If the summer heat has frazzled your follicles, or years of dying and hair drying has wrecked your roots, why book in for a super-expensive hairdresser appointment when you can cook up a style storm in the comfort of your own kitchen?
While the health benefits of avocados and herbal tea have long been known when it comes to giving you clearer skin and boosting energy levels, did you also know that a mashed up mask of some classic pantry staples can give you that ‘because I’m worth it’ feeling for a fraction of the cost of expensive store products? We reveal five foodie faves for fresh and fabulous follicles…
If summer’s playing havoc with your hair, or your locks tend to be on the dry and brittle side, reach for a bottle of olive oil from the kitchen cupboard. Rich in vitamins A and E, as well as antioxidants, olive oil not only seals in moisture when used in lieu of a conditioner after shampooing, but can also protect the keratin in the hair when you massage it through your locks then wrap in a towel and keep warm for up to 30 minutes. It also softens, makes flyaway hair more manageable, and when mixed equally with lemon juice and water can help combat dandruff when massaged into the scalp and left for 20 minutes.
Not just for afternoon tea, chamomile can benefit your hair in a number of ways. Thanks to its slight acidity, a blast of cooled chamomile tea from a spritzing bottle after washing and conditioning can not only add shine, but also relieve an itchy scalp. However, if you’d love lighter locks, or covet the celeb-fave ombre style, chamomile can actually make your hair lighter thanks to its three flavonoids, of which quercetin is the lightener. Try steeping five chamomile teabags in hot water for 20 minutes and once cool, mixing it with natural plain yoghurt, applying to clean, damp hair, and keeping under a towel for an hour.
Although the health benefits of chomping plenty of avocados are well known, the vitamins, fats and proteins in the fruit are equally beneficial to your hair, and can keep your locks hydrated and soft. If your hair has been damaged by over-processing or the sun, mash up an avocado and mix with a little olive oil, before massaging into the scalp and down the length of your locks. Wrap hair in a towel and wash out after 20 minutes.
Don’t wait ‘til Halloween to get your hands on a pumpkin, as this fruit can work wonders when it comes to stimulating hair growth thanks to its abundance of vitamin E - known to enhance blood circulation in the scalp. Add in the vitamin C to strengthen hair follicles, and you can mix mashed pumpkin with a variety of kitchen pantry staples to achieve deeply nourished hair. Heat pumpkin and olive oil together over a low flame until the pumpkin is soft. Mash and allow to cool, then apply to hair and cover for 20 minutes.
If you suffer from hair fall or have dry and brittle locks, the essential fatty acids and antioxidants in an egg can work wonders on your unlucky locks. To stimulate hair growth, mix the white of one egg with a teaspoon of olive oil until you get a paste, which can then be applied to the scalp and hair. Leave on for 20 minutes. Alternatively, if it’s silky locks you lust after, add an egg yolk to a cup of plain, natural yoghurt, apply and leave on for 20 minutes. Wash off with cold water.