Thursday, June 17, 2010
Hibiscus (also known as rosemallow or jamaica) has many natural properties which have been valued through out the ages. One of its traditional uses is hair care.
This flower is used for curing dandruff. Hibiscus extracts are used in hair oils, shampoos, hair tonic and conditioners.
Many Ayurvedic hair oil formulations contain hibiscus. The crushed dried flowers are used as a hair dye as each hibiscus flower yields a natural dark purplish dye which may be used to colour premature grey hairs.
The human hair is made up of approximately 85% complex protein called Keratin, the balance consists of water, lipids and melanin pigments with trace minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, iron. phosphorus, silicone etc. There is nothing as attractive as a thick head of hair which glows with natural health. To maintain this we need good hair care regimen that involves the following:
Hair cleansing which involves removal of accumulated sebum, scalp debris and residues of hair grooming preparations. This should ideally be done on alternate days.
Hair conditioning which involves making good the natural deficiencies of sebum and repairing the hair cuticle. This makes hair smooth, soft, shining and elastic.
Scalp stimulation which involves in providing nutrients and hormonal support to hair by massaging the scalp and nourishing it.
The common problem faced is hair loss which can occur due to one or more of the following reasons:
Harsh shampoos which have a strong chemical base
Pollutants in the air
Hair colours, perming and straightening lotions
Physical weakness and lack of proper nutrition
A very simple traditional recipe is to cook some red hibiscus flowers on low fire in coconut or sesame oil and let it cool. This oil is then massaged into the hair. Red Hibiscus or Jabakusum as it is known in Hindi, is known for its hair growth related properties. Care should be taken to rinse the oil out with very mild shampoo otherwise it will nullify the good effect of the oil.
In case some people do not like to oil their hair, the hibiscus flowers can be made into pulp in the mixer and applied to the hair for thirty minutes and then rinsed out with water.
The benefits of Hibiscus treatment:
Prevents hair loss
Enhances growth of hair
Discourages split ends
Prevents premature greying of hair
Here is a delightful recipe using the hibiscus flower taken from Anita Grant.
Hibiscus Hair Tonic
Great for covering greys, providing a rich deep dark colour to your hair.
Suitable for those with dark red, brown and/or black hair.
To strengthen the hair from the papila root to tip
To cover premature greys
To immediately seal the hair cuticles, stop hair breakage and repair split ends
Preparation time required:
10 to 15 minutes
Over low heat, warm 450-500 ml of water
Add 20-30 dried Organic Hibiscus flowers
Simmer, making sure NOT to let the mixture boil or evapourate - too much heat will destroy the goodness in the Hibiscus.
Remove from heat.
The water would have turned a dark purply-pink.
Cool and store in a clean dry jar overnight
In the morning, wash your hair with our Babassu Shampoo Bar, rinse, and then instead of using your regular commercial conditioner use the Hibiscus infusion to condition your hair and scalp. ( if you dont have the shampoo bar mentioned above...use what is in your regimen).
Do not rinse out.
Cover hair with a towel or cling film.
Leave the infusion on your hair for at least 45 minutes to an hour.
Rinse until all of the colour is gone.
Your hair and scalp will look & feel soft & moisturised.
and your greys will be naturally dyed & nourished..
Hibiscus *does stain clothes* so make sure you are wearing something old that you don't mind staining.
If you are using this tonic to cover grey hair then in order for the natural pigment of the Hibiscus to remain in your cuticle you will need to use this tonic at least once a week to maintain the colour.
I have a bag of dried Hibiscus flowers with my herb collection...just waiting to be used. I will be trying this little tonic on my next wash day....I will keep you guys posted....until then...
I am also going to infuse some with oil ( not sure which oil, yet ) probably olive oil...as always I will keep you fabulous ladies posted.