DIY Herbal Hair Oil

DIY Herbal Hair Oil

It’s always fun to try some homemade beauty treatment, from yoghurt and honey face packs to beer and egg yolk hair conditioners, so I had to snap up this DIY herbal hair oil remedy on a recent trip to India.

In the southern state of Kerala, fabulous herbs and spices are a constant temptation in the local stores. You can buy fresh peppercorns and nutmegs by the sackful, countless types of fragrant green tea, plus fascinating health and beauty products.

Kerala claims to be the home of Ayurvedic treatments, and many of the spas suggest an appointment with the doctor before a course of massage and or medication is prescribed. We didn’t have time for that, but after experiencing the type of all-purpose massage which left us dripping in aromatic oil from head to foot, abandoning everything for a swift return to the hotel for a shower, the idea of an at-home treatment at a later date was quite appealing. No looking (and smelling) completely bizarre as you try to hail a taxi to go clean yourself up. No rescheduling or cancelling of plans because you can’t possibly carry on with your day right then.

This charmingly basic DIY hair treatment looked like a lot of fun – simply a plastic bottle filled with a twiggy collection of herbs. The idea is to cover the contents with coconut oil, preferably the local variety, leave it all for 3 days until the colour of the oil changes as it absorbs the goodness from the herbs, then apply to your hair. As with most of the hair oils available from the big brand names, you can either apply this as a pre-shampoo treatment, or as a leave-in conditioner afterwards.

I was quite surprised to see that the coconut hair oil I’d bought in India came out of the bottle looking dark turquoise in colour. It also needed a little help with hot water to melt the bottle contents sufficiently to pour them out onto the herbs.

Over the course of the 3 days, the oil then turned a startling dark red colour, which I was half afraid might actually dye my hair. It managed to smell strongly both of herbs and medication, and in retrospect I should probably have considered filtering the oil from the twiggy bits before trying to use it.

The verdict? This was quite entertaining, and worked reasonably well, leaving my hair soft and shiny without turning it red or smelly. But to be honest, it is far easier and a great deal less messy to use normal hair oil, which is what I shall continue to do.


Bangs Cut Kit

Sometimes you see something so silly you cannot help but buy it. OK, maybe that’s just me…

But look at this – a clip on spirit level for your fringe, so you can cut it straight or simply thin it out evenly with the scissors that come alongside.

On second thoughts, this is something of a godsend for anyone who has made a terrible mistake whilst trying to trim their own hair at home, or even managed to bodge someone else’s (sorry, daughter #1, you probably don’t remember but the photographic evidence still remains) .

This is from Etude House, and gave me a great deal of simple entertainment before I even opened the packet. And I guess you could say that it works pretty well, assuming you have the confidence enough to take the plunge and snip. I kind of chickened out, only trimming a tiny amount before heading for the hairdresser as planned.

(In my defence, I really am still traumatised by the fringe catastrophe visited on daughter #1 all those years ago, to the extent that I don’t go near children’s hair with scissors)

This is a fun and useful tool, though, which is presumably why it was seized upon and removed to England by daughter #2, who trims her own hair all the time.

Photo Hair Liner

This appears to have been designed purely with that perfect selfie in mind – it’s a cushion tipped powder ‘pencil’ which you can use to neaten up and define your hairline for better photos.

In a way, although this is a powder rather than the traditional paint, it reminded me of classic geisha makeup. The heart shaped hairline and all important pointed design at the nape of the neck were drawn over the white face paint to accentuate these key features, and were even more than the eyes or tiny rosebud lips.

This particular product is from Etude House and is such a curiosity, not to mention quite expensive at S$12.90, that I shall be interested to see how long it remains available.

Scalp Scent Killer


Really? Have you ever been afraid your head smelled bad?? Me neither!

This looks to me like another of those products engineered to give women something new to worry about, and it amused me greatly that it comes from the OMG! Range by Etude House. I noted that it apparently serves the dual purpose of being a conditioning hair essence as well as a scalp deodorant, but was still not persuaded to buy it. Not at S$15. I mean… OMG!

Hair Shadow Pots


Here’s a variation on those hair mascaras and hair pencils which are designed to cover up the odd grey hair. It features a container I have seen before in use for blushers, with a mirrored lid and a ‘secret’ compartment underneath to hold the applicator. In this case it is a padded cloth ball rather than a blusher brush, but it works in a similar way.

What I could not fathom, though, was why – here in Asia where everyone’s natural hair colour is black – this product came in 3 shades of brown. I tested it out but was not persuaded to part with 14,500 won, however interesting the packaging.

Ggongji Hair Pack

Category : Beauty

ponytail 1 ponytail 3 ponytail 2

Ggongji means ‘ponytail hair’ in Korea, which is where this product comes from. It is really just a variation on the standard hair pack, except that instead of wrapping the whole thing round your head, this is a narrow bag which you use solely on your ponytail.

It comes with an elastic band to keep it in place, but the illustration also suggests that you tie it with a pretty ribbon, and (since you can use it on dry hair as well as wet, and don’t need to rinse out your hair afterwards) it is designed to be used in the office or whilst putting on your makeup before you go out.

According to the instructions, the treatment involves highly concentrated protein to care for damaged hair ends and bring moisture balance to the hair. ‘Without the help of expensive hair salon expert or hair dressing machine you can quickly take care of your hair at low expense’. When the treatment is over, you simply remove the bag and shake your hair gently.

Daughter #2, who has long enough hair to try this out properly, wore it for the prescribed hour, massaging the bag as instructed to work in as much product as possible. Sadly, she wasn’t particularly impressed, and said she could not really feel any difference in her hair afterwards. The bag was also very basic, and there was no way she would have worn it in public, even with a ribbon. Not much of a loss at only S$7.90, but we won’t be trying this one again.


Hair Charms


hair deco 1 hair deco 2 hair deco 3

I spotted these in Selfridges in London, and was initially intrigued. Hair charms are apparently designed to clip onto corn row style braids, but I suppose if you were careful you could attach them to almost any sort of hairstyle if you wanted.

These seemed to be pretty expensive, at around £14 for a packet of gold or silver plated rings – only some of which had charms attached. Cheaper items were also on sale, including small safety pins painted in bright colours, which I feel sure I could have turned out myself quite easily for a lot less than the £5 per tiny bag.

To be honest, whilst these were an interesting idea, they reminded me of the tiny glittery plastic butterfly clips that my daughters and their friends used to wear when they were playing dressing-up. That was when they were in pre-school, which is possibly why I didn’t see a single grown-up wearing these new versions…







Hair Velcro

Category : Beauty

velcro 1 velcro 2

This sounds ridiculous, I know, but bear with me…

You know how, when you use a face mask or some other messy product, it tends to get stuck in your hair? And how much worse that is if you actually have a fringe? Of course you can use a hairband, but I cannot be the only person who then finds myself looking like I have been through a hedge backwards – fringe going in every direction other than the one I want.

This could be the answer. Credit card sized pieces of plastic ‘mat’ with Velcro-like spikes on one side, which you use to scoop your hair away from your face and hold it in place for your treatment. The spikes are long enough to act like a little comb, the item stays in place, and when you remove it, your hair seems none the worse for wear.

I had not even noticed these on the shelves of cosmetic stores in Asia, but once you know what to look for, they are everywhere. They were introduced to me and daughter #2 at one of those sampling sessions where beauticians let you play with all their products in the hope that you will buy. We loved them, and (oops…) these were the only things we invested in afterwards. At S$4 for a packet of 2 or 3 – depending on size and shape – they are the best value for money beauty aid I have come across in a very long time.