Thick, long shiny hair has been prized as a symbol of health as far back as the ancient Peruvian and Egyptian cultures, most notably in the time of Queen Cleopatra, who used her beauty and immense charm to woo powerful men such as Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony.
While the ancient cultures may not have understood the science behind beautiful hair, they paid religious attention to natural and herbal remedies that could give them the lustrous, strong crops of hair they desired.
Today we know that hair is made of protein and is the fastest growing tissue in the body – as such, it needs to be nourished externally and internally. This means what you apply to your hair and scalp – where the hair follicles responsible for hair growth are situated – are just as important as the nutrients you feed it from the inside. In fact, an imbalanced diet is one of three contributors to the slower hair growth we experience in middle age, along with changing hormones and physiological issues, such as severe stress or male-pattern baldness.
Try these amazing 16 non-chemical, affordable home remedies to nourish and repair your scalp and locks
1. Argan Oil
This oil from the kernels of the Moroccan Argan tree is often called ‘liquid gold’ thanks to its immense healing, moisturizing and anti-irritant power. It is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, two essential ingredients for super strands. Vitamin E encourages hair growth and regrowth and contains powerful antioxidants which repair hair cells and damaged follicles, stimulating healthy hair production.
Because of argan oil’s soothing and anti-irritant properties, it can reverse the distress caused by harsh chemicals and help mend split ends. It also softens frizz and adds luster and shine to hair. The oil can be used as a shampoo, leave-in conditioner, or styling agent – just make sure that the hair and actual follicles in the scalp along with your scalp itself receives the deep, restorative nourishment contained in this golden-colored serum or oil.
If your hair is particularly brittle and damaged, you may want to try using it as a hair mask. It is a refreshingly natural way to give your hair the boost it needs, minus the many chemicals contained in commercial hair masks.
Many people are aware of garlic as an incredible immune and health booster, but this powerful bulbous plant is also potent when it comes to fixing problem scalps and hair and stimulating new growth. It aids quick hair growth and slows down hair loss or ‘malting’.
The magic is in the compound allicin, which is found in high amounts in garlic. Another compound, selenium, adds to garlic’s power, especially when combined with vitamin E. Because garlic is also an antioxidant, it is also able to rid the scalp of any bacteria which could harm hair follicles. In total, garlic cleans the scalp, improves scalp circulation, and promotes hair growth faster than most other remedies.
To harness the incredible hair benefits of garlic, immerse between 7 and 10 cloves in oil, then bring this oil to the boil. Apply it liberally to the scalp and massage it into the hair follicles. Three applications in one week should make a marked difference to the condition of your strands.
Forget eating roast or fried potato chips – apply this miracle veggie to your scalp for sensational results. Potatoes are linked to rapid hair growth for good reason – they are packed with high concentrations of many vitamins that aid hair growth and combat thinning locks. They are particularly high in vitamins A, B, and C and when your locks lack these, they become thin, dry, and brittle.
Most people prefer to apply potato juice to their hair. To do this, grate 3 to 4 potatoes, then squeeze out the juice from the grated potato. Apply the juice to your scalp and massage it in for 15 or 20 minutes. Another popular method is to boil either whole potatoes or the potato skins – most of the vitamins you need are located just under the skin. To make a hair mask, add one egg and one tablespoon of honey to potato juice, apply it to your scalp and leave it in for one hour. The extra moisturization from the egg and honey will moisturize the hair shafts deeply.
The main constituent of your hair is protein, so there is no better way to regenerate it than to feed to with a protein power food in the form of eggs, and egg whites specifically. Egg restores the hair’s softness, nourishes it, and helps thicken it. Besides being rich in protein, an egg is also high in zinc, iron, phosphorus, and iodine; and zinc and iron are particularly good at aiding hair growth.
Crack open two eggs and reserve the egg whites. Apply the egg whites to your hair and leave this in for one hour under a shower cap if possible. An egg mask would work wonders as well. To make one, add one teaspoon of honey and olive oil each to the egg whites. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes, rinse and shampoo your hair. You will be left with shinier, more vibrant hair with accelerated growth, depending on how often you apply this egg remedy.
5. Rice Water
This is similar to the potato juice remedy used in the West and is mainly used in Eastern and Far Eastern countries. To obtain rice water, simply soak a half a cup of rice in two cups of water, and strain the rice afterward. Massage this water obtained into your scalp and hair once or twice a week. Be sure to use a mild shampoo afterward – not one that upsets the pH balance of your scalp. Alternatively, rinse your hair with the rice water after a wash as an added moisture boost.
Rice is beneficial to hair as it contains vitamins E, K, and B6, along with proteins. The amino acids in rice in particular speed up hair regeneration and growth. These all nourish the hair, help to thicken it, and aid growth. In particular, the roots are strengthened, hair is silkier and more manageable, and more volume is added.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar truly is nature’s cure-all as it is an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and powerful antioxidant packed with many beneficial nutrients and compounds. It is commonly used to lower cholesterol, control blood-sugar levels, and restore optimum health to the digestive tract but it has myriad health benefits. One of those other benefits is to your hair.
This vinegar will leave you with a fresh, revitalized scalp is it will soothe any redness, eliminate dandruff and treat many scalp bacteria and conditions as it is able to balance the pH level of your scalp and get to work as a fungal fighter and anti-irritant. A clear, healthy scalp is necessary for hair growth. Apple cider also stimulates the hair follicles so growth occurs rapidly. Dilute some apple cider in water and use it as an after shampoo rinse or for multiple rinses to get the best effect.
7. Coconut Oil
This is well known as one of the best remedies for hair growth and to stilt hair loss. Coconut contains many fatty acids that penetrate the hair shaft to replenish lost essences and moisture and has the ability to bind or seal in this moisture from root to tip. It is also rich in proteins, essential nutrients, and iron that promote hair growth. If you don’t have coconut oil, try using coconut milk. In addition to nourishing the shaft and follicles, it also creates a barrier that prevents breakage.
Use about half a cup of coconut oil on your hair depending on how long it is. After you’ve washed your hair, apply the heated oil from root to end, and massage it into your scalp. Try and leave it in under a warm towel so that it also doubles up as a hair mask. Make sure that when you rinse your hair, the water is not scaldingly hot, as this will only burn your scalp. Rinse with lukewarm water repeatedly instead as needed.
8. Aloe Vera
This incredible plant is well known for its soothing and antioxidant properties – as a result, it is often incorporated into body and skin gels and moisturizers. It also disinfects wounds. Its gentle nature means that when used on your scalp, it ‘ll get rid of anything out of place on your scalp and leave it refreshed and in optimal health.
Aloe vera cleanses scalp pores, balances pH levels, promotes growth, and prevents hair loss. It contains more than 75 nutrients. Aloe’s proteolytic enzymes, in particular, removes dead cells and stimulates the follicles so they produce more growth. The nutrients leave your hair in optimal texture and hydrate the hair and scalp as well.
Cut open an aloe leaf and use the gel inside on your scalp. Massage it in deeply and also apply it to your hair, then rinse and follow up with a gentle shampoo. You’ll notice the difference quite quickly.
9. Lemon Juice
Lemons are a tried and tested method for restoring hair to good health and getting it to grow. It is particularly beneficial for oily hair. It is packed with an incredible selection of hair-friendly properties, including nutrients such as vitamin C, B vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12; antioxidants and folic acid. This makes it a potent home remedy for hair growth. It does take a proper application and often to see the results as the residue of commercial shampoos takes time to remove.
Lemon also increases blood circulation in the scalp and gets rid of dandruff due to its pH-correcting properties and antioxidant healing powers. The result? Sleek, shiny hair. Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with 2 teaspoons of olive, rosemary, or coconut oil. Massage this mixture into your scalp. Leave it in for one hour before rinsing and proceeding to wash with a gentle, pH-balanced shampoo.
10. Fish Oil
This remedy is particularly effective if you have dry, brittle hair and an angry scalp. The fatty acids moisturize the scalp and soothe the hair follicles. This is due to the presence of omega-6 and -6 oils which leave your hair shiny, stronger, and dandruff-free. It also helps to prevent hair breakage, improves your hair’s thickness or density, and restores your hair to natural new growth cycles. Rinse your hair properly with lukewarm water as needed, but never piping hot water even though you will be keen to rinse out the fatty residue.
If you prefer to get your fish oil intake via your diet, go for omega-rich fish, such as salmon, trout, herring, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and oysters. Do this 2 to 3 times a week in order to see a significant improvement. Alternatively, you could also opt to take fish oil supplements. You should start to see results in a matter of weeks. Applying the oils directly to the hair works faster.