Hair Care

From Antivist

Your hair and scalp needs proper care now and always. A sign of neglect over a period of time will show up in form of dry brittle hair, split-ends, hair fall, dandruff etc.


Basic Hair Care

A well-balanced diet, rich in silica, calcium and iron, will help reduce or prevent hair loss. Green, leafy vegetables, especially sea vegetables, are good mineral sources. Raw oats provide silica. Eat plenty of iron-rich foods, like whole grain cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, dates, and raisins. The hair is comprised mostly of protein, therefore to encourage hair growth, adhere to a diet rich in protein. Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron. Include a good serving of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Vitamin E is important for healthy hair growth. Eat avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil on a regular basis. If hair loss is due to thyroid dysfunction, eat more foods rich in vitamin A and iodine. Eat vegetables such as carrots or spinach in unrefined, cold-pressed seed oils such as flax, walnut or pumpkin seed and sea salt. Take turnips, cabbage, mustard, soy beans, peanuts, pine nuts and millet if there is a deficiency of iodine.
Washing Routine
Your hair-type will determine your cleansing routine, some of you may need to shampoo daily, others every other day, others even once a week. The water you use to wash your hair should neither be too hot, or too cold. Use your fingertips, and never your nails, to gently scrub your scalp. Be sure to rinse your hair thoroughly in order to get all of the soap out and then maximize the shine.
To begin with combing, first separate hair into small sections. Untangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb, carefully work from the ends in a downward direction only. Use only a wooden or tortoise shell comb – never rubber. Do not pull or yank hair. Brush hair only when dry. Hair is weakest when it is wet and brushing can easily damage it. Even when hair is dry always comb before brushing.
Air-dry whenever possible. Try to minimize the use of blow dryer as the strong heat tends to damage the hair, also the moisture lost makes them look rough and lifeless. Give your hair a break from that blow dryer, those curling irons and so many perms. When you are kind to your hair, it rewards you by looking and feeling better. Choose a hairstyle that will let your hair fall naturally.

Basic Tips

  • To minimize breakage, make sure that your hair is thoroughly wet before applying shampoo. Use no more than a quarter-size dollop, and rub the shampoo between your palms first. Lather for no more than 30 seconds.
  • After shampooing, rinse your hair with cool water to seal moisture in the hair shafts.
  • To distribute the natural oils in your hair, bend over and brush your scalp and hair from back to front until the scalp tingles; then massage the scalp with your fingertips. Brushing your hair backwards helps distribute natural oils, for shine.
  • Towel-dry your hair thoroughly.
  • Avoid using a brush on wet hair because it is subject to breakage. Comb out snarls.
  • If you suffer from a flaky scalp, try the following treatment every 2 weeks: Section your hair and rub the scalp with a cotton pad saturated with plain rubbing alcohol. Let the alcohol dry, then brush your hair and rinse thoroughly with warm water but don't shampoo.
  • Dull, lifeless hair can be a sign of a poor diet. Try cutting down on cholesterol and fats.
  • Beer can remove residue from your hair. Add 6 tablespoons beer to 1 cup warm water and pour it over your hair as a final rinse.
  • If your hair is prone to buildup from conditioners, styling gel, or hair spray, mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with your regular shampoo once a week. Rinse and dry as usual.
  • Use a coated rubber band or a soft hair tie to secure ponytails and the ends of a braid to reduce the stress on the hair.


Rinses in the form of herbal infusions are one of the simplest ways to benefit from the properties of plants. Quick and easy to make, they have a variety of purposes, from adding body and shine to reducing oiliness or treating dandruff. As they are made with fresh materials, they won’t keep and should be used up immediately.

Rosemary Rinse (For Body And Shine)

Rosemary’s high essential oil content and stimulant, restorative properties add sheen to the hair.


  • 600ml boiling water
  • small handful fresh rosemary springs

Pour the boiling water over the rosemary and leave to infuse for 2 hours before straining off the herbs. After shampooing, pour repeatedly through the hair, catching the rinse in a small basin so you can re-use it.

Southernwood And Lemon Balm Rinse (To Reduce Oiliness)

Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum) is an easy to grow, shrubby plant with feathery, lemon smelling leaves. Alternatively you can buy it from specialist herbal suppliers.


  • 600ml boiling water
  • 15g fresh southernwood
  • 15g fresh lemon balm leaves

Make and use as Rosemary Rinse above.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (To Remove Build-up)

1 tablespoon of ACV diluted well in 8 oz of water is a standard dilution ratio. One can increase the amount of ACV, perhaps 2-3 tablespoons, but never come close to approaching, for example, 50/50, nor do 100% vinegar, ever. apply after washing hair and let sit for a minute or two before rinsing. Please note, you don't always have to apply a rinse with every wash.

ACV Rinse is the final application after both shampoo and conditioner are completed. Here's why.

1) pH balances the scalp of the skin. Some shampoos upset the pH of the scalp skin which should be neutral, approximately 7.0, between the polarities of alkaline and acidic. Some people condition the scalp hair, and the ACV rinse will help then too meaning if one does this practice, ACV Rinse after conditioning is completed.

This is the largest benefit and primary reason for an ACV rinse.

2) Vinegar acts to "bind" the cuticle, the outer layer of hair, the protective barrier of hair. This means that it helps the cuticle to lie more in its natural position of closer and tighter together of overlapping scales. In this way, shine and smoothness of the hair's texture is mildly improved.

This is the second benefit of an ACV rinse.

3) ACV Rinse can only "clarify" in that exact and specific hair wash session, to remove any small residual product left on the hair that perhaps the rinsing may have missed. It does not have the ability to remove product, grime and oils and/or sebum that has built up over time on the hair strands. When doing a "clarifying shampoo" the ACV Rinse can be the final step, also.

This is the third benefit of an ACV rinse in the hierarchy of the ability of an ACV rinse to do its work. This benefit is minor and not strong at all. The largest reason to ACV rinse is to pH balance.

When there's buildup one needs something relatively strong to break down the dirt, sebum, oil and product. ACV, nor any vinegar, is strong enough to break through the bond.

Nettle Rinse (To Combat Dandruff)

Nettles lose their sting in boiling water and are a traditional dandruff remedy.


  • Handful fresh nettles - wear rubber gloves to pick leaves from the tips of the plant
  • 600ml boiling water
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 5 drops pure lavender essential oil

Wearing rubber gloves, put the nettles in a bowl, pour over the boiling water and leave to steep overnight. Strain off the nettles, add the vinegar and essential oil and pour over the hair as a final rinse.

Color Wash

Herbal rinses are a gentle but effective way of enhancing hair color too. An infusion of chamomile flowers for example, adds sheen and lustre to fair hair, although it cannot actually lighten it - this is only possible by using chemicals such as bleach. Color enhancing rinses are made by steeping dried herbs in boiling water for up to four hours. Use them in the same way as the treatment rinses.

Henna, from the thorny shrub Lawsonia inermis, is one of the best known herbal hair colorants. It adds red or auburn highlights to brown or very dark hair, but isn’t suitable for blond hair and turns grey or bleached hair an unsightly orange. Available as a powder it is mixed with water to make a paste. Neutral henna adds glows without color and makes a good conditioning treatment when mixed with egg yolk and milk.

Hair Tonics

Hair tonics help to restore bounce to hair which has lost its shine, due to stress, illness or being run down.

Herbal Hair Tonic For Dull, Lifeless Hair


  • 15g each of fresh parsley, sage and watercress
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp kaolin powder

Blend the herbs and water in a food processor. Stir in the kaolin powder to form a paste. Apply to the hair, cover with a shower cap and leave for 30 to 40 minutes. Rinse well.

Stimulating Lavender Tonic

All hair will benefit from regular scalp massage, as it increases the blood flow to this area. This tonic is especially worth trying if your hair is thinning out of brittle, as massaging the scalp with a lavender based tonic can help to stimulate healthy new growth.


  • 15g dried lavender flowers
  • 300ml vodka
  • 5 drops pure rosemary essential oil

Put the lavender in a sterilized jar, pour in the vodka, cover and leave for 24 hours. Strain off the lavender, add the rosemary essential oil and decant into a bottle. Using 1 tsp of this mixture to 1 tbsp of water, apply to the head and massage gently into the scalp. Keeps for 4 to 6 months.


Avocado Conditioner

  • Mash one avocado which is recommended for its hydrating benefits and proteins and mix with one-tablespoon lemon juice, one teaspoon of sea salt, and one tablespoon of pure aloe until it becomes a paste.
  • Comb through hair with your fingertips.
  • Cover hair with a plastic shower cap or bag, and wrap a towel around it to seal in the treatment.
  • Leave in for 20-30 minutes and enjoy a great book, CD or even better - just savor the peace and quiet!
  • Unwrap you newly conditioned hair. Rinse, shampoo and rinse again for soft, luxurious hair!

Semi-Homemade Spray-On Conditioner for All Hair Types

1 tablespoon of your favorite conditioner 8-ounce spray bottle Water

Place a tablespoon of your favorite conditioner in the spray bottle and then fill the bottle up with water. Shake the bottle well before using. The spray is excellent for controlling frizzy hair, conditioning dry hair, or treating dehydrated hair. There is no need to rinse your hair after spraying.

Homemade Deep Conditioner for Normal to Dry Hair

4 teaspoons of almond, sesame, or avocado oil 2 teaspoons of coconut oil (available in health and natural food stores) 3 teaspoons of honey 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar

This recipe is perfect for people with dry or damaged hair because it is a fairly rich conditioner. Slowly heat the first two ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the honey and vinegar. Use this mixture on your hair after your normal shampooing routine. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. The result? Smooth and well-conditioned hair.

Condition Hair with Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil (Rosmarinus officinalis) contains substances like camphor, flavonoids, and resins that stimulate circulation to your scalp and coat and protect your hair. You can use it as a daily conditioner. In a bottle, add 5 drops of rosemary essential oil to 1 cup of warm water and shake well to mix. After you shampoo, pour the mixture over your head, massaging it into your scalp and through your hair. Rinse thoroughly. Do not use rosemary essential oil if you have high blood pressure.


Yucca Root

Yucca root (called a mole) contains the compound saponin, which has detergent properties and seems to exert a particularly beneficial effect on the protein in animal fiber.

Yucca root can be gathered at any time of the year, provided the ground isn't frozen. Select a small- to medium-sized plant that can be dug up without too much difficulty — even a young bush will yield enough roots for a dozen or so shampoos.

Next, remove all loose dirt with a stiff brush or old rag, and use a small hatchet to chop the roots into manageable (potato-size) pieces. Now, with a sharp paring knife, cut off the hairlike extensions and the outer root covering, being careful to keep the newly exposed surfaces as clean as possible.

Once that's done, whack the peeled pieces into smaller chunks (about the size of ice cubes) and use a hammer or blender to pulverize these pieces of root into a pulp. When the mush's color has changed from white to light amber, your new shampoo is ready to be used, dried or frozen (yucca keeps well when preserved by either of the two methods).

If you'd like to sun-dry the roots, spread the material thinly on a clean surface and leave it in direct sunshine until all of its moisture has evaporated. (When the squeezed pulp is no longer sticky and spongy — but feels sort of crackly — it's dry enough to be stored.) Be sure to store in a cool, airy place.

For oven drying, on the other hand, just spread a thin layer of pulp on a cookie sheet and bake it at low temperature (anywhere from 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit) for an hour or two. (The drying time will vary from one batch to another, so check it fairly often.) Finally, however you dry your yucca, be sure to store the particles in a cool, airy place.

It's also possible to freeze a future supply of soap root, and this can be done at any stage in the root's preparation. Simply seal the pulp in an airtight container, and thaw it before final processing or use.

When you're ready to try your yucca hairwash, make sure your hands (and the sink) are free of grease (or else the roots won't lather), then run a few inches of water into your basin, add at least a handful of the pulp, and swirl the water around vigorously. (You could — as an alternative — place the pulp and a little water in your blender for a few seconds, and pour the foamy results into the sink.)

After you've gotten plenty of suds, fill the sink with water and skim off the floating pulp. (Or, if you don't use the blender to make suds you can avoid having to strain the water at all, simply by placing the to-be-lathered roots in a cheesecloth bag.) Then just wash and rinse your hair as always. You'll be pleased with the way this natural cleanser leaves your hair silky, shiny, healthy and clean!

Brown Sugar Scrub

  • use selective amounts of brown sugar to scrub your scalp.
  • works to clean hair, and is less aggressive than baking soda.

Sea Salt

  • Dissolve 2 tablespoons sea salt in 1 cup of warm water. Pour it over your hair and leave it on for about 5 minutes. Rinse and follow with your shampoo and conditioner. Epsom salt may be used in this recipe instead of sea salt.

Aloe Vera Shampoo

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons liquid castile soap
  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
  • Up to 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin or vegetable oil
  • Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake to blend. Get the pet’s coat wet, pour on the shampoo a few tablespoons at a time, lathering as you go. Work the shampoo in with your hands. Rinse thoroughly. Unless you want the pet to shake themselves dry (and get everything in the vicinity wet at the same time!), towel them dry.

Semi-Homemade Shampoo

2 teaspoons of almond, sesame or avocado oil 1 tablespoon of coconut milk or dairy milk (not non-fat) 1/4 cup of the shampoo of your choice

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together for two to three minutes. The quantity is enough for two shampoos, unless your hair is extremely long. Cover and store the mixture in the refrigerator and use within two days. You will find that the oil will give your hair a lovely shine and manageability.

Shampoo with Salt

To remove grease and dirt from your hair without wetting it, try dry shampooing with kosher salt. Salt absorbs oil, bacteria, and dead skin from your hair and scalp. Lean over a sink or stand in the shower or outdoors and massage 1 tablespoon of coarse salt into your scalp and through your hair. (Use 2 tablespoons for long hair.) Leave it on for at least 15 minutes (you'll need to stay put to avoid getting salt everywhere). To remove the salt, vigorously brush your hair and scalp with a clean, dry natural-bristle brush.

Hair Gel for All Hair Types

2 tablespoons of flax seeds 1 cup of water One vitamin E capsule (optional, good for dry, damaged or chemically-treated hair) 1 tablespoon of rosewater or 3 drops of your favorite essential oil

Unlike the commercial varieties, this styling gel also acts as a conditioner, so it is particularly good for dry hair. Combine the flax seeds and water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for 30 minutes. Strain out the seeds and stir in the vitamin E oil (if using) and the rosewater or essential oil. Pour the mixture into a clean jar and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to one month.

Add Body to Hair with Beer

The sugar and yeast in beer thicken your hair. After you shampoo and condition, rinse your hair with 12 ounces of beer and then rinse it out thoroughly with water. To add more volume, fill a spray bottle with beer and spray it lightly onto damp or dry hair before styling (any odor will quickly evaporate). Store leftover beer in the refrigerator. Use one or both options every day or whenever you want extra body.

Herbs for Your Hair

  • Burdock: root helps prevent dandruff
  • Catmint: leaves encourage hair growth and soothes scalp irritations
  • Chamomile: flowers soften and lighten hair
  • Flannel Mullein: lightens hair
  • Goosegrass: tonic and cleansing, helps prevent dandruff
  • Henna: red hair dye and conditioner
  • Horsetail: non-fertile stems and branches strengthens the hair
  • Lavender: antiseptic, antibiotic, stimulates hair growth, and degreases
  • Lime: flowers clean and softens
  • Marigold: lightens hair color
  • Nasturtium: for hair growth
  • Parsley: enriches hair color and gives a nice luster
  • Rosemary: tonic and conditioner, one of the best herbs to use, gives luster and body, also slightly darkens the hair. (This is good to use if you notice your hair lightening due to baking soda use.)
  • Rhubarb: the root makes a yellow hair dye
  • Sage: tonic and conditioning, darkens the hair
  • Southernwood: encourages hair growth and helps prevent dandruff
  • Stinging Nettle: tonic and conditioning and helps prevent dandruff
  • Witch Hazel: leaves and bark are astringent and cleanses oily hair

Most recipes using these herbs call for dried or fresh, you can boil it into a tea and infuse it into your rinse routine (or make it a rinse all by itself). The oils will work as well, but make sure they're pure, and use very little. A few drops can go a long way.

Dandruff Remover & Hair clarifier

  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup of White Vinegar
  • Combine ingredients then apply directly to the scalp. Use before shampooing. Apply twice a week.
  • This mix works great for removing all sorts of gunk from your hair.
  • Alternatively, use 1/4c white vinegar & 1 c of water as a rinse to remove buildup and condition hair

Oily Hair Care

  • 1/2 teaspoon aloe vera gel (squeeze gel out of Aloe Vera plant)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Blend together and work through your hair, rinse with water.
  • Or, apply a puree of carrots for 15 minutes and rinse the hair.

Dry Hair Care

  • To a cup of coconut milk add two tablespoons of gram flour. Apply on the scalp and massage gently. Rinse the hair after five minutes. Use this method once a week.
  • Make a conditioner by mixing one tablespoon of castor oil, one tablespoon of glycerin, a teaspoon of cider vinegar, a teaspoon of protein to a tablespoon of mild herbal shampoo. Apply it on scalp and leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse the hair.
  • Massage the scalp with warm almond or olive oil.
  • Add a teaspoon of lavender oil to the coconut oil and heat it for few seconds. Massage the scalp at night and shampoo the hair next morning. Follow this procedure twice a week for soft and shiny hair.
  • A diet rich in zinc should be followed, as the main cause of dry hair is the deficiency of mineral zinc.


Going shampoo free is easier on your hair's health, your wallet, and your time. For $5 you can purchase enough baking soda and apple cider vinegar to take care of your hair for months, whereas $5 could barely buy you one bottle of commercial shampoo! When done correctly, your hair won't smell, feel oily or dry, and be healthier and happier then when you were using shampoo. It will be easier to manage and stay clean for much longer (some people don't experience greasiness ever again once they've returned their hair to it's natural state). Anyone with small children who hasn't used baby shampoo will be aware of how, even after days and days of toddler mayhem, even after playing and sweating, their hair does not get greasy.

Your hair is a very important part of your body that's often overlooked. On top of accentuating your style and appearance, your hair can give you clues to your health. Greasy, limp hair can be a sign of bad diet while brittle and dry hair can be a sign of malnutrition and undernourishment. If you're anemic, deficient in calcium or other vitamins, your hair and fingernails will give you some of the first clues. Taking proper care of your hair and returning it to it's natural state may be one of the best things you can do for your appearance, you may find you'll learn a lot more about your hair that you never realized you could know.

If you’re thinking you could never do without shampoo, that your hair would be a big oily mess — but it’s quite the opposite. It's a supply and demand relationship, much like nursing a baby. The more your baby wants to nurse, the more milk your body produces. If you suddenly stopped nursing your baby there would be a lot of excess milk, engorgement, etc., for a while until your body returned to a state of balance.

The oily secretions of our body are very much the same. The more we strip away the natural oils, the more demand we are creating and the more oils our bodies will make. So if you stop using the surfactants cold turkey, your body will still be overproducing oil and there will be a lot of oil until your body reaches a balance again.

baking soda "no'poo"

Dissolve about 1 tablespoon of baking soda in just enough water to make a paste. Apply this to your roots only; work it in and let it sit for a minute.

In order to stimulate blood flow, clean your pores and get off built up grime, use your finger tips to scrub your scalp. Start by making a circle on the top of your head in the area you’d wear a crown. Focus on the back of this circle to begin with. Next, fill in the circle. This is where your part will be; grease here affects the way your hair looks. Trace while still scrubbing with your fingertips around the bottom edge of the circle. Keep making scrubbing circles underneath each one, drawing lines in circles around your head.

Lastly, scrub the back of your skull and your temples/sideburns. This will result in less grease and more growth. After doing this, your scalp will feel alive. Many women swear their hair grows faster after a visit to the salon — it does, and this massage method is why.

When scrubbing, you’re actually rubbing your fingers back and forth in short movements. Be gentle; you don’t want to break your hair. After you rinse the baking soda out, apply an apple cider vinegar (acv) rinse over the ends of your hair, let it sit for a minute and then rinse it out. That’s all there is to it!

alternatively, you can mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup of warm water. You can then place the mixture in a spray bottle or just pour it over your hair. Massage it in, rinse out well. The mixture is liquidity - not pasty.


Remember, there is a transition period from two weeks to two months depending on the person. Here are a few tips:

  • If your hair becomes frizzy, try using less baking soda or leaving it on for a shorter period of time. Adding honey may also help.
  • If your hair becomes greasy, try using less apple cider vinegar, switching to lemon or lime juice, leaving out the honey, and/or using a comb instead of a brush. Also, make sure you’re applying the apple cider vinegar just to the ends of your hair.
  • If your scalp itches, try the following essential oils; tea tree, lavender, rosemary. If your hair becomes dry, try a tiny bit of oil (any oil, I use olive) smoothed on bottom of hair.
  • If you are finding a white buildup in your hair you are using too much baking soda. For easier distribution, keep a little cup with some baking soda in the shower and take a pinch and apply to wet hair, then rub in
  • If you find your hair chronically dry. you may be using too much baking soda. try lessening the amount or using more acv in your rinse. alternatively you can smooth a tiny bit of oil into your hair such as coconut, jojoba, or olive oil. remember only a tiny bit!
  • If your hair is limp or weak you are over-conditioning! Cut back on how often you use a conditioning rinse. If you're using hot oil treatments, try going a little longer between them. Think about which moisturizing ingredients you're using in your routines, and cut back where you can.
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