Rosemary has a long history of use as a way to darken and strengthen hair. Olive oil is a traditional hair smoother and strengthener. When you put them together, you have a treatment that may make your hair longer, stronger, darker and more lustrous. Getting a hot oil treatment at a salon can easily cost as much as a week's worth of groceries, and you can't be sure of the quality of ingredients in a store-bought product. One way to be sure that your hair is getting the best treatment is to make your own rosemary hot oil treatments at home.
Strip the needle-like leaves from each rosemary sprig by running your fingers down the stem. Chop the leaves finely with a sharp knife. Using a sharp knife will help avoid bruising and crushing the leaves.
Put 1 cup of olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the chopped rosemary, stirring in the leaves with a plastic or wooden spoon.
Heat the olive oil and rosemary until it is slightly warmer than your skin temperature. Keep in mind that your scalp is more sensitive to heat than your hands are. The best way to test the temperature of the olive oil is to dribble a drop on the inside of your wrist, just as you would test baby formula.
Strain the hot oil through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a jar. Press the leaves lightly with a spoon to extract all the oil from the mixture, then discard the leaves and cheesecloth.
Put a towel in a dryer or on a radiator to warm.
Dip your fingertips in the oil and apply it to your hair, starting at the scalp and working through to the ends. Massage lightly into the scalp for a minute to stimulate the nerve endings and hair follicles. Make sure to coat all strands of hair.
Wrap your hair with plastic kitchen wrap. Cover the plastic with a heated towel and relax for 15 to 20 minutes.
Wash your hair with gentle shampoo until all the oil is removed. It usually will take two lather-and-rinse cycles before your hair is oil-free.
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