Two big concerns with many autoimmune illnesses are the fluctuating health of hair and skin. While people can generally be divided into oily or dry complexions, the influence of lifestyle and medications can often reek havoc on these to a point that nothing is definite. Add to this the damaging conditions that come with the hottest three months of the year.
As we all try to drink in every drop of sunlight and
warmth outside, cower inside to an air conditioner set at max cooling or battling the sands to submerge ourselves in relaxing bodies of water, both our skin and our hair are targets of much rough treatment. Saltwater dries the hair and skin, sweat dehydrates us, winds can throw silky healthy hair into birds nests of chaos and sap all the oil off our dermis. Air born particles block the pores and we can be forever torn between the need to exfoliate and a fear of further damaging delicate skin. Not to mention those tans so many crave, the sunburns that plague most of us and the skin cancers a sad amount of us end up with.
In Australia Summer is officially over, but we of Perth will live in Summer-like conditions for a while yet. We are aware we need to get our act together, yet don’t want an extravagant regime, nor to output a lot of money into this process. We want healthy, natural options that won’t break our budget, interfere with diets, illnesses and allergies or sensitivities to chemicals.
Here are my top tips and tricks that will work on any type. They are healthy, low in harmful chemicals and easy to find and use. I would love to hear how you go trying these!
Dry, distressed and displaced – If the hair is just damaged from seeing the sun too much, if it is on the dryer side of life and feeling light, flighty and brittle then the solution is not necessarily to slap on a thick conditioning lotion first up.
Start by ensuring the strands are free of chemicals by washing it in keratin or baby shampoo, which is both lacking in the harsher chemicals that many other shampoos have and also delicate on hair and scalp. A more natural alternative to this is to mix up bicarbonate soda and water at a ratio of 1:3, for me its 3 tablespoons bicarb to 10 tablespoons water, in a small squeeze bottle. Apply this mix to dry or wet hair, roots to tips and leave it in for up to 3 minutes then wash out. Follow up with a vinegar rinse of 1:4 with white or apple cider vinegar and water. This gets trickier so best to make a big batch and keep leftovers for next time. Wash throughout and rinse out with cold water after a few seconds.
Towel dry your hair, allow it to remain a little damp and take a small teaspoon of liquid coconut oil in your hands. Rub it over your palms and fingers so it is dispersed out evenly and then rub your fingers throughout your hair. Be gentle as you ease the oil through your hair, but ensure the oil is evenly run through without clumping or becoming dense. The aim is not to weigh your hair down and more than one wash over the course of a few weeks will be needed for the full effect to be seen. If you have thick, full, or dense hair then Rose Hip Oil is a wonderful alternative to this treatment, and three to four drops will be required.
Falling out hair or dead ends – the best way for our hair to show us it is upset is to throw a tantrum at either end. That is when we see it falling out from the roots and splitting at the ends. As well as a larger focus on applying Coconut Oil or Rose-Hip Oil, this kind of hair needs to be assessed on some deeper levels.
Hair falls out because the scalp is not doing so great. Now as you wash your hair and when you sit watching television at night you need to find five minutes to softly massage the skin on the tops of your head. We aren’t talking anything professional, hard going or orgasmic, just the more basic fingertips rubbing the scalp in rhythmic patterns all over. This stimulates the follicles, waking them up and encouraging them to be active.
Big tooth combs are wonderful tools as they can ease knots apart with less pain, and they have less drag in the hair and so there is less potential to pull out strands. These combs will also cause less damage to the ends of your hair. Hard plastics seem to be better than anything that is made of a sticky rubber. Keratin shampoos are wonderful here as well. Another alternative at this point to look at an organic shampoo, followed by an organic hair treatment. As with baby shampoos these products will be less likely to settle strong chemicals in your hair and therefore making it less likely to weigh it down so hair falls out.
Dry, sunburned or flaky – Simply, the easiest way to rehydrate the skin is to rehydrate the body by drinking lots of water very regularly. But for the many of us that may already do that or need more restorative measures the next step up is to look at Rose-Hip Oil once more. It is just my most favourite beauty secret by the way. Only two drop on the hand, smoothed around the palms and then applied across the surface of the skin on the face every day or second day will have glowing results after a fortnight. If your skin is oily then you may find after two weeks you want to tone it back to once a week. If you are dry, or when your skin is dry, then the oil will be absorbed by the skin quicker, neither a good or bad thing, just something to bear in mind. You want the oil to rest on the surface of the skin for a few minutes before absorption.
Blocked pores, break out skin, sun exposure spots – In a bowl mix 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 3 drops lemongrass essential oil, 3 drops patchouli essential oil, 3 drops lemongrass essential oil, 1 tablespoon epsom salts and 2 tablespoons rock salt.When all of this is mixed together wash your face with a warm wet flannel, wiping anything that may be on the surface off it. Do not scrub the skin on your face, the goal here is just to clean and moisten the skin. Ensure the face is still moist afterwards, without being dripping. Use a clean flannel to apply the natural scrub to your skin, softly massaging it over the surface of your skin in smooth, even circular motions. The epsom salts and rock salt will both stimulate the pores, opening them and drawing out the impurities. The cloth will help the uneven edges, creating an abrasive surface. The oils will provide nature oil for the skin and lubrication for the skin while the oils will calm the dermis and and yourself.