I’m pretty sure my hair has had a life-long vendetta against me.
Straight, fine, fly-away, limp, stringy . . . these would all be a fair description of my mop.
Add to that, my tendency to have a biennial shedding where I freak out for a couple of weeks that I’m going bald and then spend the next year growing it all back in. Do you know what fine hair does when it’s short? It stands straight up. Off of your head. If you ever wondered why Thing #2 looked like a little blond gorilla when he was a baby – now you know. He’s got his mama’s hair . . .
I’ve used shampoo bars (a natural, solid soap specially formulated for hair) for almost 2 years now. I LOVE them for what they’ve done for me. On top of having fine hair, I really struggled with having an oily scalp. My hair needed to be washed almost every day just to look clean. It was so frustrating! I’m not a do-my-hair-every-day kind of gal and with the arrival of two little boys, you can imagine the state of my hair for a while. One day, I heard something new:
“Commercial shampoos contain detergents that strip your hair and scalp of natural oils which can lead to the scalp OVER-PRODUCING oil in some people.”
Aha! That made sense to me! So, enter shampoo bars. My scalp has been much healthier – my hair much less greasy – and miraculously, it’s got a little body now. Overall, I’ve been much happier with my hair.
But the shedding . . . . I had a fairly stressful month last month and before I knew it, a quarter of my hair was washing down the drain again. I decided that there had to be something natural that could help with this nuisance.
Green tea contains caffeine and tannins which are very beneficial to your scalp and hair health. Caffeine is known to block DHT (the hormone that causes hair loss) when applied in small amounts. Tannins thicken the hair shaft and help your hair appear a bit fuller. This is a double score for me! I’ve done a green tea rinse once a week for the last three weeks and I love it. Not only does my hair look and feel better (it’s oh-so soft and bouncy!) but I have noticed a remarkable decrease in my latest shed. The hairs aren’t jumping off my head anymore and are back to a much more respectable loss rate. This is one beauty routine that I’m definitely going to keep up.
Here’s what you do:
Before your shower, steep about 2 tsp loose leaf green tea (or a tea bag or two) in 3-4 cups of water. Don’t worry about timing it – just leave the tea as it cools while you go take a shower and wash your hair. I’m fond of lemon rinses after I shampoo so I make sure and do that too. If you use regular conditioner, I recommend waiting to condition your hair until after the tea rinse.
While your hair is still damp, pour the cooled, strained tea all over your scalp and hair. Squeeze out the excess tea, wrap your hair in a plastic grocery bag (yes, we’ll be fabulous like that), and then wrap in a towel.
Let it sit for about 30 minutes. This is NOT a beauty routine that you want to do on a busy day.
Rinse out your hair and scalp with lukewarm water. If you use conditioner, now would be the time to do that. Style as usual.
I’ve heard that you can also use black tea if all you have is some Lipton’s on hand. I haven’t tried it myself but I’ve heard it works just as well. I’ll let you know when I try it out. Also, more is NOT better here!!! Don’t brew up an extra strong batch and leave it on your head for 8 hours. Caffeine in large doses inhibits hair growth so you won’t be doing yourself any favors.
After this last time with the tea rinse, I made the mistake of asking my husband how he liked my hair. *insert twirl and fluttery eyelashes* The response was, “I don’t know – it kind of looks like it always does.” Take my advice, if you have a left-brained husband like mine, do NOT go to him all excited about your awesome hair. Find a girlfriend. She’ll probably notice how great your hair is without you even having to ask.