I love a good natural remedy. From the good old days when my mother used to mix up a poultice for my extra pus ridden pimples (bread soaked in dishwashing detergent anyone?) to now and the endless suggestions on 5-minute crafts, homemade remedies are always a fun little experiment. But do they work? Well, if the pimple remedies are anything to go by, sort of. Despite my best efforts, I suspect the effectiveness was purely coincidental. It certainly never miraculously cleared my pimples overnight, although they may have been a touch less inflamed.
So what about hair remedies? There are so many to choose from! And being a sustainable salon, well, we do love a more environmentally friendly solution. As your resident Bach Hair intrepid reporter, I felt it only fair that I do the hard work for you and test out a few of the most popular natural hair remedies. Here are my findings;
Intriguing. Apparently this is meant to make your hair smoother and “healthier” whatever that means. This treatment requires you to soak 1 cup of rice in 3-4 cups of water and then spray the water left after draining the rice out onto freshly shampooed hair, leave for 20 minutes and rinse. I suppose this would be a great multi tasking adventure if you were cooking rice for dinner? Soak the rice to remove the starch, then cook the grains while you wait for the water to do its thing. Hmmm love a time saver, let’s see…
Verdict: It’s a no from me. While it certainly gave me a lot of body which is a definite plus, this left my hair feeling dry and very tangled. It was extremely difficult to comb after rinsing, and felt like my hair was tearing as I combed. I think if you have really fine hair and didn’t like conditioner because it was too heavy this might be a good solution as it did look nice and shiny when dry. 5/10
Supposedly this will give my hair more body, shine and strength. In theory, I can see the thinking. Wheat proteins are often used in our volume shampoos and conditioners to lift and support the hair strands. Fine hair is more often than not, a naturally weaker strand and most good quality volumising ranges contain a lightweight protein to add strength to each strand and allow it to have more ability to hold up to the everyday rigours put on to the hair. My husband will be very sad to donate one of his precious beers to the cause but as a coeliac, I just don’t have much sympathy really. Hehehe.
Verdict: Not bad! My hair was definitely shiny and light after, and quite easy to comb despite not using a conditioner. Plenty of body, and my hair had no lingering smell of beer so I’m announcing this as a win. Probably wouldn’t do this often mind you as the beer drips running down my back while I waited for the required 10 minutes “processing” were decidedly unpleasant. But all in all a successful mission. 8/10
Random Foodstuff Mask
Golly. So many ingredients. I reckon if you just mixed homemade guacamole and mayonnaise together you are there! The most common ingredients seem to be: avocado, eggs, honey, olive oil and yogurt. There are lots of good things about these ingredients, which is why we eat them! Antioxidants, moisture, good oils, proteins, vitamins, minerals, these are all wonderful things required to keep your hair strong and healthy just like your body. There are plenty of instances of the various compounds contained in these foods making their way into our products so I’m hopeful about this one.
Verdict: Nope. Hard Pass. Left my hair stinking faintly of guacamole and mayo even after a second rinse and letting it dry. Made no noticeable difference to the look of my hair and made it feel a tiny bit like twigs. Stick to eating these, the vitamins and minerals will do more good internally for your hair than externally. 1/10
Oh dear baby cheeses. My least favourite “conditioner”. Having seen this on a few clients over the years, I can’t say I’m pumped for this one. Supposedly this will remove build up, reduce frizz and restore the natural pH of my hair to leave my hair strands soft and shiny. Bold claims! In my experience on other people this makes the hair feel a bit like it has spiderwebs coating each hair strand. Slightly sticky, and not particularly “clean” feeling. But maybe I’m just biased toward an actual conditioner. I don’t know. Wish me luck.
Verdict : Yeah Nah. It’s a no from me. I stand by my spiderweb comment. Also, not a massive fan of the apple cider vinegar lingering on my hair. Although it is a better smell than the avocado and egg situation above so there is that at least. Great idea to try every now and then to remove product build up, especially if you use supermarket styling products. 3/10 for conditioning 8/10 for build up removal.
Ah the old favourite of naturopaths the world over. Teeth cleaning, digestive aid, hormone support, healthy eating – honestly the list of supposed benefits of coconut oil is apparently endless. While I personally am not a huge fan of coconut in general, I know plenty of people that swear by it so I shall put aside my own dislike and give this “miracle” cure a go. While it can be used for multiple hair purposes, I’m trying the pre shampoo treatment. Supposedly this will protect my hair from the ‘drying’ effect of my shampoo. Hydrated, shiny hair should be just a few minutes away.
Verdict: Hmmm. I think if you were using a “natural” shampoo that was based on the old castile soap this might be a nice idea. Also if you had super thick or curly hair. For me, with my lovely Kevin Murphy Hydrate.Me or System Professional Hydrate shampoos (yes, I own multiple varieties, why not?!) and fine/medium textured hair, It just left my ends feeling a tiny bit greasy. Not terrible but not for me. On the other hand coconut oil does make an excellent alternative to shaving cream if you have dry skin like me. 6/10
In my opinion, as a professional hairstylist, I probably wouldn’t give up my products for any of these home treatments. But for a bit of fun or as an alternative every now and then, I’m all for them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving a natural remedy a go. For those trying to reduce their impact, I can definitely understand the desire to try things out of the prescribed box. We as a salon and myself as an individual certainly do our best to make ethical choices as much as we can. Fortunately for us there are plenty of wonderful, professional, and scientifically formulated products on the market to choose from. If home remedies are your passion, please go ahead and enjoy them! I will be over here, with my new Wella WeDo, professionally formulated, organically and ethically produced hair mask on dipping my corn chips in my hair mask experiment. Sorry, my guacamole. Until next time….