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Thread: Native American Hair Care

  1. #1
    Member orangeeyecrayon's Avatar
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    Default Native American Hair Care

    I have been really getting into my family's history lately. I am a lakota sioux indian (about 1/8 so not much but i still think it is rather cool) any way i was looking on line for a few hours last night, both on LHC and the internet in general for information on Native american Hair care. I was unable to find any information on what herbs and such were used to care for there hair. (i would of been happy for any information on beauty routines).

    I found 2 sites that had shampoos for sale claiming they used native american traditional herbs and recipees but they did not state what was in them at all, and i would rather make my own recipes.

    If any one knows of any good informational sites, or has any information themselves that would be amazing.

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    Member JessTheMess's Avatar
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    I don't have any information on any type of herbal haircare tips, but I think it's awesome that you found Native American heritage in your family history. My grandmom was half Cherokee and half Welsh. I think that is where I get some of the extra coarse black hairs that manage to pop into my tresses. Good luck in your hunt!

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    Long-haired longhair danacc's Avatar
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    I found the following on Cherokee hair care here http://www.peacefulharmony.org/native%20american/healingplants2.htm:

    6. DISTAI'YÏ = "they (the roots) are tough"--Tephrosia Virginiana--Catgut, Turkey Pea, Goat's Rue, or Devil's Shoestrings: Decoction drunk for lassitude. Women wash their hair in decoction of its roots to prevent its breaking or falling out, because these roots are very tough and hard to break; from the same idea ball-players rub the decoction on their limbs after scratching, to toughen them. Dispensatory: Described as a cathartic with roots tonic and aperient.

    There's also this book: http://books.google.com/books?id=UXaQat5icHUC which includes plants used for hair care and a lot of other information on how they were used, too.

    I've read that yucca root was used by some Native American tribes, but I didn't see a reference when I searched.

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    Member orangeeyecrayon's Avatar
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    Danacc thank you for the book refrence i am actually going to borders today so i am definately going to pick it up. i looked at it a bit online but i think it will be easier to cross refrence if i can highlight it and actually hold it in my hands

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    Member CurlyOne's Avatar
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    This is interesting, I did digging into native american herbs a while ago. I know that in the southwest where yucca grows they used the root of young plants to make shampoo. The root contains saponins in it. Basically you peel the bark off the root and rub it like a bar of soap in a pan of shallow warm water. This makes suds which you apply and rub in. I played around with it for a little bit and was very pleased with the initial results but it snowed and I really didn't feel like digging for shampoo in February.
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    night owl Flaxen's Avatar
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    Here's a story about what CurlyOne is referring to. You can buy dried yucca root (Mountain Rose Herbs) and simmer 2 T. in 1 cup of water to make a shampoo if you don't have access to the fresh (the stuff in some grocery stores is not the right stuff).

    Let us know how it works for you if you try it!

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    Member orangeeyecrayon's Avatar
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    i may have to try it. i asked my mom today and she said she would let me grow my own herb garden in the back yard so i may do that so i can get the fresh stuff

  8. #8

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    Huh, I just found out that this is the stuff my family and I eat! We call it yuca, but I didn't know it was that. We usually get ours frozen at the supermarket or fresh too. I'm interested in washing with this, but it seems too inconvenient in my case.

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    night owl Flaxen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire'sWings View Post
    Huh, I just found out that this is the stuff my family and I eat! We call it yuca, but I didn't know it was that. We usually get ours frozen at the supermarket or fresh too. I'm interested in washing with this, but it seems too inconvenient in my case.
    No, it's not the same plant.

    Yuca, also called cassava root, is from the Euphorbiaceae family, and it is the starchy tuber found in grocery stores. Yucca is from the Agavaceae family, and its roots are almost never edible.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaxen View Post
    No, it's not the same plant.

    Yuca, also called cassava root, is from the Euphorbiaceae family, and it is the starchy tuber found in grocery stores. Yucca is from the Agavaceae family, and its roots are almost never edible.
    Google has failed me!

    ETA: I'm still interested in other Native American hair care methods, or just natural hair care methods.. The sad thing is that I can't even boil water at my college dorm.

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