4 DIY Tips for Healthy Summer Hair Care
Strong, vibrant hair always begins with a nutritious diet and a healthy scalp. However, the summer weather and the activities that come with it can wreak havoc on your hair. From sweating to sun exposure and the chlorine from swimming in the pool, these environmental challenges can leave even the healthiest tresses feeling brittle and dry.
As a naturopathic doctor, when a patient presents with thinning hair, excessive split ends or scalp inflammation such as seborrheic dermatitis, I first check hormone levels such as thyroid function and nutrient status including iron (ferritin), vitamin D and B12. I will also inquire about the types of products used on a regular basis and recommend easy do-it-yourself solutions to help reduce scalp inflammation and bring luster back to the hair. Let’s go through a few of my favorite remedies.
Grapeseed oil is a light, moisturizing oil for your hair and scalp. It contains vitamin E and fatty acids such as linoleic acid and oleic acid. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can protect your cells and hair follicles from damage. Remember your scalp is an extension of your skin. Therefore, the healthier your scalp is, the healthier your hair will be.
Grapeseed oil is a non-greasy treatment that can be used prior to shampoo. Simply massage 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil into your hair and scalp and let it sit for 15 minutes before shampooing it out.
This woody perennial plant is a widely used culinary herb; however, rosemary can be used as a treatment to increase blood circulation to your scalp bringing nutrients to your hair follicles. Rosemary contains nutrients such as copper, iron, folate and vitamin C as well as the essential oils cineol, terpineol and camphene.
To boost the health of your hair follicles and scalp, use Rosemary essential oil. Add 10 to 20 drops of rosemary essential oil to 2 teaspoons of grape seed oil. Massage the mixture into your scalp and leave it in for 15 minutes before shampooing it out. As a hair rinse, rosemary can darken grey hair and boost the level of hydration. To use rosemary as a hair rinse, boil 6 large sprigs of rosemary in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Strain the herb and use the cooled tea as a final hair rinse before styling.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a popular health tonic used to aid digestion and support a healthy metabolism; I use it daily in my delicious homemade salad dressing. When applied as a diluted solution to your hair and scalp, it restores the mildly acidic pH which can be altered by chlorine and hair products such as gel and hair spray. When you maintain the acid mantle of your scalp, this protective film can reduce the build- up of hair products and halt the growth of some bacteria and fungus. It is also makes detangling curly hair a breeze, helping to reduce hair frizz and knots. To make a diluted apple cider solution, use a cup or an applicator bottle and mix 1 ounce of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water. Slowly pour the solution over your scalp and hair and continue to style as usual.
Aloe Vera is a succulent shrub that thrives in tropical and subtropical climates. The gel substance within the leaves is chock off of nutrients such as amino acids — the building blocks of protein, fatty acids vitamins E and A as well as B12 and folate. When applied to the skin and hair, Aloe Vera can reduce inflammation and soothe a dry, irritated scalp which makes it a great conditioner. One study showed that the regular use of Aloe Vera gel can decrease the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis — a condition that can lead to flakey skin and temporary hair loss. You can include Aloe gel as part of your hair routine by applying it liberally to freshly washed hair and letting it sit for 20 minutes. Once conditioned, rinse your hair and scalp thoroughly.
It is easy to incorporate home remedies into your hair cleansing routine. Choose one of the suggested remedies and give it a try for a few weeks. Let us know if you notice a difference.
~Dr. Olivia Rose N.D.