I wasn't too far out of college when I noticed a slew of worries from my boos. At first I thought it was just Jim, who grew so paranoid of losing his hair that he made me promise if his hair became too thin on top I would shave his head in his sleep. A few years later, I realized I had entered pacts with about seven guys to be the person who told them it was time to say goodbye to their depleting strands. Honestly, it felt pretty good knowing that ladies weren't the only ones obsessing over their hair, and I definitely doled out a few chastising speeches about not being so vain. When the time approached to tell a good friend of mine that he wasn't fooling anyone with that hipster comb over, I stopped myself. I didn't want to carry this burden anymore, and was determined to find a hair loss solution for all my buddies that was easy and cheap.
Many of my favorite oils act as secret agents to curing baldness and thinning hair, but as I continued to explore possible remedies that could cure my friend's beauty drama and relieve me of my civil service to him, I stumbled upon a leaf that I was quite fond of and was currently growing right in my backyard.
Enter: Basil, a popular multi-purpose spice that I was previously only accustomed to using in my green curry dish or a spaghetti sauce. Basil has been used for over 5000 years in healing the mind and body, and has been appropriately called the "Elixer of Life" in Ayurvedic communities. Just like other members of the mint family, the oil can be easily extracted from the leaves to use for its health purposes and basil has a lot! It has the ability to increase blood circulation which helps promote hair growth by stimulating hair growth.
Many over the counter treatments contain mineral oil which can definitely make your hair grow as well, but despite its misleading name, it ain't all that natural. Mineral oil is made from petroleum which can seal in moisture around your locks, but diminish your skin's natural ability to fight off toxins. You may notice that your hair is growing, but you'll most likely get some unwanted scalp itchiness as well. Basil oil can seal around your thinning hair follicles, act as a stimulant, and a healer!
Basil is not only going to be the biz at promoting healthy hair growth; it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, AND anti-fungal properties. That means basil is not only a multipurpose spice for your dinner, it's also a multipurpose spice for your bod! Real talk, I'm looooving this spice all over my face for the summertime. The oil that the leaves produce is super light and I can't get enough of this herbal scent; it meshes well with most carrier oils, but I'd shy away from olive oil and basil oil blends to avoid smelling like a big Italian dinner — unless you're into that sort of thing.
Here are some super easy ways you can introduce basil into your beauty regimen. If you are not trying to spend a lot of time extracting your own oil, you can purchase basil oil at a vitamin shop or pretty much any place that also sells hemp.
Basil Face Wash
Basil is a great cleansing agent because of its antiseptic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. The antiseptic qualities will give your skin a great cleanse from outside bacteria and the anti-inflammatory properties will lessen the swelling and redness of current blemishes. Plus, this makes for a great morning cleanse because basil's scent has stress-reducing qualities and honestly, the mirror can be a very stressful place in the morning!
To make this wash, you'll need about 20-30 basil leaves (this recipe is best with whole leaves rather than oil) and some jojoba oil. Take your freshly washed basil leaves and pound them gently with a mallet. Then use about a teaspoon of jojoba oil to loosen your current basil paste. This is going to make enough for one wash, so you can apply directly on your face and let it sit for a couple minutes before rinsing well with warm water.
Hair Loss Treatment
The best way to use basil oil for hair loss is to apply it once a day directly onto your scalp. If you are a wash-n-go type beauty, this will be ideal because you can apply an amount to your scalp while you shampoo or condition and be able to rinse it out without worry of oil-buildup. Basil oil can be used on dry or wet hair — apply a couple times a week to really start seeing results.
Ready to get basil off your plate and into your skin? Check out great tips for growing your own basil this summer and the rest of the year!