This piece, Spring Refresh: DIY Botanic Hair and Scalp Care, originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Paprika Southern. To see this full feature in print, along with our tips on how to begin a lifelong art collection, an exploration of the legacy of iconic southern photographer Jack Leigh, a floral and citrus-infused brunch with recipes, and much more, order a back issue now.
DIY Botanic Hair and Scalp Care
In a world of complexity, busy schedules, and an overwhelming amount of beauty products, sometimes we need to return to our roots and create more simple self-care routines. Spring is the perfect season to align our beauty regimens with new and fresh botanical treatments and to awaken our tired winter bodies. Most of what you’ll need can be found in your pantry or at your local health food store. Let your curiosity and sense of wonder walk you through these three simple, effective hair and scalp treatments.
Oil Slick Treatment
Lemon, Apple Cider, Vinegar, and Hibiscus Tea
Oily, limp hair can be caused by numerous factors including poor product usage or build up, hormones, stress and environmental factors. For a simple oil balancing treatment you’ll need to gather 1 organic lemon, apple cider vinegar with the “mother” and organic hibiscus tea or loose hibiscus leaves.
Steep 1 tea bag of hibiscus in 1 cup of hot water; you may double this for longer hair.
Once steeped and strained, add 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and the juice from half of a lemon. Again, double this if you have longer hair.
Let your rinse cool and then pour into a shower-safe bottle or bowl.
After shampooing your hair, apply the Hibiscus Tea Blend to wet hair and leave in for 5-7 minutes. Gently rinse out with cool water and condition if necessary.
Hibiscus petals are vital for hair and scalp health and strength, and can encourage hair growth. The astringent nature of the lemon juice helps remove product build up and has astringent effect on scalp oil production. Apple cider vinegar helps soften, detangle and add luster to dull strands. The vinegar scent will dissipate after your hair dries. Repeat this treatment monthly, or as needed.
Thirsty Hair Treatment
Hemp Seed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Honey
Recovering from dry, frazzled winter hair can be a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, your pantry or local grocery store has some simple items to help bring life back into your hair and scalp. You will need raw honey (local is best!) and hemp seed and sunflower oil from the cooking section of your local market.
Using a ceramic or glass bowl, add 1/4 cup organic sunflower oil and 2 tablespoons organic hemp seed oil. Reduce or increase amount based on your hair length.
Drizzle in your raw, liquid honey. Start out with 1 tablespoon and increase as desired.
Gently mix all three ingredients. And don’t worry if the honey doesn’t mix with the oils fully; as long as all three ingredients end up on your hair, you’re good.
Before showering, apply your Honey and Oil Blend on your scalp and strands. Make sure you coat your ends well too. Pin up and leave in while you shower.
After 10-15 minutes, shampoo twice and follow with a conditioner if necessary.
Honey is an impressive humectant, full of healing antimicrobial and soothing benefits. It draws moisture into your hair strands, and allows it to remain there. The combination of sunflower and hemp seed oil adds intense hydration, vitamins and healthy fatty acids, which are imperative to hair's moisture-retaining abilities and smoothness. This honey and oil treatment can be used as often as you need and tailored to your liking with various essential oils.
Castor Oil, Peppermint Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary, Lavender
Queen bee of the plant world, lavender offers a range of benefits. For scalp care, specifically dandruff and irritation, it offers soothing, healing properties, as well as fighting the fungus that causes dandruff. The scent of lavender also delivers a calming aroma, which helps with stress management and allows us to relax. Use organic lavender essential oil in a scalp blend for best results
We all know the bright and awakening scent of rosemary, but did you know its one of the best herbs for increasing scalp circulation? When we promote more circulation on our scalps, more blood flows to our hair follicles. Because of this, more internal nutrients are fed into the hair bulb and more hair sprouts. Some people are sensitive to rosemary, so either use the essential oil sparingly or steep fresh or dried rosemary stems in hot water to create a hair tea rinse.
Dandruff has no more worse enemy than tea tree oil. Due to its intense antimicrobial benefits and sebum controlling power, tea tree essential oil puts our scalps back into balance. Add 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil to 1 tablespoon castor oil, apply at night and shampoo out in the morning. Feel free to add other essential oils to this blend to customize as well.
Peppermint is one of my go-to’s for scalp irritation, itchiness or thinning hair. It’s not overpowering or medicinally scented, while still encouraging proper blood flow, cooling scalp discomfort, balancing sebum production and fighting dandruff. Anyone dealing with psoriasis or eczema would like peppermint oil, as its not as intense as rosemary or tea tree. Mix 2 drops peppermint oil with 3-4 drops lavender oil in 1 tablespoon castor oil for a scalp massage and to help loosen psoriasis or eczema flakes.
Although this oil is notoriously thick and sometimes sticky, castor oil does an amazing job at encouraging hair growth and soothing irritated scalps. Due to its high levels of fatty acids, it nourishes our scalps and can even help promote longer, fuller eyelashes and eyebrows.
Order a back copy of our Spring 2018 for much more spring inspiration!
The Spring 2018 issue of Paprika Southern also features a Brunch in Bloom, an article on Savannah’s iconic photographer known for the Bird-Girl image, Jack Leigh, a guide on how to build your art collection, and much more.
Each seasonal issue of Paprika Southern is filled with inspiration for creative and intentional living.