I've chattered away in previous beauty posts about dry, rashy skin and how this time of year can destroy almost anyone’s epidermis. It occurred to me last night, as I was trimming my daughters’ hair, that I haven’t addressed the winter misery of dry, brittle tresses. Of course it’s not just a wintertime affliction. Sun, salt water, chlorine and even air conditioning can dry out our hair, not to mention all the horrible things that we actually pay to have done to it. It’s a wonder to me that we’re all not as bald as the inhabitants of some dystopian future.
Permit me, then, to correct my oversight by offering my favorite luxurious treat for frazzled hair. This is a recipe my grandmother found in an old Reader’s Digest and she wrote it down in her book of cooking recipes with the amusing and accurate preface:
Don’t taste this; you’ll be sorry if you do.
This concoction contains rosemary essential oil which will sting your lips and tongue only mildly less effectively than rubbing them with a habanero pepper so just keep it away from your digestive system. On the other hand, apricot kernel oil, unlike some other oils, can actually penetrate the hair to strengthen, repair and protect from future damage. Rosemary is said to protect homes and people, particularly women, ensure a faithful marriage and bring good (and sometime prescient) dreams. What better essential oil for a lady to use on her “crowning glory” any time of year?
½ cup apricot kernel oil
20 drops rosemary essential oil
Mix the oils together thoroughly. Make sure to put an old towel around your shoulders before you start as the oils can stain clothing. Massage the oil into your scalp using firm, circular motions with your fingertips. Then coat your hair from scalp to ends with long, sweeping motions grabbing more oil as needed. Now pile your hair, if it’s long, on your head and cover entirely with a plastic shower cap (those disposable ones from hotels are the best for this). Heat a towel in the microwave (about 15 seconds on high) and wrap it around your head. Keep it on until it is cool again. Spend some time relaxing and letting the oil do its work, perhaps focusing on what you would like the rosemary oil to do for you besides make your hair soft.
Wash your hair thoroughly after the treatment. Don’t overdo the shampoo, though; you want the effects of the oil treatment to last. Rinsing with cold water will help seal the hair shafts and seal in the treatment. For a particularly indulgent treatment, rinse with a cup of apple cider vinegar and let your hair dry naturally to add shine and body. A votre santé ~
Header: The Bower Meadow by Dante Gabriel Rossetti c 1872