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Freshly ground, part four

grounds in stove pot [1]

One of the most rewarding uses that I’ve found for used coffee grounds is for hair. Coffee adds wonderful softness and shine, deepens colour, and is great for the scalp. What more could one want? However, as coffee does impart a bit of colour, albeit temporarily, it probably isn’t a good idea for those of you with very light hair (unless you are trying to darken it).

You can apply the grounds either before or after washing your hair, or while you are washing it (i.e. mixed with your bicarb solution [2] or shampoo). Simply massage the grounds all over your scalp, rubbing gently in circles. Apply more grounds and some warm water and work them through your hair for a minute or two. Then rinse out (this gets a bit messy). The grounds soften your hair beautifully, but you can also follow with an apple cider vinegar solution [2], or whatever you use to condition your hair.

As well as softness, the coffee adds a warm depth and lustre to the colour of your hair. The natural dye from the coffee is good at clinging to grey or white hair, making it a lovely natural way to help cover grey, for dark haired people. You can also use the water drained off after steeping the grounds as a final rinse for colour, or add it to a henna mixture to help the henna “stick” to grey hair. (To deepen the redness of henna, see here [3].)

For a wonderful scalp treatment that helps eliminate dandruff, dry scalp and cradle cap (if your child will let you), mix a quarter cup of coffee grounds with a generous tablespoon of coconut oil [4] and massage gently all over the scalp for two minutes. Comb the same mixture through the hair to get a conditioning treatment at the same time. You can cover your hair with a shower cap, old towel or plastic bag and leave the mixture in your hair for twenty minutes for even deeper conditioning. Wash out.

Even more uses for coffee grounds are yet to come. Next time, I’ll talk about using them in caring for your pet!