When your shower is full of bottles of conditioner and deep treatments, but your hair still feels dehydrated… and you feel let down – you may find that what you needed was actually in your pantry all along. In this article I’ll show you how to use honey as your weekly deep conditioning treatment to restore your hair, hydrate, soften and encourage healthy hair growth.
I first learned about using honey for hair, from my herbalist friend. She used it to shampoo and condition her hair, and told me that its what kept her hair looking its best (beautiful I’d say!!) So of course I tried it straight away, and from the first use I loved the way it made my hair feel. But as things go, throughout the years, I’d hear buzz about a new hair product and fall into this mode of buying and buying… which emotionally, doesn’t make me feel good. Then I’d remember the honey trick, and think to myself – why haven’t I just been doing this the whole time?! Its such a relief to simplify, especially when it works so well!
When we look at the properties of honey – it becomes clear why its so beneficial for topical applications, in healing and restoring healthy scalp, hydrating and softening hair (1)
top image by Kinfolk & Co
Honey is Cleansing
How can something so sticky, be cleansing? I know, it’s a mental shift to look at honey as cleansing. But that golden syrup will thoroughly cleanse your scalp, by eating away at dead skin cells that may be clogging pores (hair follicles) and preventing healthy hair growth.
Honey is naturally anti-bacterial. Do you get dandruff? Or have an itchy scalp? A study in Shanghai found that an imbalance of bacteria and fungi on the scalp causes dandruff and (2) Honey is antibacterial in a way that is very beneficial for your skin’s natural flora, maintaining a healthy balance, which helps to combat scalp sensitivity, itchiness and dandruff.
Honey is Softening & Hydrating
Honey is an emollient and humectant, which means it softens your hair by drawing hydration deep within. Often, commercial conditioner give the illusion of soft hair with silicons that coat the strands, but in no way are they actually benefiting your hair. Honey softens, but also nourishes with vitamins, minerals and nutrients that work to build stronger and healthier hair.
If you have thin hair (like me) something you’ll love is that honey is a lightweight conditioner, it will now weigh down your hair!
image by: leopatronephotography
What kind of honey should I use?
The darker the honey, the more antioxidant content it has. (3) And that’s because what the bees are feeding on makes a difference in the honey that they produce.
Right now, I have an avocado honey, which means the bees fed from avocado blooms. Its a dark color, and has a rich, molasses like flavour. Buckwheat honey, with its dark amber color, is very high in antioxidants and important nutrients. It’s comparable to Manuka honey – and cost far less!
Need recommendations? I this brand from my local farmer’s market in Orlando – but you can order online. The beekeeper who I buy from, tells me that she uses her dark honey for healing skin wounds!
Both types are very high in antioxidant content. Notice how dark the color is:
How do I apply honey on my hair?
There’s no recipe, but there is a method! Here’s your step-by-step guide:
- Wet your hair with a mist bottle and comb through. Honey is sticky, but will go on easily if your hair is damp.
- Apply honey directly onto your scalp. Massage it on, and if you have long hair, pick up your hair so that the honey goes onto all of your strands.
- If it feels to sticky, just mist a little water on your fingers and hair
- Leave the honey on for 30 minutes. More if you can!
- Wash off in the shower. The honey completely dissolves in water and rinses out clean
- Repeat once a week, or more if you’re trying to restore your hair.
Mess free application
The key to use honey without making a big mess in your bathroom – is to purchase a runny honey in a squeeze bottle. It makes it so easy to apply.
You may wan to keep a bottle of honey in your bathroom, just for your treatments.
This way you are going to see it everyday – and will be more likely to keep up the routine.
A case for using honey for your haircare, and more!
The beauty of using real food to nourish healthy skin and hair is that you benefit inside and out, in so many ways. With a single bottle of dark, raw honey – you can soothe a sore throat, heal skin irritations, clear up breakouts, soften your skin and hair, speed up healing and prevent infections on burns and cuts.
Those tubs of conditioners… can’t even come close to all that.
Learning how to bring whole food skincare into your life means that you can reduce the burden of products on your body, in your home, your wallet and our Earth.
I’m excited for you to spend some time with raw, unassuming honey. It doesn’t tell you that your hair should look different, it doesn’t damage you with unrealistic promises. It just nourishes.