If you don't see or feel any allergic reaction, the preparation is probably safe to use on your head.


Herbs containing saponins that can be used for shampooing hair include soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) and yucca (Yucca filamentosa, Y. glauca). Soap-bark chips, which come from the Chilean evergreen tree Quillaja saponaria and are available from some suppliers of herb products, are a good choice for oily hair. All have a gentle cleansing action.

Finely chop 2 tablespoons fresh or 1 tablespoon dried soapwort root or leaves and stems, or substitute a similar amount of yucca roots or soap-bark. Add 1 cup warm water and agitate until suds form. If desired, use half the amount of water and add the sudsy solution to an infusion made by steeping, then straining, a handful of other herbs suited to your hair type (see the listing at the end of this article).

Massage the preparation into your scalp, about 1/2 cup for average-length hair; rinse with water and repeat soaping if necessary. The solution, odorless when fresh, may begin to ferment and smell unpleasant in a few days so make only enough to use up in a short time.

Follow this shampoo with an herbal conditioning rinse (see below).

4/27/2013 3:40:35 AM

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