By Lisa Maliga
Continued from Natural Fine Hair Care Tips, Part 1
Vitamins, minerals, herbs – the following will help your hair thrive. Hair care formulations, vitamin A, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, flaxseed oil, MSM [Methyl Sulfonyl Methane], silica, horsetail, biotin, B vitamin complex. Consult with your health care practitioner before taking supplements. Your hair is a reflection of your physical state Get plenty of rest. Drink enough water and exercise to suit your lifestyle. Eat fruits, vegetables, cereals, eggs, milk, and bread. Organic food is always a healthier option.
Scalp massage – An inexpensive method for helping hair growth/regrowth is to massage the scalp. Whether you buy a wood or rubber scalp massager, or opt for your ten fingers, you can invigorate and help cleanse your scalp either before shampooing, or whenever you shampoo. By stimulating your scalp you encourage the circulation, think of it as scalp aerobics, and this allows your scalp’s natural oils, sebum, to be distributed. When using your fingers, never use your nails, only your fingertips. Always massage gently, and start at the crown of your head and work your way lower.
Oils – In the book, “Aromatherapy Handbook for Beauty, Hair, and Skin Care,” author Erich Keller writes: “Since the hair is made of keratin cells, which consist almost exclusively of protein, it is particularly important to supply it with protein in the form of milk products, fish, soy products, nuts, seeds, and the essential fatty acids contained in cold-pressed vegetable oils.”
While eating healthy food is advisable, the author touches on the subject of how cold pressed vegetable oils are vital for the hair. Choosing the proper oil sometimes is a matter of experimentation. A light oil should be used for thin, fine hair, but there are those who can use a heavier oil like olive. There are various grades of vegetable oils available from unrefined to heavily refined. Unrefined oils retain their natural vitamins and minerals and are considered healthier, but their aromas can be somewhat pungent. For example, sesame seed oil, an excellent skin and hair loving oil that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, retains a darker color and nuttier aroma in its unrefined state. However, once it’s been refined, the color is lighter and there is no discernible odor.
There are many oils that are available whether in your kitchen cupboard, at your grocery store, health food store, or your favorite online shop. Experimenting with oils and their applications is necessary, sometimes you’ll discover what works for you within the first attempt, other times you may have to try out several different oils and application methods. You’ll find that organic jojoba and organic virgin coconut oil are suitable for most people with fine hair.
Oil Applications: Leave In – This involves a very small amount of oil and you can control whether it’s applied throughout your hair or only on the ends. Simply comb or brush through your dry hair.
Oiling Dry Hair – To use this method, you allow the oil to remain on your scalp and hair for approximately 20 minutes, and shampoo it out.
Oiling Damp Hair – Investing in a spray mister is a great way to easily add enough distilled or spring water so that you can dampen your hair easily. Apply the oil and comb through. Whether oiling dry or damp hair, make sure it’s free from tangles, so either combing or brushing before applying is necessary. You can choose to comb it through your hair or remain as is – it does depend upon what you’ve added. While some people feel that 20 minutes isn’t enough, others opt for an hour, and there are people who feel as though allowing the oil to remain on overnight is beneficial.
Other Applications: Clay, Dead Sea Mud, Powdered Herbs, Protein Powder, Eggs, Honey, Yogurt, Milk, Henna [neutral or colored], or Mashed Fruits – all the listed products can be used to create a hair mask which will increase its strength, encourage growth, enhance shine, and tame curls. Any of these ingredients, both singly or in combination, can be healthfully used. Read labels before purchase. If you have very fine hair, be careful about using eggs and make sure you rinse with cold water to avoid scrambled eggs!
Shampoos: To use a more natural and cost effective shampoo, consider a shampoo bar. They are simple to use, can clean your face and body, and they are easy to pack and don’t spill. All shampoo bars are formulated for fine hair. Additionally, they work in soft water and hard water areas. You can make your own, so check out the book How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars.