Reach for birch

Used since Roman times to treat hair and scalp disorders, birch leaves are a rich source of salicylate, which is used in many conventional dandruff treatments to lift and break down dead skin cells, encourage new ones and keep hair follicles healthy.

Herbal vinegar rinse Apple cider vinegar normalises the scalp's delicate pH balance and aids in toning the scalp. It also successfully removes oil and shampoo residue from the hair. Nettle is a traditional hair tonic, used for its stimulating effect on the scalp. It also has anti-allergenic properties, making it useful for itchy scalp conditions.

4 tablespoons dried nettle

1 tablespoon dried rosemary 1 tablespoon dried sage 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water '/< cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar

5 drops eucalyptus oil

1 Place herbs in a saucepan with water and vinegar, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover bowl and steep overnight.

Strain liquid and add oil; stir. To use, pour through freshly washed hair; do not rinse out.

Warm oil treatment With its slightly medicinal scent, this treatment eases a flaky, dry, irritated scalp. It also gives hair lustre and body. Warming the oil increases absorption and promotes circulation to the scalp.

4 tablespoons jojoba oil

10 drops rosemary essential oil 10 drops birch essential oil

5 drops cedarwood essential oil 5 drops tea-tree essential oil

Place ingredients in a saucepan and warm gently over a low heat. Massage mixture into clean, damp hair, paying particular attention to scalp anc hair roots. Cover with an old shower cap, then wrap head in a warm towel. Leave for 1 hour. Rinse, then shampoo. Finish with Herbal vinegar rinse (see left).

Hair loss

Its normal to lose about 100 hairs a day. but if you're losing more, check with your doctor. Hair loss that is not linked to hereditary conditions can be due to hormonal imbalance, ihe contraceptive pill and other drugs, stress, illness and nutrient deficiencies.

Stimulating scalp oil Rosemary oil increases peripheral nreulation and brings nutrients and Dxygen to the tiny blood vessels where nair follicles are located.

Vh tablespoons sesame oil 15 drops rosemary essential oil 10 drops cedarwood essential oil 5 drops clary sage essential oil

1 Combine all ingredients in a small bottle. Store in a cool, dark place.

2 To use, pour a teaspoonful into your palm and rub hands together briskly before massaging into the scalp, using small circular movements. This treatment is best done just before bedtime, because most hair growth occurs while you are asleep. Shampoo in the morning.

Continue reading here: Hair scare

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