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Herbal hair rinses are a great tool to have in your natural hair toolkit. If you’re experiencing slow growth, limpness, dull color, or a variety of other issues, there’s an herbal rinse for that. You can also use an herbal rinse to cleanse your scalp rather than using harsh shampoos. Here’s how it all works.

What to Use Herbal Rinses For

There are a ton of uses for herbal rinses, including:

  • Grow your hair faster with rosemary, basil or thyme
  • Strengthen your hair with nettle, sage or horsetail
  • Cleanse your scalp with lavender, mint or apple cider vinegar
  • Improve the color of your hair with blackberry leaf, sage, chamomile or hibiscus

By mixing and matching these ingredients with each other, you can come up with a customized herbal blend that’s just right for your hair.

How to Make an Herbal Rinse for Hair At Home

Interested in making your own? The good news is that it’s not difficult at all. The easiest and fastest way is to bring dried or fresh herbs to a boil until the water is thoroughly infused with the herbs, then let it cool.

The internet abounds with awesome recipes, like this one that uses nettle, horsetail, and other herbs to strengthen and cleanse the hair. This recipe uses baking soda for a more complete cleansing experience. To stimulate the scalp and promote growth, try this recipe with rosemary and thyme. If you’re looking to improve your color, check out these recipes for each hair color.

How to Use an Herbal Rinse

Most herbal rinses use water as a base, but some use apple cider vinegar too. Others add different ingredients, like baking soda, essential oils or jojoba oil. No matter what type of herbal hair rinse you decide to use, you can use the same basic technique.

Firstly, herbal rinses that are water-based can simply be used plain, without diluting them further. If you use a vinegar rinse, you’ll want to mix the herbal rinse with water before applying it to your hair; the ratio depends on the length of your hair.

When should you use an herbal rinse? Use it as a final rinse when you’re washing your hair, or use to replace shampooing. You can use herbal rinses as often as you’d like.

When you’re ready, tilt your head back and slowly pour the rinse over your entire scalp and hair, making sure to work it into the scalp and through each strand. You can leave it on your hair until your next wash, or you can leave it for 10-20 minutes and then rinse with water.

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Healthy Hair: 4 Haircare Ingredients You Should Avoid

Beautiful hair starts with healthy haircare, but many commercial haircare products contain harsh ingredients that can damage your hair. Knowing which elements you should avoid will help you to make better decisions when buying your hair products. Here are four haircare ingredients you should avoid.

SLS AND SLES

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are detergents and surfactants commonly used in industrial cleaners, engine degreasers and other powerful cleaning products. SLS and SLES are also used as the base for many commercial shampoos, as they are cheap to produce, effective in removing grease, and contain foaming agents that create a rich lather.

Both SLS and SLES can irritate the scalp and cause skin reactions, including itching, flaking skin, redness, and soreness. SLS and SLES can also cause dry hair, and frequent use can lead to hair loss. Some researchers even claim that regular use of products containing SLS and SLES can contribute to the development of cancer.

PEG

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is another ingredient commonly used in industrial cleaning products. PEG is also used in many shampoos, as it dissolves grease, oil, and dirt on hair and the scalp. However, this harsh chemical can make hair more brittle and prone to breakage.

PEG can also irritate the skin and cause it to become more sensitive to other chemicals. Irritation is likely if you have damaged or broken skin. There are many different types of PEG, each with a separate number (e.g., PEG-2), some of which are more irritating to skin than others.

PG

Propylene glycol (PG) is an irritant found in many different haircare products, including hair dye, shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, and products designed to make hair look shiny and smooth.

Regular use of products containing PG can break down the proteins needed for healthy hair, damaging its structure. PG can also irritate the scalp and aggravate existing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL

Isopropyl alcohol, also known as isopropanol or rubbing alcohol, is used in antifreeze as well as in a wide range of haircare products, including hairsprays, volumizers, hair gels, conditioners, and many other styling products. Isopropyl alcohol strips hair of moisture, leaving it more prone to breakage, and can even be toxic when inhaled. Inhalation of isopropyl alcohol can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and even depression in some people.

Sulfates, polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, and isopropyl alcohol are common ingredients in haircare products, but they can dry out your hair, damage the hair follicle, and cause skin irritations. Look for alternatives to these harmful ingredients when buying haircare products, especially if you have sensitive skin, eczema, psoriasis or other skin problems.


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