A Look at Herbal Hair Care
While many of us happily refrain from using chemicals in our gardens, eating organically grown foods, cleaning our homes with natural products, etc., what about our self-care habits while caring for our hair and skin?
We may be so accustomed to shopping for hair and skin care products made by big commercial companies because they are convenient, plus it’s what we’re expected to do in a consumer-oriented culture. But if you really look into the ingredients in most of those products, you will understand how toxic many of them really can be. At the very least, our skin’s natural oils are often stripped, leaving our skin and hair too dried out and requiring yet more products to slather on in hopes of restoring moisture and softness. It’s a silly, vicious cycle that really makes no sense. Wouldn’t it be better to use something natural to gently cleanse and moisturize our skin and hair instead, ingredients that are easily available and non-toxic?
Our natural body oils contain sebum, a waxy substance produced in our body’s sebaceous glands (often grouped around our hair follicles) that moisturize and protect our skin while also forming a protective barrier against water evaporation. Our face and scalp are said to contain the highest concentration of these glands, so little wonder that the vast majority of today’s manufactured skin care products are focused on these parts of our bodies.
There are several herbs that are well known to gently support hair and skin health for all humans. These include, but are not limited to, chamomile, lavender, rose, nettle, rosemary, basil, calendula, and horsetail. These plants may stimulate circulation, strengthen and promote hair growth, and are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. They are non-toxic and earth-friendly, to mention more reasons to love them. And naturally fragrant – oh yes! Can today’s popular, dare we say expensive, hair care products on store shelves or in online “carts” say that?
Below I’ve listed a few resources you might be interested in perusing for inspiring DIY ideas for hair and skin care, including beard care. I also want to share with you information from a folk herbalist and hair healer, Arielle de Martinez, who specializes in educating others in the "No Poo" method of haircare. Arielle provides much herby insight and offers a “Sovereign Beauty Hair Healing Series”, available on her website www.arielledemartinez.com. You may also enjoy reading our brief interview with her, featured on our Instagram account, easily found by searching our hashtag #psbherbalists. She’s also on Instagram, so be sure to check out the wisdom and herbal goodness Arielle has to offer!