Category Archives: Hair Growth & Scalp Health

Coconut Milk Shampoo

Scalp irritation and inflammation are a major triggers for trichsters. Many people find relief with the use of anti-dandruff  shampoos. Personally, I have alternated between Nizoral and Denorex shampoos for years. They both helped, but I’m not crazy about all the extra chemicals. Recently, I started making my own hair and body products. I found a great all natural anti-dandruff shampoo recipe on Dr. Axe’s website.

Homemade Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Coconut Milk

 

Anti-dandruff shampoo - Dr. Axe

No one wants to be embarrassed by those white flakes of dandruff that land on their beautiful black jacket, but it happens because it almost seems like an unsolvable mystery about how to get rid of dandruff. In large part, it’s because most of the so-called dandruff shampoos, while also full of chemicals and unhealthy ingredients, simply do not work.

Fortunately, finding an anti-dandruff shampoo solution that works for you may not be as difficult as you think, if you’re willing to do it yourself! But first, let’s explore why shampoos may or may not work so that you can make smart choices.

Dandruff, medically known as pityriasis capitis or seborrheic dermatitis confined to the scalp, is a disease that has been around for centuries despite the numerous treatments available. New anti-dandruff products frequent the market, almost daily, perhaps due to the widespread increase in the incidence. In fact, Head & Shoulders is one of the top-selling shampoos in the world. However, dermatologists have given little attention to this problem. Why is it so difficult to fight off this humiliating dandruff? (1)

Unfortunately, this nagging scalp disorder is rather common. Several studies across the world have shown a prevalence of dandruff of up to 50 percent in the general population. You would think that with such a large number, solutions would be available. (2) However, due to these chemicals that are found in most commercially bought shampoos, their effectiveness may be temporary.

The word itself has negative meaning having a combination of ‘tan’ meaning ‘tetter’ and ‘drof’ meaning ‘dirty.’ So, it makes sense that having the right shampoo should help. And while the real cause of dandruff is yet to be understood, there are some things you can do to ease the cringe-making effects they offer. (3)

Getting the anti-dandruff shampoo right is key. We know that most body and hair products out there have tons of toxic chemicals, and these cancer-causing chemicals can be incredibly ineffective too. It is confusing as to why these toxic chemicals in shampoos are even allowed to hit the shelves, knowing that they can negatively affect our hormones and cause lot of sickness. It’s probably no surprise that cosmetics has grown into a $50 billion dollar industry. (4

To avoid this seemingly uncontrollable situation, you can simply make your very own anti-dandruff shampoo right at home with just a few ingredients. Keep in mind that the dandruff comes from the scalp, not your hair. That means it is important to gently massage this DIY dandruff remedy into the scalp as well as thoroughly washing your hair.

Fortunately, this recipe not only includes several dandruff-fighting ingredients, it’s also gentle enough to use several times a week. 

Let’s start with your mixing bowl and a whisk. Combine the coconut milk, coconut oil and castile soap to start. Nutrition-rich coconut milk and coconut oil will help provide much needed nutrition for your hair and scalp. This nutrition will help build up the immune defenses as well as moisturize the hair and scalp.

Castile soap is a gentle vegetable-based soap derived from olive oil, water and lye that is biodegradable and non-toxic. While castile soap is gentle, it can help cleanse the scalp of excess sebum and product build-up.

Once the coconut milk, coconut oil and castile soap is well blended, add the water, apple cider vinegar and baking soda. It is a good idea to use purified water, such as an authentic spring water, to help avoid chemicals. The apple cider vinegar is great for eliminating the fungus and bacteria because it contains powerful enzymes. The baking soda can help slough off the dead skin due to its abrasive texture by acting as a mild exfoliate and fungicide.

Now, add the rosemary and tea tree oil. The rosemary oil will provide a nice scent and much more. Because dandruff is caused by fungi, it’s important to choose ingredients that can inhibit this fungi. That is why I chose rosemary and tea tree oil. Rosemary and tea tree oil essential oils contain antifungal properties and you may get the added benefit of hair thickening that these oils can provide!

And now for my favorite ingredient, fenugreek! Fenugreek is a plant most commonly used as a spice in Indian cuisine; however, fenugreek can do wonders for your hair and scalp. Fenugreek seeds have a composition that is rich in protein and amino acids. These nutrient-dense characteristics encouraging healthy hair, hair growth and can help ward off those disgusting flakes of dandruff. In particular, fenugreek has a high concentration of lecithin, which is a natural emollient. This emollient can help make hair stronger overall and provides many users of fenugreek with silky and soft locks.

Make sure all ingredients are thoroughly blended. Pour the mixture into a BPA free shampoo-like container with a lid, or you may use a glass jar if you prefer.

To use, simply wet the hair as you normally would for shampooing. Place a small amount in the palm of your hand and begin to blend it into the hair. Shampoo well and rinse. You may leave the mixture on your hair a little longer to gain the benefits of this natural remedy.

Try using every other day for best results. Shake bottle before each use. If you experience any discomfort or allergic reaction, stop using immediately. Consider doing a test patch prior to a full wash.

Promoting Hair Growth

Essential Oil Blend Promotes  Hair Health and Growth

& Reduces Scalp Irritation and Inflammation

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Specific essential oils can promote hair growth by increasing circulation and health of your hair follicles. In addition, essential oils can calm your irritated or inflamed scalp. Depending on your particular needs, you can choose an essential oil blend to combat dandruff, yeast overgrowth, and other types of  scalp irritation. I have found that foods and hair products leading to the growth of malassezia yeast increase my urge to pull by causing my hot spots to flare up. To learn more about malassezia yeast, click on the link below.

http://malasseziayeast-mypersonal-battle.blogspot.com/

I use the recipe below for my essential oil blend. I massage it into my hair several times  a week. I often leave it in all day or night as it deters my pulling. It calms my scalp irritation thus reducing my urge to pull. In addition, it is harder to pull slippery, oily hair. This makes me more aware of any unconscious pulling; allowing me to stop before getting ‘just one’, which is my greatest downfall. If I can avoid pulling just one, it is way easier to resist a  pulling frenzy.

Directions

Combine lavender, camomile, rosemary, cedarwood, ylang-ylang, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils and add to a base of the following carrier oils: jojoba, argan, almond, and grapeseed oil.  I use a clean hair dye dispenser bottle. Massage the blend into your scalp for about 2 minutes. Massage with your finger tips rather than your nails.   You can leave it in your hair for a few minutes, hours, or all day. When I am home and having a hard time resisting the urge, I massage this blend into my scalp and leave it in all day.

For the best outcome, wrap your head in a warm towel for 30-40 minutes. The grapeseed, almond, argan, and jojoba oils work as a carrier, penetrating and sending the essential oils into your hair follicles.

Essential Oils & Carrier Oils Commonly Used for Hair Growth and Scalp Health

1. Ylang-Ylang

Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata), the same as with lavender, is believed to reduce stress and has been used to increase the shaft of the hair to produce hair that is thicker and more luxurious. It is able to balance scalp oil production and this could help with split ends.

2. German Chamomile

German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is an effective agent in aromatherapy’s bag of wonders for reducing inflammation. Sometimes hair loss is due to inflammation of the hair follicles in the scalp. This can lead to less cellular function. Some think that an overheated scalp can cause hair loss. This essential oil is cooling and has an anti-inflammatory effect. The fragrance is light and has a bottom note of pineapple.

3. Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is in many hair products and hair conditioners. As an essential oil, it is used for reducing inflammation and no steroids are involved. Its anti-bacterial properties are beneficial and it has regenerative properties. It is a favorite oil for reducing stress and encouraging hair growth. Maybe you are stressed enough that your hair is falling out—try lavender for healthful benefits.

4. Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a leading essential oil for boosting hair growth. It has seen much success in alopecia areata hair treatment. Use the Verbenone type if you seek the regenerative capabilities of the oil rosemary, found in many preparations for hair and scalp benefits. Thought to increase cellular metabolism, it thereby stimulates healthy hair growth. Used in fragrant perfumes, it is also used to emit its delightful aroma into your room environment. It is also burned as incense and used in shampoo.

5. Helichrysum

Helichrysum (Helichrysum orientale) is believed to be a regenerator for all soft tissues of the body. Helichrysum is the sunflower family and has an earthy fragrance found in blends for both the scalp and hair in commercial products. It is likely regenerative to scalp tissue as well. Some healthcare providers perceive the aging scalp to be similar to scar tissue. It increases circulation and is beneficial as an anti-inflammatory means.

6. Clary Sage

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) essential oil promotes hormone balance that is vital for men and women when considering the health of their hair. Clary Sage is thought to balance estrogen levels in the skin and scalp, and can be of help for women after menopause. The distilled essential oil is used in perfumes and it is used in aromatherapy for menstrual-related problems such as cramping and PMS. It helps with insomnia relieving anxiety and fear as well.

7. Jojoba**

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is obtained in many natural hair care products. Jojoba is used for moisturizing and softening dry hair. It is thought to cleanse the follicles of sebum (natural oils), and promote shiny and vibrant hair.

8. Sesame**

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is highly thought of in Ayurvedic medicine in traditional Hindu medicine to therapy for thousands of years using the oils for massage. Sesame has lignans, chemical compounds found in plants, and used in essential oils. Lignans increase the effectiveness of vitamin E, so it is thought to nurture shiny and thick hair growth. Use it as a 5-minute scalp massage each day without missing a day. Wash hands thoroughly after you are finished, since sesame will irritate mucous membranes such as the eyes and nose.

9. Tea Tree (my favorite for hair, scalp, and skin)

Antifungal – Malassezia furfur is the most common dermatophyte to cause dandruff. With only a 5% concentration, tea tree oil is a very effective treatment for Malassezia furfur.

Anti-inflammatory – Like many essential oils, tea tree oil acts to efficiently reduce inflammation due to infection or injury.These properties make tea tree oil a very useful tool in the fight against hair loss and promotion of hair growth. By disinfecting the scalp, tea tree oil reduces the build-up of residues around the hair follicles allowing for the free flow of sebum (our natural, self-produced moisturizer) into the hair shafts. In addition, by reducing the inflammation around the hair follicles, tea tree oil promotes regeneration of existing hair while promoting new growth.The nutrient dense nature of tea tree oil nourishes the hair leaving it soft, shiny and less subject to breakage which in turn gives the appearance of a fuller head of hair. It also maintains the moisture and overall health of the scalp to further encourage healthy hair growth.

**Carrier Oils 

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What are carrier oils?

The term “carrier oil” encompasses hundreds of different oils and butters. In the most basic sense, the word “carrier” serves to distinguish oils that are not “essential” oils. Common carrier oils include olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, grapeseed oil, canola oil, sweet almond oil, walnut oil, and more. The oils in this category vary wildly in terms of texture, colour, thickness, nutritional composition, and scent, but generally they are our base oils/butters.

A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions

How to Use Carrier Oils

 

Final Thoughts

Essential oils are not intended to treat, prevent, or cure any disease. Essential oils are the active ingredients–the essence of the flowers and plants. Essential oils can additionally be added to your shampoo and conditioner to benefit your hair. You can try various combinations of essential oil blends and carrier oils. The recipe above is what has worked best for me. I learned through trial and error. I find the essential oil be lends most helpful for deterring pulling, calming my scalp, and improving my hair health. I am uncertain wether it actually promote growth in my case. I use Pinterest to find explanations of blends and recipes that have helped other people.

Before learning about the benefits of essential oil, I used a mix of castor oil and coconut oil to promote growth. Although these softened and moisturizer my hair, I did not love the outcome. You can read my blog about coconut oil and castor oil.

 

On pinterest I have a board with the hair and skin care recipes I use. It also contains information on carrrier oils.

http://pin.it/GTVG8dg