Archive for May 16th, 2010

Early summer in the south means glorious fragrances. Roses, gardenia, honeysuckle, wisteria, magnolia all are in bloom. Herbs are filling gardens and flowers are all in bloom.  Taking a fragrant walk around my yard today I couldn’t resist a bouquet of gardenia and roses to bring inside and place upon my table to perfume the house.

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Hair tonics, quite a interesting word choice when you consider it.  Hair Tonics are not actually good for your hair, they are good for the skin and pores of your scalp and in such they aid in promoting healthy hair growth at the follicle level.  It is important with all tonics to be sure to massage into your scalp to stimulate the pores to open and absorb the benefits for all tonics.  Use some common knowledge in using tonics on your hair. Certain herbs will darken or lighten the hair.  Chamomile brightens dull blond hair and protects against dark UV streaking.  Saffron, Tumeric and calendula also are recommended for blond hair types.  For brunettes such herbs as sage, walnut, mint and black tea are preferred.  Red hair colors can benefit from Henna.  Peppermint and spearmint stimulate the scalp, rose petals are gentle conditioners, rosemary conditions and highlights as well as is an anti-dandruff method and sage is a hair strengthener as well as color enhancer for brunette and redheads. So be certain to use the right herb types for your hair color.  In the following recipes I have included hair types that are desired and to be avoided.

All tonics should be stored in dark colored containers.  Do NOT store in clear containers.  Store in glass if possible, plastic will work but might leach chemicals into your natural hair product.

Mint Hair Tonic


1 handful mint leaves.  (bruise leaves between fingers or between wax paper rolling out with rolling pin to release essential oils.)

1/2 cup white or cider vinegar (use white if you don’t like a vinegar smell, I personally use cider as the smell fades rapidly in the drying process.)

1 to 1 1/2 cups water

Bring vinegar to boil and reduce heat to keep hot.  Add mint and steep for 10 minutes in hot liquid, remove from burner and let cool.  Strain out herbs in cheese cloth or coffee filter.  Add water and place in a dark colored bottle.  Use daily as a rinse after shampoo and conditioning treatment.

Birch Hair Tonic

2 handfuls birch leaves (bruised)

1/2 cup 70% alcohol

1/2 cup water

1 handful peppermint leaves (bruised)

Add leaves to quart canning jar.  Pour alcohol over leaves and leave for 1 week in dark place.  Filter liquid through cheese cloth or coffee filter. Add water and stir well.  Place in dark bottle and use daily, be sure to massage into scalp.

Leave In Hair Rinse

Herbs of your choice.  (Rosemary, sage, chamomile, mint, basil.)

Place herb in cup and add boiling water. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes and filter.  Pour onto hair and comb to evenly distribute.  Let hair dry naturally.

Damaged/Brittle Hair Tonic

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp glycerin

1 cup water

Boil water and add honey and glycerin. Store and use daily.  (Glycerin can be purchased at drug stores or even canning sections or jello sections of food stores.)

Deep Conditioning Hair Tonic

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup herbs of  choice

Heat vinegar to warm and add mayonnaise.  Blend well.  Place herbs in 1/4 cup water and steep to make a strong tea.  Add to vinegar mixture and blend smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Apply generously to hair and wrap head with towel.  Leave on for 15 minutes to 2 hours before rinsing out with cold water.

I use this once a month on my hair to rejuvenate and repair it from the trauma of day to day living.

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Many of us pay high prices for fancy cosmetic products promising to lift, decrease wrinkles, brighten and lighten our skin, improve the quality and texture of our hair and so much more.  Yet throughout the ages many women did not have these factory created wonders and yet kept good care of their skin and hair through more natural means.  Recent studies have found that those fancy cosmetic items which promise incredible results are in fact no better then products that can be made in the home for a fraction of the cost and without the extra chemicals and additives.  Here are some of the recipes I personally use along with some that are suitable for different hair types, colors, and skin needs then my own.

Remember, your skin and hair requires different blends for different environments, seasons and conditions.  Using the same exact products time and again is not recommended, switch up the routine from time to time,  try new mixes and tonics here and there.   But most of all relax and enjoy pampering yourself with products you know are all natural, smell great, work wonderfully and cost you a small fraction of the cost of store bought.

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