The Pantone Colour Institute has announced ‘Greenery’ as its official colour for 2017; inspired by Nature, symbolising a renewed zest for life, and fresh beginnings. Turns out, quite a few natural ingredients I’ve tried, to breathe fresh life into my hair too, are green in colour!
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it features green ingredients I’ve personally tested, in the manner that I’ve tested them. There are definitely variations out there,; free to experiment with ones that you feel would suit your hair type, and lifestyle.
Curry Leaves/Sweet Neem/Kadi Patta
This was my mother’s childhood favourite, and I wish I’d taken out more time in life to try kadi patta for my hair as a grown-up. Here’s how to do it:
- A quick kadi patta tonic is the most simple solution for those who get put off by the idea of elaborate home recipes. Boil a handful of the leaves in water, and simply rinse your hair with it. Leave on for 10 minutes, then wash off.
- Here’s my mother’s recipe: Grind some fenugreek seeds to a powder. Add to coconut oil, with some kadi patta, and warm the mixture over gentle heat. Massage this (rather pungent) concoction into your scalp/hair, and leave on for 1 hour. Regular application (once a week), brings about a significant change in texture, thickness, and volume.
Spinach and Avocado
If you’re not fond of heavy lunches, you should give the spinach-avocado salad a shot. All you need to do, is chuck fresh spinach leaves into a bowl with scooped out dollops of avocado; and bind them together in a lime juice, olive oil (more green!), and salt dressing. Add a few chopped black grapes for extra flavour/sweetness. You won’t be wrong to attribute any qualitative change to hair/skin luminosity and texture, to this simple nutritional addition to your diet.
Olive oil is an excellent emollient for a dehydrated, flaky scalp. It inherently has keratin, which protects and maintains the basic structure of hair strands, whilst simultaneously adding gloss/shine. And, no, it doesn’t darken the hair, atleast not in my personal experience!
Many people have aloe vera growing at home. Even if you don’t, it’s not difficult to get a pot from a nursery.
- If you’ve the time, you can cut open the aloe blades, and extract its gooey gel. This can be applied directly to hair, or as a mixture, with coconut/olive oil. Cover your head with a shower cap and go about your chores for 1hour, and then wash off in the shower. Aloe vera gel is a fantastic natural conditioner, that prevents scalp build-up, encourages healthy hair follicle growth, and banishes dryness.
- If you don’t have the time, you can incorporate its juice in your diet. There are many organic varieties available, and it’s sufficient to take a ‘shot’ in the morning, and once before you go to bed.
Whose mother hasn’t forced them to try this one, actually? Amla oil is easily available, and you probably use it already. But, if you’re specifically aiming at some spectacular volume, or at preserving your natural beach waves, you can try amla powder as follows:
- Prepare a thick enough paste with filtered water and apply directly on your scalp/hair, leaving it on for 30-45 minutes. Wash off as you would. You can add yoghurt too, but I personally hate yoghurt in my hair!
- This is the method I prefer, because I also trust the other ingredients in this recipe. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of castor oil into the amla paste as described above, and massage onto the scalp. If you like, add coconut/olive oil. When trying this, I tend to leave it on for upto 2 hours; and wash off with warm water. You may want to skip the conditioner. The impact on softness, volume and bounce is almost immediate, and stunning!
I use rosemary essential oil on my scalp, 2-3 times a week, usually the night before when I plan to wash my hair; whether I’ve applied my other usual oil(s) or not. Sometimes, we’re all too busy to find time even on the weekends, to oil our hair. This is a small, fuss-free, and quick way to make sure you’re doing something to maintain your mane, especially if one of your primary worries is hair loss.
- Take a few drops on your palm, and massage into your scalp. Rosemary’s an extremely potent hair follicle stimulator. The slight tingling you feel should reassure you, not scare you – that’s just your scalp soaking up the goodness, and thanking you for it.
- Mixing rosemary essential oil with castor/coconut/olive oils, amplifies its conditioning powers. You can even keep rosemary sprigs steeping in a bottle of coconut/olive oil, so you don’t have to do any mixing on hair-oiling day.
Between all of them, these ingredients are Vitamin A/C/E and protein bombs, absolute essentials in their own rights for resilient, thick, hydrated, and voluminous hair. All these ingredients are probably in your pantry cupboard right now. Tell-tale signs of a stressful/unhealthy lifestyle show easily on hair (or lack of it!), which makes the time, and emotional investment all worth it.
Sumiran Kashyap is a fashion, beauty, wellness and creative arts
blogger. Her blog is Thinking Totty (https://sumirankashyapsahni.com).