Throughout history, women (and men) have tried every outrageous trick, product and hairstyle out there in an attempt to fit in with whatever civilization they were part of. Ancient Egyptians shaved their heads and turned to wigs, Europeans covered their heads with elaborate powdered wigs, and over in China, the goal was to have long hair that stayed black long into old age. While wigs haven’t made a comeback yet, our ancestors were full of ancient haircare secrets that are still useful today.
DIY beauty products are easy to make, inexpensive, and can work just as well as their chemical-laden counterparts. Luckily, we can turn to ancient civilizations for easy DIY ways to make hair longer, stronger, shinier, and less damaged. Although some of the methods are a little out there, you’ll be familiar with other ingredients that we still use in beauty products today.
- ALOE VERA
In Native American culture, long hair was valued in both male and female populations. In photographs of Native American populations, both men and women had long black hair that resisted graying even in old age. Part of this can be chalked up to aloe vera, which was an essential ingredient in Native Americans’ diet. The versatile plant is known for relieving burns, but it can also be used to strengthen and protect hair. Apply some of the gel to your hair when you’re going to be in the sun or use it to soothe a sunburned scalp.
- SAPOTE OIL
This oil, also referred to as sapuyulo oil, is extracted from the fruit of the mamey sapote tree, which is native to Central and South America. The oil is a multi-tasker that can be massaged into the scalp and is known to reduce dandruff, soothe dry and itchy scalps, and even promote hair growth.
- ARGON OIL
This Moroccan product is ubiquitous in the beauty world, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. Argon Oil has a number of beauty uses, but its moisturizing properties are perfect for dry and damaged hair.
- FERMENTED RICE WATER
Women in the Yao ethnic minority in a small village in the Guangxi Province of Southern China are known for their extraordinarily long hair, which stays long and black well into the women’s’ 80s. One of the secrets to their hair is fermented rice water, which is used as a shampoo in many Asian cultures. They store the leftover water from cooking rice and store it for several days so it has a chance to ferment. Using this water as a shampoo allegedly makes hair softer and stronger.
This plant, which grows in tropical areas like Hawaii and the Polynesian islands, is a member of the ginger family has also infiltrated the modern beauty world. The flower of the awapuhi produces a gel that has long been used as a hair product. Today, brands from Paul Mitchell to Suave have added awapuhi to their shampoos and conditioners.
- CASTOR & ALMOND OILS
No compilation of ancient beauty practices is complete without one from Egypt. Ancient Egyptians used kohl to create the original cat-eye and were among the first people to use sugaring to remove body hair. In Egypt, the combination of castor oil and almond oil was used to promote hair growth by massaging it into the scalp. The castor oil does the actual work, while almond oil creates a more fluid liquid and sweetens the smell of the mixture. You can make a DIY hair-growth formula easily with just a few ingredients.
Here are some other ways to keep your hair healthy and growing strong.
Lie down horizontally on your bed, with your head hanging fully out. Close your eyes and using the soft pad of your fingers, massage your scalp gently for five minutes. The blood shoots right to the scalp, which pushes the hair follicles. Do this for five minutes, every day, and your hair will have grown an inch. Try it!
BINGE ON THE RIGHT FOOD
One thing our Indian cuisine has in plenty is coconut, curry leaves and dal. All of which are powerhouses of vital nutrients and antioxidants, which strengthen the roots, promote regeneration of new hair follicles and boost blood flow.
Herbal Rinse Brew a fresh cup of tea with used green tea bag. After shampooing, rinse your hair with the solution. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Massage your scalp for about 2 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water. This simple herbal mask for hair growth will add a nice shine and volume to your dull hair.
ONION JUICE OFR BALDING SPOTS
Onion has a high sulphur content, which is known to promote hair growth. Peel, grind and extract juice of 1 onion. Massage it rigorously on the balding spot. Let it sit overnight and wash it off in the morning. Use this herb to strengthen roots every night, till you see visible results.
FALL HAIR MASK
High in proteins, egg is known to infuse life back into dull and dead hair. Take a bowl, and separate egg white from the yolk. Mix a few drops of lemon juice and rosemary oil to the egg white. Apply it on to your wet hair. Wait till it dries and then shampoo and condition as usual.