Hey guys, I (Leila) submitted this question to J out of my own curiosity:
“So, I’ve been thinking about this for a while:
A lot of things that are good for hair: aloe vera gel, castor oil, bentonite clay, chamomile, have antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Why is that? I mean, how do those properties benefit the hair?”
The properties of these herbs are primarily focused for use to promote a healthy scalp. A healthy scalp leads to healthy hair. If your scalp is suffering, this cannot translate to healthy hair. I’m sure you’ve heard of skin/scalp issues like dandruff and eczema leading to hair loss. As the hair pushes through the follicle, it gets entangled in the excess sebum or the parasitic nature of a fungus (if that is the root of the dandruff). You can imagine that realized length retention may even be slowed down by this. The natural oils cannot properly travel down the hair shaft if they are blocked by excess sebum or fungi.
The bentonite clay adsorbs toxins attracting it to its surface, then absorbs them to sweep them away. The removal of these toxins allows your scalp to “breathe” better (it does the same thing in the body). Castor oil is an anti-toxin which is why it works well on the bowels; it increases muscle contractions along the intestinal wall. But because it is habit forming, you should not use it often. Sometimes people are constipated for a health reason. Using laxatives just masks the problem. Stick to using it in the hair where it can seal in moisture! Besides the properties that you already mentioned, aloe vera and chamomile have hydrating properties that can benefit the hair itself. We could all use a little hydration! besides who wouldn’t want a calm, soothed scalp!