Find out how to have clean, shiny, healthy, silky hair (or no hair if that’s what you are after!) using cheap, natural and simple ingredients. See here for details on how to wash hair.

To deeply condition hair and scalp

All of these will also treat an itchy scalp, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis or craddle cap (as well as lice or nits: add a few drops of tea tree, eucalyptus and lavendar essential oils mixed thoroughly into the oil to help kill and repel lice and nits). Coconut oil is especially beneficial to hair: its unusually small molecular structure allows it to be absorbed and deeply condition the hair strands as well as the scalp. Add some drops of essential oil if you like. (See here for some suggested oils to try.) You will need to wash thoroughly to get rid of an oily residue with all of these, but the effort is well worth it and for most hair a treatment once a month is plenty. For day-to-day conditioning, see washing hair.

With coconut oil

  • Massage a generous amount of coconut oil into your scalp and comb through your hair.
  • Wrap a plastic bag or shower cap over your hair and cover with a towel. (On a warm day this is not necessary.)
  • Leave on for 20 minutes, less for lighter conditioning, or longer for deeper conditioning.
  • Wash hair (twice if necessary).

With olive oil (1)

  • Warm (not too hot, 15 seconds in a microwave is fine) a few tablespoons to a cup of olive oil, depending on your hair length.
  • Rub the oil into your scalp and hair, especially the ends.
  • Cover with a shower cap or a plastic bag and leave on for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Wash hair (twice if necessary).

With olive oil (2)

  • Whisk together an egg and a cup of olive oil.
  • Rub the mixture (mayonnaise, essentially) into your scalp and hair, concentrating on the ends.
  • Cover with a shower cap or a plastic bag and leave on for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Rinse with cold water as warm water will cook the egg.
  • Wash hair (twice if necessary).

Light leave-in conditioner

  • To boost your hair between washes and give it extra shine and silkiness, spray on some apple cider vinegar and brush through your hair.
  • You can dilute the vinegar with water or with a herbal infusion.

To gently lighten hair

  • After each wash, spray wet hair with a solution of half water and half 3% (10 volume) hydrogen peroxide and comb through for natural highlights that will gradually lighten over time.
  • Or, rinse hair with lemon juice and allow to dry in the sun.

To add waves or curl to hair

  • Add one to two teaspoons of salt and half a teaspoon of coconut oil to a cup of water.
  • Warm slightly in the microwave to mix more easily.
  • Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  • Shake before each use to mix the ingredients and spray through your hair for soft natural curl.
  • The salt provides the curl but is also drying so use more if you have oily hair and less on dry hair.
  • Salt is also an emulsifier so it this is a great opportunity to add essential oils to your hair. (See here for some suggestions.) Add the oils to the salt and allow them to be soaked up before adding the salt to the water.
  • You can also add lemon juice for extra hold, conditioning and scent, but avoid too much as it can make your hair sticky.
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