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It's no secret that some bestselling hair products are loaded with chemicals that can adversely affect your hair and health over the long term. Hazardous chemicals such as sodium laurel, isopropyl alcohol and proplyene glycol are often the secret ingredients behind the hair-boosting claims of a shampoo or conditioner. While everyone wants long, beautiful, shiny tresses, it's not necessary to rely on dangerous chemicals to attain them. A quick trip to a farmer's market or natural foods store can help you establish a chemical-free hair-care regimen.
Treat Dandruff and Itchy Scalp with Oatmeal
Oat protein is often one of the main ingredients in commercial hair-care products. As a moisturizer, oats have high concentrations of starches and soluble fiber to help seal in water and keep your scalp from becoming dry and flaky. As a cleanser, oats are rich in saponins, a natural detergent found in many plants. An Indian remedy for treating dandruff and itchy scalp with oatmeal is a hair mask made of 1 cup oats, 2 tablespoons almond oil and 1/2 cup milk. Rinse out the mask after 20 minutes.
Bring Shine to Your Hair with Bananas
Bananas aren't just for the body -- they also do the hair good! Packed with antioxidants, potassium, iron, and B vitamins, including B6 and B12, this friendly fruit delivers shine to your hair while treating dry, flaky scalp. Puree a banana in a blender with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 raw egg. Apply the mixture to your hair, and leave it on for about 20 minutes while wearing a shower cap. Wash the mixture out with your favorite shampoo. Make sure the banana is well blended before applying, otherwise, the battle to remove banana chunks will outweigh any benefit this treatment provides. Also, don't skip the shower cap -- it prevents the mixture from drying into your hair, making it easier to shampoo out later.
Grow Your Hair with Hibiscus
The women of India have long appreciated the natural benefits of hibiscus in the quest to grow longer, suppler hair. Scientists have found that hibiscus reduces by half the amount of time necessary to grow hair. If you can't find any flowers to pluck yourself, hibiscus powder, found in natural food stores, is an effective alternative. Mix the powder with enough water to make a watery paste, apply it to your hair, and leave it in for no longer than 10 minutes before rinsing -- leaving the paste on for longer risks making your hair greasy.
Deep Condition with Coconut Oil
As with oatmeal, coconut oil is ubiquitous as a go-to source for natural beauty care. As a natural hair-care remedy, coconut oil deeply penetrates hair shafts to bind proteins and strengthen strands. This miracle oil is rich in vitamin E, vitamin K, and iron -- nutrients that enhance luster and shine. For a deep-conditioning treatment, massage about a quarter-sized amount of oil into your scalp and hair just before bedtime. Protect your pillow by sleeping while wearing a shower cap. In the morning, shampoo out the oil.
- International Journal of PharmTech Research: Development And Evaluation Of Polyherbal Formulations For Hair Growth-Promoting Activity
- No More Dirty Looks: The Truth about Your Beauty Products--and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics; Siobahn O'Connor
- HewHealthGuide.org: Coconut Oil for Hair Growth
- The Times of India: Fight Hair Problems With Homemade Hair Masks
- Joanna Wnuk/Hemera/Getty Images