Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Natural, Versatile Hair Care Solution And Lice Treatment

Since having my first child almost 10 years ago, I have dealt with the annoying (and sometimes terribly uncomfortable) issue of dandruff and dry, itchy scalp. The itchiness tends to get worse when exposed to certain chemicals (chlorine, surfactants in shampoos, etc) and has even flared up at certain times and been classified as dermatitis. In the past I have tried various shampoos, creams, and even an oily orange prescription liquid which I would have to leave in overnight. *Yuck*. At the time I was desperate, and not really aware of the dangers involved with slathering unknown chemicals into my skin. I also didn't realize that these products could really end up irritating the problem rather than correcting it.

This is why I had to share with you something that works for me and many others, and is completely natural and also can be used as a detangler and conditioner, hair loss treatment, lice treatment, and more!!

Apple Cider Vinegar!  
I first learned about using ACV for dandruff when looking into replacing my shampoo and conditioners with more natural, frugal options. I read about how it can be used as a detangler and conditioner, and came across info. for using it to treat dandruff. I had been successfully using it for these purposes for a while when twice recently I experienced an *attack* of the itchies. In hopes that it may help with this as well, I leaned over the sink and saturated my scalp with a solution of 1 part ACV to 1 part water. Both times I left this on overnight and by morning I was a new woman :) In fact, just last night I had to use this remedy. The itching was so severe that I couldn't sleep. Within one hour of treatment the itching had basically disappeared. I love this stuff. You can buy a 16 oz. bottle of organic ACV like the one pictured to the left for only $4. I like to keep a couple bottles on hand at our place.

You may be thinking to yourself.."I don't want to smell like vinegar!" Don't worry, you won't. The smell rinses out, and even if you use it as a leave in conditioner, the smell dissipates quickly. I will break down a few of the ways you can incorporate using ACV into your hair care routine:

As a treatment for dandruff/ itchy scalp
Find a squeeze bottle or jar of your choice and fill with distilled water. Add just enough ACV to change the color of the water (about 1-2 tsp. per cup of water). Depending on the severity of your condition, you may use more water and less vinegar: I use an equal ratio of both. It is safe to use full strength ACV if you are in desperate need of relief, though I haven't found this to be necessary. Shake well before using and squeeze/pour slowly onto the scalp and massage in. This may be done several minutes prior to shampooing or even left in overnight before washing. Repeat daily as necessary to correct the problem, then weekly or as needed for prevention. You may keep the solution premixed, or mix before use if you want the water to be warm.  

As a conditioner/detangler

I use a spray bottle and keep this solution in my shower. After washing, I spray through the ends of my hair and massage through. Again, the standard ratio is 1-2 tsp. per cup of water. This works well as a conditioner and should be used sparingly towards the roots. Leave in several minutes and rinse if desired. I am still working on a natural hair care routine for my thick curly hair as it is difficult to detangle no matter what. I will say though that this does help.

Natural Treatment for lice, natural hair loss remedy, herbal rinses, and more

Check out this site for information on these and many other uses for ACV as a natural health and wellness supplement. Scroll down just a bit from the top and you will see the links to the different hair preparations. I sure hope NOT to have a breakout of lice in our home, but I was very happy to hear about a non-toxic alternative to treat them! I plan on reading through this site more soon myself, as there is lots of useful information.

This post is part of the Home Remedies Carnival at Keeper Of The Home.