Homemade Herbal Haircare (On A Budget!)
Kitchen Cupboard Recipes for Luscious Locks
It’s been almost a year since my last haircut.
I know – self-care and all that. As a herbalist, I often get too preoccupied with the wellbeing of others to notice I’ve neglected my own nurturing. Unable to get an appointment for the next two weeks, and with a head of hair resembling a haystack, I thought I’d pick up a cheap “off the shelf” treatment from the supermarket and make do until then.
Side note: Contrary to popular belief, herbalists don’t forage for everything. Even with a dispensary full of herbal oils and potions, it’s sometimes rather nice to be lazy and try out something you haven’t made for yourself. I recently mulled this over with a chef friend, who wholeheartedly agreed that eating a meal that had been prepared by someone else felt like a rare and enjoyable treat.
Back to the story.
Browsing the haircare section, I was stopped in my tracks with a blast from the past - The V05 hot oil ampule! The product du jour for teenage girls in the 90’s! At the bargain price of around 99p it never failed to deliver its promise of sleek, shiny hair for the big night out. Although slightly revamped and at a much elevated price, I was agog it had stood the test of time and still on sale.
The sight of that small plastic vial, unleashed vivid memories of my teenage obsession with hair care. Oh, there were so many experiments! Like the time I tried washing my hair with a can of Skol lager after my grandma told me that beer made your hair grow faster, or shaking neat malt vinegar onto my locks in an attempt to create a natural, glossy sheen. (Don’t try this at home - you’ll just smell like a chip shop.)
I immediately cringed with shame that I’d considered paying way over the odds for something I could easily make for myself. Four quid for 60 ml? I’m far too tight fisted.
With the cost of food basics on the rise, we’re all on the hunt for a bargain (just look at the popularity of programmes like Jamie’s £1 wonders….) but when it comes to haircare and beauty products, we rarely give the price tag a second thought.
The game was afoot.
The following recipes are re-vamped versions of (successful!) experiments from those days of yore. Not only are they easier on the pocket, they’re also quite good fun to make. I hope you’ll feel inspired to give them a whirl.