Your Natural Hair Questions … Answered
Confession: We didn’t even scratch the surface of what I wanted to cover about different hair care methods, so be looking for more hair stuff on the blog very soon. Specifically: A natural hairspray method and unconventional ways to wash your hair using … well … I won’t tell you that yet. ;)
But for now, let’s conclude this week with the 5 most prevalent questions about natural ways to care for your hair issues. For the record, by far, the problem of frizziness was the number one complaint. I didn’t mention it below, but if you have issues with frizziness, check out the Long Hair Community suggestions or pick up the book Curly Girl (which I haven’t read, but five people a day recommend in comments here on the site … so it must be good!)
If you have a question that wasn’t covered here, DO ask it again in the comments! There are so many helpful people around here (LOVE YOU) ready to share their experiences with you.
The Five Most Common Crunchy Hair Questions
Out of the myriad questions you all left on the post from Monday, I’ve tried my best to condense it down to the five most common questions asked. Beneath the questions, you’ll find both my answers and other crunchy reader’s answers (especially the ones I found most helpful). Hope this helps!
1. How Do I Get Rid of Dandruff and Flakiness Naturally?
Coconut oil. Of all the things I’ve suggested to friends and family, coconut oil has worked nearly 99% of the time. If you have really stubborn dandruff, try combining 2 Tbsp coconut oil and 4-5 drops tea tree or neem oil.
The key is to leave the coconut oil or mixture on your scalp for as many hours as you can. Leave it on overnight, if possible.
However, if you’re no ‘poo and have the problem of flakiness, I’d do a coconut oil treatment and wash with a non-detergent (sulfate-free) shampoo as a special treatment, then rinse with a solution of 3 cups water and 2 tsp lemon juice. From then on out, make sure you are COMPLETELY rinsing all of the baking soda from your scalp. Remember, baking soda changes the pH of your scalp/hair, which can lead to irritation if you don’t get it all rinsed out.
Cinnamonn, in the comments, also pointed out that if you have persistent dandruff and areas of pink, scaly scalp, you might actually have psoriasis (not an uncommon issue). If that’s the case, here’s a list of all kinds of natural treatments and reviews of them for psoriasis.
2. How Can I Make My Hair Grow Faster/Longer/More?
If you have thinning hair, or hair that’s stalled in its growth, the first place to start is by looking at your diet. Are you getting enough fatty acids? Cod liver oil is a great place to start there. Could you be anemic? Make sure you have plenty of protein and minerals – especially iron – in your diet, if you are. (Although, remember postmenopausal women, you shouldn’t over-supplement with iron.)
Check out WebMD’s Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair.
Next, do yourself a favor and give yourself a scalp massage every day. This stimulates circulation and ramps up the follicle’s production of hair. If you want to make it extra effective, do the massage using an oil infusion of jojoba/castor oil and cayenne pepper/chamomile.
Or, try this recipe adapted (generously) from one of my favorite natural beauty books: Ageless Natural Beauty by Sally Freeman
Even More Stimulating Hair Restorer
- 1 pint vodka
- 3 oz cayenne pepper
- 3 oz dried nettle
- 1 oz dried chamomile
In a glass jar, combine the cayenne, nettle and chamomile with the vodka. Shake well. Store in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks, shaking daily. Strain the solids from the vodka, and apply vigorously to the scalp daily. Note: The alcohol may dry your scalp, so use judiciously and make sure your scalp stays moisturized, as well.
Also, some words of advice from Julial: “I took out all man made chemicals in all beauty products and have had good results with hair growth over the last few months. I can go wig free with confidence which is something I couldn’t do six months ago. Rosemary, lavender, cederwood essential oils mixed with a carrier oil and massaged is supposed to do wonders. I have used BioOil with good luck. I use shampoo bars with apple cider vinegar rinses and that really kicked off the hair growth.”
3. My Hair is So Frizzy! What Are Natural Ways to Combat This?
Hands down, the most common fix to this problem (as based on dozens upon dozens of comments here on Crunchy Betty over the years) is a teeny, tiny amount of jojoba or coconut oil, rubbed in the palm of your hands, and then patted down on halfway dry hair. Use it before you finish drying your hair, halfway through the drying process. Pay special attention to the ends.
In my experience, either one of these oils works just as well as any high-dollar hair smoother you’ll find in the stores.
Another option is to use a neutral henna (also known as cassia obovata) on your hair every couple of months. Seriously, if you haven’t ever seen your hair shine before, try using this. (Mountain Rose Herbs sells a great neutral henna, by the way.)
But we had several other suggestions, too!
From TracyP_19: “I used to have a problem with frizz, a BIG problem with frizz! Well…not anymore!!! No-poo and Flaxseed gel have solved my problems, I swear by it and tell everyone I know to try it…”
From IMPA (who was a HUGE help in the comments!): “Aloe Vera gel ( I mean here one that made from 100 % cold pressed organic aloe vera plants, I got mine from Mountain Rose Herbs) helps your hair with moisture. You can actually add it to any hair product that you use or just use it along whenever you want to give your hair a treat. It has so many benefits for your hair that it is hard to name everything. Just give it a try and you will definitely LOVE it! ”
4. Is There Any Natural Way to Get Rid of Gray?
I love this question, because it’s one I struggle with constantly. I cannot decide whether to try to do things to cover the small grays that insist on popping up all over my head, or if I should just accept them and age gracefully.
So the truth is, I don’t have a firm answer on this, in terms of something I’ve personally experienced. However, let me pass along some advice I’ve found in various books and from a few discussions with herbalists over the years.
Various suggestions to help combat gray include:
- Rinse your hair daily with an infusion of 2 c. apple cider vinegar and 1/2 c. rosemary (store this in a jar for a week and then strain the rosemary out). Dilute it with water each time you use it – about 3 tbsp ACV and 3 c. water. Supposedly, long-term use of rosemary on darker hair helps darken the gray so it blends in better.
- Drink sage tea daily.
- The Chinese herb called He Shou Wu is known to turn gray hair black. In fact, one day I was chatting with a local herbalist, when a much older woman with gorgeous, thick black tresses walked in and purchased something. After she left, my herbalist friend said, “You know, three years ago that woman came in here with the grayest hair you’ve ever seen. All she’s done is He Shou Wu, and it’s raven now.” Crazy. She also went on, though, to mention that if you take too much He Shou Wu, you could potentially damage your liver – so don’t over do it.
- I’ve heard differing stories about the effectiveness of (regular red) henna or its colorful variants in covering gray hair. When I dyed my hair with the indigo “henna,” it did nothing for my grays. But other people have much different reports. : )
5. OIL! My hair is So Oily! What Can I Do About This?
Ah, I know this problem all too well.
My favorite way – when I’m going three or four days without a true washing – to get rid of oiliness is to use a dry shampoo – and this is how I do it. However, dry shampoos may not work if you have extra thick, curly hair. It’s best for those of us who have straight or fine hair.
In addition, I’ve found that, by not washing my hair more than twice a week (yes, I went back to natural shampoo – Aubrey Organics, mostly), the oiliness is fewer and farther between in days. And on the days when I’m not truly shampooing, I just use a very dilute solution of apple cider vinegar, rosemary essential oil, and water. Works like a shiny, healthy charm!
In fact, just the rosemary/vinegar rinse alone, I’m sure, helps with the oiliness – by cleansing some of the oil from my hair as well as balancing the pH to its proper levels.
I like the suggestions IMPA made, though, as well: “I have at least 3 ideas for you to try.
- The first one would be using white kaolin cosmetic clay to wash your hair, just make a paste with green tea and massage it in the shower and rinse with the rest of green tea. Both ( green tea and clay) will help to deal with oily hair.
- The second one is to use powdered mustard with green tea. Make sure to use no more than one spoon of mustard and about one cup of tea. Use it carefully because it can burn if not diluted enough. Rinse with green tea. It is an old recipe from my grandma and it really works!
- The third one is my favorite. Take one egg and use egg-white. Just beat it to the beautiful foam and add one drop of rosemary EO to make it smell wonderful and help to balance oil glands on your scalp naturally. Massage and rinse with lukewarm water. BTW, never use hot water on your hair if you want to have a truly beautiful mane. Find what works for you or just use what you currently have on hands.”
Do You Have Any Additional Hair Questions or Tips?
Oooh. There was one thing shared in the comments of Monday’s post that I want to tell you about here, because it’s A-DORA-BLE and if you have long hair that doesn’t hold curls (or just long hair that you want to curl without heat), you’ll love this.
It’s a YouTube video showing how to curl your hair (overnight) using a sock. The girl who explains it is outstanding, and her hair is to die for. Thank you, Jwebb264, for sharing!
Any other questions, my dears?