Home hair hacks that won't break the bank

June 30, 2015

Who needs fancy and expensive hair treatments? Simply raid the pantry and medicine cabinet and use these tips and tricks for smooth, shiny hair and last-minute touch-ups.

Home hair hacks that won't break the bank

Herbal rinse and shine

Herbal formulations have been used on hair for thousands of years, so something must be working. The bergamot in this herbal rinse helps control itching and dandruff, while the rosemary (used as a fragrance in soaps and perfumes) provides the nice scent. If the lid of the jar you use to steep the herbs is metal, place plastic wrap or wax paper between the lid and the jar to prevent the vinegar from corroding it.You will need:

  • 50 g (0.25 c) dried rosemary leaves
  • 50 g (0.25 c) dried bergamot
  • 500 ml (2 c) cider vinegar
  • 500-750 ml (2–3 c) warm water

What to do:

  1. Place the herbs in a heatproof, thick glass jar, such as one used for preserves.
  2. Heat the vinegar until very hot but not boiling, then pour it over the herbs. Cool, then cover tightly.
  3. Keep the jar in a warm spot for a week, shaking it once a day.
  4. Line a funnel with cheesecloth and place the funnel over a jar. Strain the rinse into the jar and screw on the lid.
  5. When ready to use, mix 75 millilitres (0.3 cup) of the rinse with 500 or 750 millilitres (two or three cups) of warm water. Then pour over hair once or twice as a rinse.

Run out of hair mousse?

You've shaken the can of mousse and turned it upside down, but not a drop comes out. Don't panic. Try a little shaving cream mixed with a drop of rubbing alcohol to keep your hair in place and moisturize at the same time.

Out of hair gel?

Raid the pantry! Mix up a batch of flavourless gelatin and you may never go back to the salon variety: dissolve two to five grams (0.5 to one teaspoon) unflavoured gelatin in 250 millilitres (one cup) warm water and refrigerate. Super hold, super price!

No hair spray?

No problem. Chop up one lemon and add it to a pan filled with 500 millilitres (two cups) of water. Boil until reduced by half. Cool, strain and pour into a spray bottle; add 30 millilitres (one ounce) of rubbing alcohol. Stored in the refrigerator, the spray will keep for three to four weeks; unrefrigerated, it will last for two weeks.

Spike it with petroleum jelly

Feeling a bit funky and want a new way to style your short hairdo? Use a drop or two of petroleum jelly to spike your locks into place. The bonus? When you wash it out, your hair will be softer and shinier!

Panty hose scrunchies

Got long hair and can't find a scrunchie? Dig into that drawer with "emergency" panty hose — those with runs you've been saving to wear under slacks. Just cut the length you need and you're ready to go. Black and coloured hose will look the most fashionable, but flesh tones will do in a pinch. Panty hose have the added advantage of not bruising or breaking your hair, as elastic sometimes does.

Fight flakes with lemon

Fight dandruff with a daily scalp massage with 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) lemon. Rinse with water and follow with a rinse of 250 millilitres (one cup) water mixed with five millilitres (one teaspoon) lemon juice.

When you're not inclined to head to a salon to fix your hair, these easy home remedies will do the trick — and leave you with gorgeous, shiny hair.

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