Fruity Tropical Hair Mask (HIBISCUS)

My teenage daughter is always inventing new beauty products. Lately she has been fomulating her own eye shadow from natural ingredients. Her favorite thing to make as part of her regular skin care routine is a face mask made with rice water. It leaves her already flawless skin silky smooth and soft as a flower petal. After some research we created this recipe together. It reminds us of our favorite place to be-Hawaii! This hair mask has a lovely pastel pink color and it smells like an exotic fruit.

If you have not indulged in a hair mask, I hope this inspires you to try one out. After use you may notice 1) Softer, shinier, stronger hair 2)a scalp that is healthier with less dandruff/flaky skin 3) less hair damage and breakage 4)reduced frizz and more manageability, 5)skin and hair that is better nourished and hydrated. A hair mask will not actually lead to hair growth but healthier hair it will break less.

The ingredients in a homemade hair mask are of better quality than what you can buy in the store. They are very concentrated and can be left to deeply penetrate for at least 20 minutes. Recipes typically call for nutrient dense items that you already have in your kitchen-eggs, honey, avocado, banana, apple cider vinegar, beer, olive oil, green tea, lemons, brown sugar, yogurt, milk, mayonnaise, or strawberries.

Directions-apply a generous amount to hair that is damp but not soaking Let sit for 10-20 minutes. Then rinse out and let air dry. You can shampoo if you wish. It is important to remove all the mask ingredients from the hair before it dries and sets.

How often to apply-Weekly until you notice a big difference in the health and quality of your hair. Damaged, aging, coarse or dry hair will need longer and more frequent applications. A room temperature hair mask feels the most comfortable.

Tips for keeping your hair healthier-Do not wash it with hot water. Avoid rubber bands and other accessories that will pull and stress. Don’t use chemical based salon treatments. Reduce the use of heat tools like blow dryers and irons. Wash only as often as needed. Consider using a dry shampoo and products made from natural ingredients that are non toxic.

Tropical Hair Mask

Make an infusion using the following, then strain out the solids

1/2 cup of coconut milk (remove the fat/cream beforehand)

1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup of dried roselle calyces

In your blender cup/bowl add and blend well until smooth

1/2 large banana

1/2 cup of fresh/frozen pineapple

1 pinch of clove powder

1 pinch of cinnamon powder

The cooled coconut milk infusion

rice water (to prepare cook 1/2 cup of white rice in 2 cups of water until it is falling apart, then mash until it is the consistency of hot cereal. Strain to make 1 cup of rice water. Add in 2 TBSP of “rice cereal” and mix.

Remove container and stir in

1 tsp of betonite powder

1 tsp of orange blossom water

*Application directions are written above. This makes about 1.5 cups. For longer, thicker hair you may need to double or even triple the recipe to get good and consistent coverage.

Hibiscus is in the Malvaceae family along with cotton, okra, rose of Sharon, malva, and marshmallow. The plant I prefer to use is not Rosa sinesis, the Asian tropical ornamental we are all so familiar with. In my opinion Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), which originates from Africa, is more medical. It provides the strong red pigment in “hibiscus tea”. Roselle is an herbaceous/bush like perennial or rapid growing leggy annual depending on the climate. It grows long (3-9ft) red stalks. Young foliage has a single lobe but mature plants have red veined leaves with 3-5 lobes. The large (3 inch), delicate, yellow/cream flowers have 6 petals and a cup like red center. The NUMEROUS “fruit”/red calyces mature in fall. This plant prefers full sun and well drained soil. It can be cultivated in North America in places where winters are mild. It is very drought tolerant.

Historically roselle has been used to treat high blood pressure, diarrhea, constipation, inflammation, parasites, bleeding, respiratory congestion, heart disease, menstrual problems, fever, bladder infection, headaches, high cholesterol, kidney weakness, vitamin C deficiency, and stomach issues. In hispanic cultures it is popular tea during pregnancy due to its high vitamin C content which helps the absorption of iron which prevents anemia and hemorrhaging during childbirth. It is well known for its ability to moisten, clear heat, or eliminate excess fluid from the tissues. Externally it can be used as a wash for eye infections, itchy skin, infected wounds, abscesses and bacterial infection in the vagina. Tea of roselle, made from the calyces, is very tart and refreshing. It is commonly served cold with lots of sugar, ginger, cinnamon and clove. It pairs well mint. The “fruit” can also be used for jam, jelly, juice, wine, and syrup. It needs a lot of sweetener to balance its very sour flavor. The young leaves have been eaten like spinach or put into curries.

Energetics-sour, sweet bitter, cool, moist


Emotional/Spiritual Uses– for trauma (especially sexual), loss of connection to the feminine, to restore vital energy.

Contraindications-cold conditions

Published by blackbirdsbackyard

My backyard botanical pharmacy is located in Boulder Colorado. I began studying herbal medicinewhen I was 12 years old. In college I studied subjects like anthropology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, After graduation I decided to go to midwifery school. I attended births and had a small practice until I retired early in order to be a mother full time. I have always had an herb garden, gathered plants and made my own healing formulas with plants. Over the last 30 years there have been many teachers and I have attended dozens of workshops. I am one of those people who is always reading, studying and learning. In 2019 I was called to practice as an herbalist professionally, using "plant spirit medicine" and bio-energetic ( 5 element)healing techniques. I feel that there is a big need in the community for my skills and talents. I hope to inspire others to start their own backyard pharmacies as a solution to species extinction and the healthcare crisis in America. Healing has also become a spiritual practice and way for me to feel balanced and connected with nature. I consult with clients in person, teach classes (adults and kids), give tours of my garden and offer apprenticeships. Health, joy, meaning, and support are everyone's birthright.

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