Hello ladies and gents? Whatcha saying? Get ready for a long one….
My Hair (Brief Background)
As you would have gathered by the title, today we are going to talk about hair, specifically hair concerns such as thinning, loss of volume, shine, fallout, etc. – not a topic I have discussed before but one that has been on my mind as of late.
A few years ago, maybe two or three, I began to notice that my hair was falling out more than usual. At that time, I had recently moved from home to colder climate, so I thought that that fact, along with different water conditions, may be contributing factors. Honestly, I didn’t pay much attention at first. I am not one to wear my hair down a lot and so it didn’t really bother me (oh, by the way, its not good to wear your hair up all of the time, lol). Plus I had just entered my thirties, and was only just becoming aware of “the things that happen as we age” i.e. hair starting to get thinner.
When I moved back home, however, the fallout continued. Also, I started styling my hair more often. My hair is curly, but not nice curly, like a crazy kind of curly that doesn’t look right when it dries naturally. So for me, styling means blowing it out straight and then taking a flat iron/curling iron to it. This can be at least an hour long process which is why I hate doing it.
Anyway back to the point. Basically, I began to notice that it wasn’t taking me as long to style my hair….and when I took a flat iron to it, well the thinness was shocking. So I took a real good look at it and sure enough, began to notice things I hadn’t before. Namely, the thinning at the crown (you know like how as your hair gets thinner it’s easier to see your scalp). Let me be clear, I am not going bald but rather, my hair is just getting thinner with age and this happens to a lot of people.
I started taking biotin, which wasn’t really helping (the only thing that grew was the hair on my legs. WHY?). What else could I try short of buying a bottle of Rogaine?
Hibiscus Hair Oil Benefits
One day while watching a friend of mine drink her herbal hibiscus tea (from flowers she gathers and dries herself), I vaguely recalled once hearing that hibiscus is beneficial for your hair. So of course, I got my laptop out and did some research. Sure enough, there was quite a bit out there outlining the many benefits of hibiscus. Though there is no “scientific evidence” to support much of it, hibiscus is said to be rich in alpha hydroxy acids and amino acids, to be a natural diuretic, to help with lowering cholesterol and to contain several beneficial minerals and vitamins. .
Hibiscus hair oil, paste, rinses and shampoos have long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote overall hair health, growth and shine, as well as to prevent thinning and greying. It’s also included in a good number of main stream hair care products with entire brands built around it as the primary ingredient.
Now, I am not usually into natural remedies. Sure, I will try them from time to time. I have nothing against going natural or trying more natural products, in fact its probably a good thing we should all do more of. But my hair was bothering me enough that I went for it. And I really do think it helps. From my first use, I noticed how great my hair looked and felt. It even feels thicker and appears to have more volume at the crown.
There are tons of recipes out there so what I am doing is not new. But I felt inspired to share this after discovering Natalia from Ma Nouvelle Mode who posts the most delightful beauty-related DIY tutorials. More recently she posted about one about a vanilla latte sugar scrub that had me salivating (I know its meant to be used for your body, but it looked good enough to eat).
So I thought I would share my particular concoction if anyone is interested. A lot of people use the dried hibiscus, either the whole bulbs or in powder form, which is probably much easier then the method I have been using (and I might actually try that at some point as you can buy the powder at natural food suppliers or order online), but since hibiscus are so plentiful in The Bahamas in gardens or whatnot, I thought I’d go right to the source. (If you have light coloured hair, I would test this on a strand first as hibiscus is also known for its dying qualities).
What you will need:
4-5 Hibiscus Flowers
Stone Spice Grinder (or you can try an electric chopper but I find the manual grinding releases the oils in the petals best)
1/2 cup of Olive Oil (helps with moisture, shine etc)
2 tablespoons of Tea Tree Oil
(this contains Vitamin E, helps with scalp dryness and itchiness – but don’t use too much, you can also opt to exclude)
Step One: Carefully remove petals from flowers and wash them in cool water. Lay petals to dry.
Step Two: Depending on the size of your spice grinder, put a few petals in at a time and grind away.
You should end up with a paste that looks something like this:
Step Three: Add hibiscus paste, olive oil and tea tree oil to a small pot and warm on stove (low-medium) for 3 -5 minutes. There is no need to let this boil.
Step Four: You’re done! Store mixture in any container you wish. This particular recipe makes enough for about two uses, depending on how long and how thick your hair is. I tend to use this mainly on my scalp area so for me this is plenty for two uses. You can certainly double or triple the ingredients to make more and store it. (I store this in the fridge and warm in microwave for 10 seconds before use).
Before using hibiscus in any way, consult your physician/medical doctor/health care provider. WedMD advises that pregnant women or women you may be pregnant do not use hibiscus. The information provided in this post is not meant as medical advice and is my personal experience with the use of hibiscus as a hair remedy.
Edit (26/06/14): I wanted to give a shout out to Marsha over at Jamaican Beauty Blog who also inspired me to share this tutorial. She writes great posts on natural and home remedies. Her latest: “Herbs for Hay Fever” should be helpful to many (I suffer from hay fever myself). If you stop by, tell hello from her Caribbean sister over at Beauty Isles.
Have you tried hibiscus for your hair? What are some of your favourite hair care products and treatments?
The product(s) mentioned in this post were purchased by the author with the author’s own money. The thoughts and opinions expressed are the author’s own. Unless expressly stated, the author does not represent and is not affiliated with the brands, services, and websites mentioned. Post contains some affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.