When choosing natural shampoos, don’t worry if they don’t foam: mild surfactant that don’t irritate the scalp or pollute the marine environment don’t seem to lather as exuberantly as chemical detergents. Don’t be tempted to use more product than is recommended just because you are accustomed to more bubbles.

Don’t mix products
If you mix conventional products not intended to be used together you risk setting up chemical reactions that lead to the production of potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines. Avoid products containing DEA and TEA (di-and-riethanolamines) to cut out the risk.

Encourage hair growth

Add 1 drop each essential oils of lavender and rosemary to 1 tbsp shampoo before application. (Omit
rosemary oil if you have epilepsy.)

Herbal nourishment

Place a handful each of rosemary, sage, nettle, and goosegrass (cleavers) leaves in a bowl and pour over hot water. When cool, pour over clean, wet hair and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse. These herbs can prevent dandruff, inhibit graying, soothe scalp soreness and reduce hair loss.


Tonic for fine hair

Add 1 drop essential oil of cedarwood to 1 tbsp shampoo before application as a tonic for the hair.

Tea tree treat

Add 1 drop essential oil of tea tree to 1 tbsp shampoo before application for its cleansing properties

Stimulating the scalp

Before shampooing add 1 drop essential oil of geranium to 1 tbsp shampoo to stimulate blood flow to the scalp.

Rinse well

After shampooing you can’t rinse hair enough. Using plenty of clean water and gradually taking the temperature as cold as you dare may be all that’s needed to create shine.

Herbs for shine

Following the final rinse, pour a pot of cooled herbal tea over your hair: sage tea for shine; thyme or yarrow to encourage growth.

Vinegar restorer

To remove built-up hair product and restore the hair shaft’s acid mantle after shampooing, add half a cup of cider vinegar to the final rinse water.

Natural perfuming

After semidrying, scent hair by tousling over smoke from a stick or cone of sandalwood incense (avoid if using flammable styling products).

Thyroid care

Hair thinning might be a sign of an under-active thyroid gland. Ask your doctor to check it out. The Australian Bush Flower Essence Old Man Banksia helps rebalance the thyroid, or take a supplement of Fucus vesiculosis (a seaweed rich in iodine) and eat iodine-rich foods.

Homeopathic hair-loss remedies

• Fluor.Ac 30 c helps when hair loss follows an acute illness, such as the flu.
• Sepia 30 c boosts growth when loss follows childbirth or menopause.
• Weisbaden Aqua 30 c is reputed to promote hair growth and darkening; take for at least a month.