If I could turn back time, I'd go back to my awkward teenage years and reverse all the irreparable damage I would do to my hair. I would say no to heat and chemicals. I would tell that awkward teenager with thick, curly, healthy hair that she would regret trying to change her hair texture in a few years. Since time travel is yet to be invented, my journey to healthy hair has been a slow one. It started with overnight oil treatments to condition, SLS-free shampoo's to stop stripping, and hot tools to stop damaging. Always choosing the most natural method, I'm happy to say I've gotten my hair to a good place. I know you guys are already familiar with the usual DIY hair treatments so today I wanted to share three products that aren't as popular but have helped me in growing my hair longer and stronger.
MANGO BUTTER // Starting with the order of application, I use mango butter the night before I plan on washing my hair. Mango butter naturally contains multivitamins that are beneficial to your skin and hair. I find it to be one of the most conditioning treatments I've ever used. If you have fine hair, you may find this too heavy. It's a little hard at room temperature so I like to scoop some out and rub it in between my palms before applying it to my hair, focusing on the ends. As you work it in, you'll see it melt from a butter to an oil right away.
PEPPERMINT OIL // While the mango butter is cooking on my hair length, I use peppermint oil on the scalp. This is potent stuff so you may want to dilute this with some other oils (jojoba, coconut, avocado, etc). Peppermint oil stimulates the scalp and you'll feel the cooling sensation immediately. All the tingles mean those hair follicles are waking up, promoting hair growth. I just turn my head upside down, looking absolutely ridiculous, and massage it in. Not only does this feel great, but there's been proven trials of the inversion technique (see here). This also works wonders for headaches and sinus congestions--perfect for bedtime.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR // The next morning, I shampoo my hair like normal. Instead of using conditioner, I substitute this ACV hair rinse, spritzing from scalp to ends and leaving it on for 10-15 minutes. It breaks down any oily residue and product build up. It also helps with dandruff or an itchy scalp. I think the best part is it adds incredible shine and manageability. I prefer to use this rinse but you can dilute apple cider vinegar with water for the same effect.
I'm really happy I gave these products a chance and simplified a hair care routine. My end goal was to have healthy hair and undo all those years of damage. If you're in the same boat as me, I strongly suggest getting a fresh cut and starting from the beginning!