How to give your hair a helping hand

by Fiona Chapman.

I may have studied to be a witch, but I don’t really need to look like one!
I have therefore booked to have my hair cut, something I detest. Every time I come out of the hairdresser I shy at myself in the mirror for days as I just do not look like me.
I have frizzy hair – let’s face it Fiona, your hair will always be frizzy said one hairdresser. I come back with it all straight and poofed and doing things I could never get it to do on my own!
After my last rather disastrous hair cut about eight months ago, I started to boil up a lovely tea, a cup of which I drank and then used the rest as a final rinse for my hair. I felt it made it grow incredibly fast and stronger.
Fresh nettle is the best. It is good for the colour, it helps to prevent hair loss and it thickens as well as softens and shines.

You need a large handful of nettles – picked with gloves and washed. Cover them with filtered water, bring them to the boil and then simmer for at least 20 minutes. Take them off the heat and leave them to steep overnight. Strain, warm it up, drink a cup and use the rest as a last rinse on the hair, massaging the rather muddy green-looking water into your scalp.
Do not rinse it off. It does not necessarily feel or smell great, like a conditioner does, but if you leave your hair to dry naturally, it will then start to feel wonderfully soft and healthy. It is probably the same with a hair dryer, but I don’t use one!

This basic recipe can be added to, depending on the condition of your hair and scalp. Equisetum arvense, the ancient horsetail plant, contains silicon and is used for thin, weak hair with split ends as well as for brittle nails. It can be used fresh – as long as the plant grows in the sun, not the shade – and it must be boiled. You can also add a pinch of capsicum into the mix to stimulate your scalp.
Lavender and/or rosemary are good additions if you have a dry, itchy scalp without dandruff. They also make it smell nice! If you want extra shine, add chamomile.
All make a good, healthy, tasty tea. They can be bought as dried herbs if necessary and will help with hair growth from both inside the body and used directly on the scalp.

Fiona Chapman is a Naturopathic Herbalist (

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