lavender fields


Lavender and hair? There’s a connection and it starts in winter. From hip-looking beanies to soft-lined aviators to funky tuks with the little tassles on top: when the cold flows, hats rule.

But that’s so two months ago and summer items are a whole different breed. Warm weather beckons you to let your hair down and feel the breeze. Even summer head coverings are more revealing and show off one’s tresses. Ahh, but what about those soft breezes sucking the moisture right out of your hair and that glowing sun that’s so good at frying the ends? Not to mention salt water, chlorine, and sweat.

Time to go to your kitchen.

I’m not suggesting you raid the pantry for snacking yourself out of a frustrating hair day but rather whip up some delicious treats to cure it. Listen, I have curly-wavy-mind-of-its-own hair and have tried enough products to be an amateur expert on the topic. Aside from my humble Burt’s Bees conditioner, the best hair products come from the kitchen. And like the food you eat, the right spice banishes the bland, boring and predictable. Except with hair we’re talking in terms of final results…not taste. This time, the right spice is an herb: lavender.

Lavender smells amazing and has natural cleansing properties which makes it a perfect ingredient for hair care products. Its therapeutic aroma is used to soothe frayed nerves. I find this soothing/cleansing combination provides a fresh antidote for summer’s oppressive heat.

You’ll need some pure lavender oil which is typically sold at a natural food store or online. Expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $25 for small bottle depending on the quality. Make sure you purchase 100 percent essential oil

Let’s go to our kitchen laboratory. The following hair care potions are taken from the Curly Girl Handbook by Lorraine Massey and are nothing short of miraculous for wavy-to-curly hair. If I sound like a raving fan it’s for good reason. Summer induced frizz, frayed-ends, and frustration have been a regular part of my life. These recipes create nourishment for the outside of your body that’s free from unknown fillers, detergents, multi-syllabic chemicals, and artificial concoctions.

These are two recipes to use in place of shampoo. Even the most gentle of shampoos is still a detergent which dries out your hair. You want a clean scalp and hair and both these are more clarifying and cleansing than any shampoo.

Lemon Aid

Combine juice of 1 large lemon with several drops of lavender oil and your usual conditioner. Message into your scalp with the pads of your fingers and rinse gently but thoroughly.

Sugar and Spice

Combine equal parts brown sugar and your regular conditioner. Add 3-5 drops lavender oil. Message into scalp and rinse gently but thoroughly (this is my favorite). The sugar is a natural exfoliant and leaves your hair pure, soft and shiny.

For thirsty hair try:

Love is in the Hair

Combine equal parts olive or almond oil with your favorite conditioner.  Add 2-3 drops lavender or other essential oil of your choosing. (The scent of cinnamon wakes your brain, and mint is revitalizing.) Experiment, personalize and have a little fun. Or you could get a little spicy Aphrodite inspiration. Just sayin’ (wink, wink).


I’m sure people will be coming from all over the map on their favorites. What’s your favorite conditioner and what spicy application do you think you’ll try?



Flickr Photo Atrribution: Anguskirk