Honey is not just a great spread for your toast, or a sweet topping on your yougurt! It is well known for its numerous health benefits including use as an immune system and energy booster, as well as a topical ointment for wounds. But did you know of the benefits of honey for natural hair?
The Benefits of Honey
Honey is a humectant. It’s hygroscopic properties (love of water) means that it can attract and hold onto water molecules from the atmosphere.
Honey is an emollient. Emollients help to smooth and soften the hair. The smoothing of the outer cuticle layer helps hair reflect more line and appear shinier.
Honey has anti-bacterial properties. Honey has been used for centuries to treat wounds and soothe skin irritations. It’s enzymatic and antioxidant properties have been known to aid in the treatment of dry, itchy scalp, dandruff, and dermatitis.
Tips for Using Honey in Your Natural Hair Regimen
• As with many other ingredients, it’s best to use a pure raw honey like Manuka honey.
• Don’t use honey by itself. Mix it with oil for a pre-poo, hot oil or deep conditioning treatment, or add it to your shampoo or conditioner.
• You only need to use a little honey in your mixture, a little goes a long way.
• Honey is a natural hair lightener. Exposure to sun will result in lightened strands. To avoid lightening your hair be sure to heat the honey (not too hot please) and minimize sun exposure immediately following the use of honey in your hair.
DIY Honey Recipes
Below are two simple DIY recipes that include honey, and that you can use to keep your tresses healthy, soft and smooth.
Honey & Oil Deep Conditioner
• 1 tbsp of honey
• 2 tbsp of Coconut or Olive Oil
Combine ingredients in a heat safe bowl. Use a double boiler (or microwave) to warm the mixture. Test heated mixture on wrist to ensure that it is not too hot. Let mixture cool if needed. Apply warm mixture to hair, cover, and let sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Coconut oil will help to moisturize and soften hair, as well as protect it from breakage. Like honey, Olive Oil is well known for its anti-microbial and skin soothing properties and will aid in maintaining healthy, strong hair. If you have fine or limp hair, opt for the coconut oil combination as olive oil may be too heavy for your strands.
Honey with Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanser
• 1/2 tbsp with Honey
• 10 drops of Apple Cider Vinegar
Combine ingredients and apply to damp hair. Cover hair and let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
The honey and apple cider vinegar work to clarify the hair and scalp, removing product build up without stripping hair of natural oils. Apple Cider Vinegar helps to aid shine by sealing the outer cuticle layer, which in turn will help retain moisture.
Do you use honey as part of your hair care regimen? If so, what has your experience been using honey? What benefits have you noticed. Leave a comment below to let me know.