Dyeing and highlighting your hair often gives you a boost of color at the expense of texture and shine. When hair becomes over-processed, the outer layers separate from the shaft, resulting in split-ends, frizz and flyaways. Home remedies to treat dry, colored hair can be found in your kitchen or herb garden. Not only do at-home treatments cost less than drugstore products, the chemical-free recipes won't strip the salon color from your hair.
Rosemary and Olive Oil
Rosemary and olive oil have appeared in numerous herbal and home remedy books to treat damaged hair. Rosemary stimulates new hair growth and protects against further damage, while olive oil comes packed with nutrients, according to Grannymed.com. Gently heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a pan until it becomes warm, but not hot, to the touch. Remove from the heat and add 5 drops rosemary essential oil. Apply the oil to your head, saturating strands with the mixture. Cover your head with plastic wrap or a shower cap. Leave on at least 20 minutes, then shampoo and rinse hair. Keep any leftover rosemary olive oil in the refrigerator and reheat for weekly use.
Mushy Bananas and Avocados
“The Doctors Book of Home Remedies,” from the editors of Prevention Magazine, notes that bananas and avocados each contain healing nutrients that help soothe color-damaged and dry hair. The softer or more rotten the fruits are, the better, according to a Hollywood hairdresser quoted in the book. Mash them together, apply to hair and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing out.
An age-old favorite for restoring the sheen to damaged hair, mayonnaise becomes a messy but effective hair mask when used weekly. Leave it on for at least 5 minutes before shampooing and rinsing, recommends “The Doctors Book of Home Remedies.”
For a truly old-fashioned at-home treatment, consider using dried botanicals and natural oils to make a large batch of herbal pomade. A light application provides a conditioning styling product, while heavier saturation yields a deep conditioning treatment. Natural beauty author Dina Falconi gives recipes for dark hair and light hair to boost your salon color while treating dryness and damage.
For dark, damaged hair, combine 1 oz. each dried burdock root, comfrey root, nettle root, sage leaf and black walnut hulls. Infuse these herbs in a clean jar filled with 15 oz. olive oil for at least two weeks. To make the pomade, strain the spent botanicals from the oil and combine 3 oz. herbal-infused olive oil with 3 oz. each coconut oil, shea butter and jojoba oil, 2 oz. beeswax and 1 oz. sesame oil. Heat on the top of a double boiler until the solid fats melt, remove from heat and pour into a wide-mouthed container. Add 1 tsp. rosemary essential oil and 3/4 tsp. sage essential oil. Cool and cover the pomade.
For light hair, follow the same directions, but replace the sage leaf and black walnut leaf with 2 oz. calendula blossoms and 1 oz. chamomile flowers, and replace the sage essential oil with 1/2 tsp. each lemon essential oil and lavender essential oil.
Beer restores shine to color-treated hair. Although women once rinsed their hair with beer, “The Doctors Book of Home Remedies” says that using it as a setting spray works better, and won’t smell once it dries. Place beer in a clear spray bottle. Shampoo and dry your hair with a towel, then spritz the beer onto hair before combing or blow-drying.
- "Earthly Bodies and Heavenly Hair;" Dina Falconi; 1998
With a focus on food, nutrition, cocktails and the latest dining trends, Melissa J. has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. Her specialties include articles for such publications as SF Chronicle and National Geographic Green Living, as well as blog posts for the hospitality industry. Her previous positions include newspaper staff reporter and communications specialist for a nonprofit agency.