Amla: Regular use of Amla strengthens the hair follicles, stimulates hair growth, combats dandruff and gives your hair a beautiful shine. Due to the high content of Vitamin C, it is known to help fight against hair shedding and breakage. It also said the antioxidant properties of Amla can help prevent premature graying.
Cassia: Cassia promotes healthy, soft and shiny hair, combats dandruff, conditions, volumizes and strengthens ones hair. While it looks similar to henna (a little lighter in color) it does not give the same orange/red stain as henna. It will enhance and highlight the color of blond hair without changing it however, those with dark hair will be not notice any color enhancement. It provides hair with a lot of the same benefits that henna gives hair and while the plants resin coats the hair, the results are not as long-lasting and therefor will need to be repeated more frequently. Unlike Henna, Cassia is not known to “loosen” curl patters.
Henna: There are so many benefits one can get from Henna, these include: stronger hair strands, less breakage, less hair shedding, eliminating dandruff and filling in the hairs cuticle which helps to balance the hairs porosity. Apart from strengthening from within, Henna also coats the outer layer of the hair which helps to thicken hair strands. On the flip side of this, some people have said it leads to curl loosening due to the fact Henna can weigh down hair strands (from the coating effect.) Curl loosening is not something everyone experiences however if you use Amla (see above) it is known to help restore curls (not always guaranteed.)
Avocado Butter: Avocado Butter is an excellent moisturizer for hair. It is packed with nutrients which is why it is not only very moisturizing for the hair but also dry and itchy scalps. Some people use a tiny amount of Avocado Butter as a natural heat protectant (I cannot testify to this because I do not use heat on my hair.)
Cocoa Butter: Cocoa butter is an extremely popular natural ingredient that is used to help increase the hairs manageability and moisture. The butter is known to help reduce hair loss and breakage. Due to its highly moisturizing properties it can alleviate scalp itching and irritation which in turn can eliminate dandruff. Since it is a fat, it can be used to replenish lost oils due to chemical processes such as perms and colorings. It is known to effectively strengthen hair, tame frizzy and flyaway hair.
Mango Butter: Mango butter contains high levels of antioxidants and beneficial vitamins A, C, and E. It is a highly moisturizing butter which is able to restore flexibility, effectively treat dry and itchy scalps and therefore aid in the growth of hair (due to a healthy scalp.) Because of its high content of fatty acids it is believed that it might actually be more moisturizing that Cocoa and Shea butter (I cannot attest to that as I have never used it before.)
Shea Butter: Shea butter acts as an excellent sealant. It therefor can help “trap in” moisture and moisturizing products applied to hair. Shea butter is highly moisturizing for the hair on its own as well and has the same affects for the scalp. Shea Butter provides nourishment to dry or damaged hair from the roots to the very tips; repairing and protecting against weather damage, dryness and brittleness. Due to its moisturizing properties it gives hair a natural shine and smoothing effect. Some people use whip Shea butter as a leave-in for hair (you can other moisturizing ingredients to it.)
Sweet Almond Butter: Sweet Almond Butter has similar properties to Shea Butter as well as a high content of essential fatty acids. It is rich in proteins and vitamin D and can be used to soften and re-condition dry hair. The butter is smooth and rich which makes it easy to spread and apply to hair.
Argan Oil: Aragan oil is slowly becoming a popular oil amongst the natural hair community for its moisturizing properties and its ability to help strengthen and smooth the hair since it is readily absorb-able.
Amla Oil: Amla oil contains essential fatty acids that are known to help promote hair growth. To accelerate hair growth massaging your scalp with Amla Oil increases blood circulation which helps in hair growth. Amla oil helps combat dry and itchy scalps, dandruff and acts as conditioning oil for hair.
Avocado Oil: Avocado Oil is full of vitamins A, D, E, potassium, minerals and much more. It helps improve hair growth due to the fact that the oil is easily absorbed into our skin/scalp however since the Oil is a bit heavy and slightly oily, it’s best for those with thicker hair. It strengthens the hair right from the root all the way to the ends.
Castor Oil: Castor oil is considered a humectant that also happens to hold anti-fungal properties. It helps thicken, grow hair and acts as an excellent sealant. Due to its thick and sticky nature a little goes a long way! People with fine hair might find Castor Oil too heavy for them as it can weigh the hair down.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO): Coconut oil provides shine and strength to curly hair and is a popular leave-in conditioner. If used lightly, coconut oil does not make the hair look or feel greasy and since it is penetrates into the hair shaft the oil strengthens from within It can be used to aid in sealing in moisture and works well to stop frizz.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): EVOO can be used to help seal in moisture, aid hair manageability but can be a little “heavy” (especially for those with fine hair) therefore it is best to use it lightly so it does not weigh your hair down.
Grapeseed Oil: Another example of an oil that is easily absorbed into the hair and scalp without weighing down the hair or clogging up pores due to the fact that it is an extremely “light” oil. Although it is a “light” oil it gives hair a sheen so those with fine hair can use it without worrying about having greasy hair. It is known to help heal alopecia areata as well dry and itchy scalps therefore helping fight dandruff. It is great and sealing in moisture and retaining the natural moisture in our hair.
Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is probably one of the most popular oil when it comes to natural hair care. It is light and does not weigh the hair down. It is known to help heal alopecia areata as well as dry or itchy scalps. If that was not enough, Jojoba oil adds softness, shine and moisture.
Sweet Almond Oil: Sweet Almond Oil is an extremely light oil that does not weigh down the hair. It contains different Vitamins such as vitamin A and E, which makes it very nourishing for the hair and also strengthens the hair from the root. Due to its light nature it is an ideal oil to massage onto your scalp should it be dry or itchy because it helps to moisturize without clogging your pores. The oil is known to control and minimize hair fall, smooths out damaged hair cuticles, enhances hair growth and adds shine.
Vegetable Glycerin: Vegetable Glycerin is a humectant since it attracts water in the air (humidity) and directs it to the area applied (the hair.) Due to its oily nature it can also be used as a sealant and “trap in” moisture however should be used sparingly and should be diluted since it is thick and sticky. Vegetable Glycerin is better served when used in humid climate since it attracts that moisture however, if used when there is a lack of humidity in the air it can do the opposite (extract moisture from the hair to the air.)
Vitamin E Oil: Vitamin E is a commonly used oil to help extend homemade products shelf life (however only extends products for a little bit.) This oil rejuvenates and offers protection for the scalp and skin by nourishing both.
Essential Oils – Keep in mind that essential oils are highly concentrated and therefore a little goes a long way. If it is overused it can lead to skin irritations. A few drops of essential oil should always be diluted in carrier oils or added to remixed products.
Lavender Oil: This oil helps sooth the scalp, treat dandruff and itching as well as reduces stress, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is said to control hair breakage and improves hair growth. It is widely known to treat alopecia areata (a condition where you lose excessive hair in patches.) To see significant hair re-growth results quickly it is recommended to do daily scalp massages with lavender oil diluted in a carrier. Lavender oil blends well with many other essential oils including rosemary and tea tree oil.
Peppermint Oil: Helps to stimulate blood flow to the scalp which results in hair growth as the root of the hair is being nourished.
Rosemary Oil: Rosemary is recognized as an oil that fights against dandruff and flaky itchy scalps. Similar to Peppermint Oil, this oil stimulates the hair follicles which results in hair growth.
Ylang-Ylang Oil: Helps reduce stress increase the thickness of the hair shaft and helps promote hair growing hair thicker. It is known to have a balancing effect on scalps oil production and may help with split ends.
Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ)*: Aloe Vera Juice can be used to promote hair growth, stop hair loss and treat scalp problems. Should you suffer from dry scalp or dry hair; Aloe Vera Juice can be used to restore moisture to both! Aloe Vera Juice has been said to help simulate hair growth since it contains enzyme that stimulates hair follicles and can help reduce buildup since it has astringent properties. *If you are using AVJ directly from the plant (completely pure and untreated) it is best to do a skin patch test to see if you are allergic to it first since people can develop an allergic reaction to it.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Due to its content of acetic acid, ACV removes build up (from styling products), strengthens and conditions the hair – leaving you with soft and shiny strands. ACV helps close the hair cuticle as well as balances pH level of our hair. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that help combat itchy and dry scalp which can help reduce dandruff.