DIY Hair Growth and Anti-Dandruff Spray

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that my scalp health is the pits. My scalp is a notorious war-zone in which the skin just refuses to act natural. No matter how much I hydrate or attempt to balance my scalp, within only a day or so my scalp goes right back to it’s crazy business. I’ve used just about every dandruff shampoo and “itch relief” product at the drug store, and all of them have similar issues. They were either chock full of chemicals and ingredients I didn’t recognize, or they helped my scalp but made the lengths of my hair dry and waxy. Aside from the relief of rosemary rinse that lasts about a day and the ice packs I keep in the freezer that help sooth the burn from itching so much, I needed a long term solution. I only wash my hair every 2-3 days for the health of the lengths of my hair, but my scalp has been in dire need of extra love. I needed something that I could use more often than just in the shower.

After extensive Googling, and “Pinterest research” as well, I landed on a mixture that I could use as a hairspray. This hairspray is easy to make, all-natural, and can be used anytime, anywhere. That anytime, anywhere factor is the biggest plus because when that itch kicks in and you’re not intending to wash your hair within the next 30 minutes, you need that relief, and you NEED IT FAST!

What you’ll need:

  • a spray bottle
  • a bag of organic green tea
  • 1-2 medium sized sprigs of rosemary
  • tea tree oil

How it’s made:

  • Heat 1 cup of water and add a bag of green tea and 1-2 sprigs of rosemary.
    • Let sit until tea is fully brewed and cooled.
  • Once tea is cooled, fill your spray bottle with the tea until it’s about 3/4 full.
  • Add 20-30 drops of tea tree oil.
  • Screw the spray bottle top on and shake vigorously to mix the oil and tea.

How to use:

  • Separate hair into sections and spray directly onto the scalp.
  • Once you feel the scalp is sufficiently covered, use your fingers to massage the spray into your scalp.
    • You can follow this up by brushing out the hair to help spread the spray further, but this isn’t necessary.
  • That’s it, it’s that easy.

This simple mixture is made to last and can be stored in the cabinet or in your purse for on-the-go use. It doesn’t weigh the hair down and won’t leave your roots greasy. Since tea tree oil is a dry oil, you might even notice this spray refreshes limp hair on the days you don’t wash it. You will need to shake the bottle before each use to re-mix any separation of oil and tea; however, the longer you have the mixture the more it will blend naturally.

As much as I am raving about the delight of relief this hairspray is for a devastated scalp, it has so many other benefits as well particularly for cleansing of the hair follicles and removing impurities. Aside from dandruff and itch relief, this cleansing can help promote healthy hair growth and decrease excessive hair loss.

Green tea contains a natural antioxidant compound called a catechin which helps to reduce dihydrotestosterone (DTH), a hormone derivative of testosterone (which both men and women have), that can cause hair loss. By reducing DTH on the scalp hair is less likely to fall out, allowing hair to grow thicker and healthier over time. You can also reap these benefits by drinking green tea regularly.

Rosemary has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which can help to gently cleanse, condition, and remove impurities from the scalp that can cause that itch.

Finally, tea tree oil is a staple of both skincare and haircare that is well known for its ability to remove toxins from pores and hair follicles, as well as lift product residue off the skin along with dead skin (in this case, dandruff). You can also add a couple drops of tea tree oil to your normal shampoo for an added boost of dandruff and itch relief in the shower.

This combination not only brings sweet relief when scalp pain sets in, but also brings nutrients and over all restorative health to the scalp. And if you don’t suffer from scalp issues, this can still benefit you in your hair growth and chemical free living endeavors.

Once you’ve tried this DIY hairspray, let me know how it worked for you. It’s now a staple of my haircare routine, and I’d love to know if it becomes one of yours too.

Rosemary Hair Rinse

Rosemary hair rinses are the perfect DIY goody for anyone with a scalp in need of some love.

For months now due to fad hair product usage (Function of Beauty…), anxiety, stress and irregular washings, my scalp has been as irritated as the day is long. I have been desperate to try just about anything to soothe my burning, itchy scalp. My first shot was an apple cider vinegar rinse, which is great and all, it just wasn’t enough to last between washes. Each time I’d wash my hair, I had about two hours of relief before the itchy came back, and I was scratching so hard my hair was falling out. It HURT! I had red patches that felt like fire, dandruff everywhere, and, for some reason, oily roots (which was just adding insult to injury if you ask me).

Disgusting right? I’m sorry you had to read that, but also not sorry. I want you to understand just how bad my scalp health was, so you’ll know just how incredible this rosemary rinse is.

The recipe is incredibly simple, and it doesn’t take a lot of prep.

All you need is about 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and some water.

I start by cutting 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary from my garden and washing them. I often find that there’s a bit of dirt and sometimes little bugs hiding in-between the leaves, and I don’t want either of those things in my hair (bugs? No Thank You!).

Once they’ve been washed, I toss them in a pot and pour in around 32 ounces of water which is enough to make two bottles of the rinse. I often reuse old GT’s kombucha bottles which are 16 ounces a piece (I’m a kombucha addict, so I reuse those bottles for everything). You can use however much you want, or however much your pots can handle. Just make sure you have the proper containers to store the rinse in after.

Bring the water to a boil, then turn it down a bit and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. As the rosemary simmers the water will turn an olive green color. Once the color is dark and the leaves look a bit limp, it’s time to let the rinse cool.

Once it’s cool enough, you can pour your rinse into whatever bottles you have. I personally prefer to store these bottles in the fridge before using them even though that’s not entirely necessary. I find that using them is more effective for scalp relief when they are chilled before use.

When you’re ready to use one just take it out of the fridge, take a normal shower, and then pour the rinse over your head making sure to thoroughly coat the scalp. Let this stay in your hair for about 5-10 minutes (usually I’ll wash my body and face while I let it set in), and then rinse it out with nice cold water. While it sits in your hair and as you rinse it out, it’s also good to massage the scalp to really make sure you work this product in and purify the scalp. I use inversion here and flip my hair upside down while I massage my scalp to encourage hair growth and healthy blood flow to the scalp. It also doesn’t need to be rinsed out for long, you only really need to give it a quick once-over since you want to retain as many of the benefits as possible.

It’s really the simplest thing you can do to help your scalp maintain a healthy pH and remove impurities that cause irritation.

Bonus: I often add about a tbsp of apple cider vinegar once I take a bottle out of the fridge for a bit of added purification. Apple cider vinegar can increase hair’s natural shine, and can also be incredibly beneficial for maintaining a healthy pH, removing product build-up, and soothing an itchy scalp since it’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.

Thanks for reading!

Once you try this Rosemary Hair Rinse let me know, how did it work for you?

Starting Your Own Skincare Garden

Starting your own skincare garden is simple, and can be done both indoors and outdoors depending on your living situation. All you need is plants, pots, and lots of pruning.

Here, I’ll walk you through some of the plants I picked for my skincare (and more) garden!

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera was an absolute must in my garden! As a former lifeguard and all around sun-sensitive being, aloe has been a staple of my summer routine for years. However, for all those years I used store bought aloe loaded with extra ingredients and preservatives I had no idea how to pronounce (Ugh!). Regardless, aloe saved my skin too many times to count, and I knew I needed to grow my own.

Aloe Vera is incredibly easy to grow and maintain (which was lucky for me because for the longest time I was never someone you could say had a green thumb). I picked up my Aloe Vera plant at Lowe’s, and I would suggest purchasing an adult plant as their leaves are ready to use and they will grow pups sooner than an immature plant.

Aloe Vera pups grow around the main plant, and can be removed and repotted. When repotted they can grow as large as it’s original parent plant.

They’re pretty self-sufficient and don’t need you to be doting on them too much. They only need to be watered about every week and a half, so their soil can maintain a soft, damp state without being drenched (aloe doesn’t like having wet ‘feet’). They also need a pot with a good drainage system which just means you need a pot with holes in the bottom. And if you don’t have that, you can line the bottom of a pot with a few inches of rocks to aid in drainage space. Make sure your aloe plant has plenty of sunlight as well, aloe likes indirect light (6+ hours) or direct light (4-6 hours) per day.

Aloe can be used for so many different things. You can use it simply for its gel to ease burns and rashes, or you can add other ingredients to the pulp to make something more exciting. My personal favorite uses for aloe are shaving gels and dandruff relief scalp masks (I’ll have these recipes posted soon).

Rosemary

Rosemary has far more uses than aloe (or at least I use it for far more). Typically, it’s grown for cooking. You can dry some and use it to make amazing breads and crusts, but you can also grow it to use in hair rinses and face toners. Not to mention- it smells delightful no matter what you do with it!

Growing rosemary is also fairly simple. Rosemary isn’t a big fan of being heavily watered, and in general it prefers to be left alone. I only water my rosemary when I notice the soil has become dry to the touch, and I only give it about a half cup of water at a time. Rosemary’s natural habitat is in the dry parts of California, so if you live out there (yay for you!) your rosemary plant will thrive being planted right in the ground in your backyard. However for myself, here in Virginia, our weather is muggy and it rains too often for rosemary to grow successfully in the ground. Rosemary, like aloe, likes to be in a pot with good drainage and can handle indirect sunlight (6+ hours) or direct sunlight (4-6 hours) per day.

You can use rosemary in a number of ways outside the kitchen including as a hair rinse that promotes healthy growth and as a facial toner that helps balance your skin’s natural pH (I’ll have recipes posted soon).

Lavender

When I started the garden I really wasn’t sure what to do with lavender, but it was too beautiful and fragrant to pass up. Luckily, it turns out you can use it for a whole lot of homemade goodies (including food which excited me to no end).

Lavender is finicky. It doesn’t like too much water, but it also doesn’t like soil that’s too dry. It doesn’t like too much sunlight, but if you take it out of the sun for too long it starts to look sad. Sadly, when I purchased my first Lavender plant I didn’t know what I was looking for, and I’ll tell you, the first thing you need to look for isn’t it’s size or how many blooms it already has. You need to look at the roots. Healthy lavender roots are a darkish gray-green, and they’re sturdy almost like wood. My first lavender plant had root rot which happens when you over water lavender- the roots were almost purple-gray and soft to the touch (yuck!). It took a while to correct, but after letting the plant dry out and readjusting its watering schedule to about a half a cup whenever the soil got to be too dry, the flowers perked right up and the stems got stronger.

Lavender with an attempted healing of root rot.

I commonly use the lavender I grow for essential oils and bug spray (because Virginia mosquitos are the worst). I have been a nanny and babysitter for a number of years, and it wows parents every time when you show up with homemade, non-toxic bug spray to use with their kids (I’ll have recipes posted soon).

Chamomile

Chamomile is a delightful little plant that can be used for teas, hair rinses, and skin soothers. These little tangly bushes are cute as can be, and a favorite of mine.

This plant is somewhat easy to grow. They don’t take a lot of water, but they can absolutely handle having wet ‘feet’. The “somewhat” part comes in to play when you account for the time it takes for chamomile plants to mature. For best use, you want to wait until your chamomile plant begins to flower which feels like it takes forever. However, it’s so (SO) worth it, because those little flowers can be used to make delicious, soothing, herbal tea, lightening hair rinses (hello vibrant blondes!), and soothing skin lotions for the face and body (I’ll have recipes posted soon).

My final pick for a beginner garden: Sweet Mint!

Now, sweet mint isn’t a super popular skin care ingredient. But, if you’re looking to make your own mouth washes, tooth pastes, face masks and delicious drinks, you’re gonna want one of these.

Sweet mint (as with most other mint plants) is a fast grower and will quickly take over whatever other plant you put in a pot with it. They are best planted alone and will thrive with regular watering. I read on so many sites that sweet mint is draught tolerant, but I gotta disagree. Usually draught tolerant means you can water it once or twice a week, but I noticed when I did that the leaves at the bottom of the stems were drying up quickly and turning brown. Now I water it about every two days, and when I notice some dead or drying leaves I pluck them and burry them in the dirt around the main stems.

Dead mint leaves fall off the stem easily when touched and can simply be buried.

Just about every day, I pluck 3-4 healthy mint leaves and add them to a water bottle with some lime juice. This is what many call a “detox drink” but I don’t know who we’re fooling saying you can get cleansed simply by adding a lime to water (sadly it just doesn’t work that way, it’s not magic). However, it is healthy to be drinking plenty of water, and the added benefits of lime and mint are great (not to mention delicious!). (I’ll have recipes posted soon).

Thanks for taking a walk with me in my garden!

I’d love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite garden grown skincare ingredients?