• A semi comprehensive list of herbs and plants for haircare by Justme

    Well here it is at last - a list of herbs, plants, and other ingredients to make your own haircare. If you find any errors, or want to add anything, please either PM me or post below.

    Aloe (aloe barbadensis) conditioning moisturizes and creates smooth shine, good for smoothing whispies

    Amla (emblica officinalis) cleansing conditioning color enhancer/dye cleansing agent, imparts luster and protects against infection and dandruff, helps prevent and control greying of hair, high in vitamin C, prevents hair loss and stimulates hair growth. darkening

    Aritha (sapindus laurifolia) cleansing strong cleanser, sometimes drying

    B5(Panthenol) conditioning rapid penetrating humectant. Long lasting moisturizer which protects against brittleness and breakage. Conditions, reduces formation of split ends. Adds strength by filling in cracks in hair shaft. Sources for B5: Meat, whole grains, wheat germ, bran, kidney, liver, heart, green vegetables, brewer's yeast, nuts, crude molasses, avocados, bananas, poultry, egg yolks, lobster, whole grains, soybeans, oranges, blue cheese, and dark green leafy vegetables. See this for more information. source.

    Basil (ocymum minumum) conditioning effective hair conditioner and detangler, said to be a hair growth stimulant

    Bay Leaf (laurus nobilis) soothing and stimulating with a warming quality

    Benzoin Gum (styrax benzoin) high in antioxidants, a skin protector and a natural preservative.

    Bhringraj (eclipta alba) color enhancer/dye medicating treats hair loss, premature greying, skin allergies and devitalized skin and hair. darkening

    Bilberry powder (vaccinium myrtillus) medicating an astringent and an antiseptic, contains AHA, removes dead skin cells, an exfoliator.

    Blue Green Algae (cyanobacteria) medicating clears scalp problems, relieves symptoms of psoriasis and seborrhea. As a conditioning treatment softens and moisturizes hair, adds body and shine. Reported to slow down hair fall out.

    Brahmi (bacopa monniera) medicating good for scalp and follicle health, treats hair loss and skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. Strengthens hair roots and relieves itchy scalp and dandruff.

    Burdock root (arctium lappa) medicating helps healing skin disorders (eczema), good for dry skin. Burdock also helps with hair loss.

    Calendula (calendula officinalis) medicating a superb healing agent. see also Marigold

    Cayenne (capsicum minimum)The "greatest of all herbs", the benefits just go on and on and on, here and here are good sites about cayenne

    Chamomile (anthemis nobilis) color enhancer/dye conditioning soothing, blonde/golden highlights, soothing and moisturizing for skin and hair.

    Chandan/Sandalwood (santalum album) color enhancer/dye darkening

    Coconut Milk (cocos nucifera) medicating Nourishes hair and promotes hair growth. Antifungal and yeast (including Candida and ringworm). Natural antioxidant. Wound healer. Especially effective on scars.

    Coltsfoot (tussilago farfara) medicating very high in sulfur, silicic acid and amino acid, helps healing dandruff, scalp buildup and reduces hair loss. Also helps to regulate overproduction of scalp oil.

    Comfrey root (symphytum officinale) medicating conditioning anti-inflammatory, healing and moisturizing, high content of mucopolysacchrides, substance that binds water.

    Evening Primrose (cenothera biennis) conditioning usually used in a form of oil. Heals just about everything, good for dry scalp, eczema, and psoriasis. Has moisturizing effect on skin and hair, helps with itching and removes scalp flakes and scales.

    Fennel (foeniculum vulgare) medicating antibacterial, rich in essential fatty acids.

    Fenugreek (foenum graecum) conditioning medicating (trigonella foenumgraecum) protein/mineral rich, follicle/scalp health, mucilage, antifungal, Treatment for dandruff, falling hair, thinning of hair, baldness, and split hair. Helps hair grow, preserves natural color and keeps hair silky. Rich in vitamins A and D, also protein(including lecithin) and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and iron. Use seeds or powder from seeds. Powdered fenugreek is powdered fenugreek seeds. Absolutely get the powdered stuff if it's available. Otherwise you must boil the seeds for a long time and have a very lumpy conditioner that is very hard to wash out.

    Ginger power (zingiber officinale) medicating (also available as ginger oil) stimulant and anti-irritant, has strong antimicrobial properties, antioxidant.

    Green tea a strong antioxidant (20 times stronger than Vitamin E), also helps to reduce skin irritation.

    Henna (lawsonia inermis) conditioning excellent source of protein. Conditions, loosens scalp buildup, and prevents flaking. I've read often on these boards that henna is a protein treatment, but I don't think that is actually true. The confusion arises I think from the logona brand (which is what Madeleine uses), which *does* have protein added to it (hydrolyzed wheat protein). As far as I know, there are two 'active ingredients' in henna: lawsone and chrysophanic acid. Lawsone is the dye (orange, oxidizes to brownish /purplish red), and chrysophanic acid is actually also a dye (light yellow). My understanding is that these molecules are responsible for the conditioning effect of henna, by invading the keratin layer and binding with it. This thickens the hair and makes the surface smoother hence shinier. A picture illustrating how the invasion works is here. Chrysophanic acid doesn't look like a protein to me; a picture of the chemical structure is here. Lawsone looks like this. Also not a protein. Oh, and henna also kills lice, and ringworm, and it helps against dandruff. source

    Hibiscus (rosa sinensis) color enhancer/dye emollient, reddish/copper highlights

    Honey conditioning moisture and shine

    Horse Chestnut (Ęsculus hippocastanum) skin clearing and ant irritant properties. Good for both dry scaly skin and skin with a tendency for greasiness, normalizing.

    Horsetail (equisetum arvense) conditioning silica/minerals, very high in sulfur, silicic acid and amino acid, helps healing dandruff, scalp buildup and reduces hair loss. Horsetail, coltsfoot and nettle are known as hair care trio.

    Indigo (indigofera tinctoria) color enhancer/dye darkening

    Juniper (juniperus communis) color enhancer/dye darkening

    Kelp (macrocystis pyrifera) conditioning mucilage, scalp/follicle health, protein and minerals for hair shafts

    Lavender (lavandula vera) medicating cleansing cleansing and astringent qualities and useful as a cellular regenerator for the skin

    Lemongrass (cymbopogon flexuosus, cymbopogon citratus) enhances fullness, body, and shine - effective as an oil regulator

    Licorice root (glycyrrhiza glabra) medicating soothing and detoxifying on scalp.

    Marigold (calendula officinalis) color enhancer/dye medicating soothing, blond/golden highlights, a superb healing agent.

    Marshmallow root (althaea officinalis) conditioning medicating mucilage, slip, soothing, Contains vitamins A and C. Soothes inflamed skin. Emollient for skin irritations and wounds.

    Mehndi see Henna

    Mint (spearmint mentha viridis, peppermint mentha piperita) medicating creates a cooling, soothing, stimulating effect

    Neem (azadirachta indica) medicating antibacterial, antifungal, helps with dandruff, itchiness, germicide, Strengthens hair and nails, controls stubborn cases of dandruff and other scalp disorders. Particularly beneficial when combined with rosemary and sage oils.

    Nettle see Stinging Nettles

    Oregano (origanum vulgare) medicating cleansing hair detangler and softener - stimulating, antiseptic and astringent with good cleansing properties

    Panthenol See B5

    Parsley (carum petroselinum) medicating conditioning supposed to stimulate hair growth - antimicrobial and tonic, healing, cleansing, and soothing - high in fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

    Psyllium Husk powder (plantago psyllium)cleansing a mild cleanser.

    Rose Hip Seed oil (rosa mosqueta) conditioning medicating (another oil worth mentioning) high concentration of essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic), beneficial for skin regeneration. Ultra moisturizing, soothes flakes and irritation. Is not recommended for skin prone to acne.

    Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) color enhancer/dye medicating possibly darkening(?), good hair and skin tonic and has cleansing properties. Promotes circulation to scalp. Is said to renew activity in dormant hair follicles and promote hair growth.

    Rhubarb (rheum palmatum, rheum rhaponticum) color enhancer/dye contains so much of chrysophanic acid that it is used as a yellowish dye

    Sage (salvia officinalis)cleansing color enhancer/dye medicating darkening, healing for skin, has strong antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Mild enough for sensitive skin. A good astringent and cleanser.

    Seabuckthorn oil (hippophae rhamnoides) medicating Seabuckthorn is an extraordinary plant that has been recognized for centuries in Eurasia for its exceptional medicinal and nutritional benefits. The berries of seabuckthorn are so rich in vitamins and nutrients that it has been speculated that the plant must have been cultivated by ancient plant breeders. The oil of seabuckthorn has general nourishing, revitalizing, and restorative action. It can be used for acne, dermatitis, irritated, dry, itching skin, sore skin, eczema, skin ulcers, postpartum pigmentation, burns, scalds, cuts, and tissue regeneration. The stimulation of tissue regeneration is helpful in the treatment of burns, bedsores and poorly healing wounds. It helps reduce the damaging effects of sun radiation. Seabuckthorn oil effectively combats wrinkles, dryness and other symptoms of malnourished or prematurely aging skin and is utilized in anti aging skin creams and lotions. Great in hair preparations. The berries appear to be an unsurpassed natural source of vitamins A and E, carotenes and flavonoids. Seabuckthorn berries are second only to Rose hips and Acerola in vitamin C content. They are also rich in several other vitamins, including B1, B2, K and P as well as in more than two dozen microelements. The restorative action of seabuckthorn oil may be in part due to its high content of essential fatty acids, carotenes, tocopherols and phytosterols, which are all important for the maintenance of healthy skin. The EFA content in the seabuckthorn oil is 80 95%. Major EFAs are oleic and linoleic. Others are pentadecenoic, palmitoleic, heptadecenoic, linolenic, eicosenoic, eicosadienoic, erucic and nervonic. Among the carotenes found in Seabuckthorn are alfa- and betacarotenes, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, taraxanthin and phytofluin. Tocopherols are mostly vitamin E and gammatocopherol. Phytosterols of sea buckthorn include betasitosterol, betaamirol and erithrodiol. Taken internally, it can help prevent gums from bleeding, recuperate mucous membranes, heal peptic and duodenal ulcers, urinary tract and cervical erosion, solar and cancer radiation injuries and is a source of carotenes, phytosterols, and EFAs.

    Senna (cassia obovata) conditioning also called neutral henna, conditioning

    Sesame (sesamum indicum) color enhancer/dye (Til) darkening

    Shikakai (acacia concinna) cleansing color enhancer/dye excellent cleanser, Mild pH. Gently cleans the hair without stripping oils. For sensitive scalps and to control dandruff. Promotes hair growth and strengthens hair roots. darkening

    Soapwort (saponaria officinalis) cleansing (saponaria officinalis)

    Spikenard (aralia racemosa, aralia Californica, inula conyza) believed to promote growth

    St. John's Wort (hypericum perforatum) skin softener, beneficial for rough damaged skin and problem scalp. Is used for extremely sensitive and allergy prone skin. (St. John's Wort is bad for people taking mood stabilizers, and can react with other medications. I don't know if enough would be absorbed through the hair and skin to be a big problem though.)

    Stinging Nettles (urtica dioica) conditioning medicating silica/minerals, shine promoter, encourage hair growth, good for itchy skin/scalp, good cleanser, high silica and sulfur content, promotes circulation to scalps poorly supplied with blood, stimulates hair growth.

    Tea Tree Oil (melaleuca alternifolia) medicating Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic, germicide, antibacterial, fungicide. Many people use tea tree oil for: dandruff, athletes foot, cold and flu, oral thrush, cold sores & canker sores, tooth ache & gum infections, ringworm, candida, head lice or louse, cleanser additive, gum problems, mosquito bites, bug repellent, cockroaches, deter flees, mouth ulcers, herpes, cuts, abrasions, after shave, sunburn, yeast infections, unwanted body odors, acne, toe nail infections, and many other uses. From here. Other good information here.

    Thyme (thymus vulgaris) medicating has an equalizing effect on oily skin; stimulating, antimicrobial, and antiseptic

    Tofu (soy bean product) a source of protein, a good nutrient for hair, scalp and skin. Has a great absorption rate. Can be used in cream and conditioner preparations.

    Triphala Powder Triphala means "three fruits," and is a blend of haritaki, amla and bibitaki. This blend of herbs is a traditional gentle, detoxifier that nourishes as it removes toxins from the body. It is said to balance the three constitutional elements of human life: the nervous system, the metabolic processes, and the body?s structural integrity. When used in masks and skin treatments, Triphala is said to rejuvenate, balance, tone and nourish the skin at the cellular level. Add it to facials, body treatments and wraps. Is said to have antiseptic properties due to the inclusion of haritaki. Triphala can also be added to Ayurvedic soaps and washbags. INCI Nomenclature: (terminalia chebula) Haritake Fruit Powder, (emblica Officinalis) Amla Fruit Powder, (terminalia belerica) Bibitake

    Tulsi powder (ocimum sanctum) medicating antiseptic, germicidal

    White Camellia oil (camellia japonica) (another often forgotten oil) soothing and moisturizing. Good for hair conditioning, adds shine.

    White Willow Bark (salix alba) medicating antiseptic, for dandruff, contains aspirin and zaps headaches

    Willow herb (epilobium angustifolium, epilobium hirsutum) medicating anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, good for itching, flaking and irritated skin and scalp, is used for psoriasis and eczema relief

    Yellow Sandalwood (santalum album) medicating antiseptic, used to treat skin diseases, dry skin, premature wrinkling, acne, and external infections

    Yucca powder (yucca schidigera) cleansing medicating an excellent skin and hair cleanser. Contains saponins that foam in water to create a mild natural detergent. Supposedly good for dandruff. Obviously the fresh root works best, I remember a field trip when I was in elementary school (in so. California) when we went out to somewhere in the Mojave desert and were shown how to pound up fresh yucca root and lather it like soap. It really did lather like soap and was white and foamy. I vividly remember being very impressed by this as a young girl, to think that herbs and plants could actually be used in real life. So the dried powdered yucca root just isn't as sudsy, but boiling it into a decoction seems to work.


    Some combinations:

    Chamomile flowers + calendula flowers + fenugreek seed + marshmallow root infusion makes a nice rinse for blond hair

    Black walnut hull + sage + comfrey root + rosemary infusion makes a nice rinse for dark hair

    Mugwort + oregano + calendula + thyme + burdock root infusion is good for itchy scalp, dandruff and flakes

    Comfrey root + violet leaf + marshmallow root + plantain leaf good infusion for dry, damaged hair and irritated scalp.

    Thanks to the following:

    Everyone in this thread for their assistance and enthusiam: wonderlywroughte, Thursday, musicalheart, Dianyla, weaver, Catia, SHERYLE, Gem, flame, Tora, Meg_Evenstar, audrey, Isis833, iris, TammyJ

    The Take Charge Beauty Book by Aubrey Hampton & Susan Hussey, Organica Press, ISBN 0-939157-09-8

    Earthly Bodies and Heavenly Hair by Dina Falconi, Ceres Press, ISBN 1-886101-04-3

    Naturally Healthy Hair by Mary Beth Janssen


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