I never knew how integral limes were in my daily life until the lime shortage of 2014. For me, the lime crisis ran deeper than my favorite cocktail and taco, because using limes for hair care was something I had grown accustomed to. Suddenly, the once plentiful ingredient in my hair routine became impossible to find and I cringed forking over a dollar for a single lime. For those that didn't feel the true horror of the Lime Incident of 2014, let me catch you up. A series of unrelated events ranging from rain to criminal activity in Mexico lead to a serious lime shortage. Americans get over 90 percent of their limes from Mexico, are mojitos weren't the only things suffering.
To be honest, when it comes down to it, I would pay five dollars for a single lime. Fortunately, I don't have to as the lime fiasco has simmered down and limes are once again plentiful. These delicious citrus fruits are amazing for skin and hair care because of all those nutrients packed into the skin and juice. That's right, you should be hoarding all your lime garnishes on your cocktails to keep your skin AND hair game tight.
Sure, you probably already know about how much vitamin C limes have, but they're also a great source of calcium, iron, and copper — all things your bod should be soaking up daily. Limes can replenish dull skin giving your complexion a timeless glow while lifting dark spots from blemishes or sun damage. Like most citrus fruit these green gems run high on the pH scale, so they shouldn't be used solo every day. If you're looking to lighten up dark spots, use fresh lime juice on the location. If you're looking to lighten several dark spots throughout your face, add a base like honey or baking soda to counteract the acidity and always put a moisturizer on after using limes.
You can be a little less cautious when using limes in hair care. Limes act as a natural hair conditioner while having strong antiseptic properties, so they're a great addition to a no 'poo routine. Limes are excellent for anyone looking to grow out their bangs, transition from relaxed hair to natural hair, or suffering from hair breakage. If you're looking for lustrous locks, these recipes will hook you up!
1. Hair Shine & Growth
For super shiny strands, add a tablespoon of lime juice to manuka honey or a can of lager (yeah, like beer) and massage into damp locks. Leave this treatment on for at least 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly. Your locks will have strength, shine, and vitamin C.
2. Natural Hair Straightener
You don't need to permanently straighten your kinky hair to have a few days of loose curls. This natural straightener from Black Hair Information's site has been dubbed "The Lime in the Coconut" and it's been used as a natural straightener for many years. My slight variation of this classic recipe is to use two cups of coconut milk, one lime, two tablespoons of arrowroot powder, and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Heat all your ingredients on low heat over a stove top and leave overnight. When you're ready, finger comb throughout your hair, starting from the ends to the roots, and leave on for at least an hour. This method will work best with heat, so use either a steam treatment or a hooded hair dryer. My suspicion (based off sources) is that this straightening trick will elongate kinky curls and straighten out waves.
3. Natural Hair Lightener
Yes, citrus can lighten your hair and yes, you will need to have at least light brown hair naturally to see a noticeable difference. Limes, just like lemons, have natural lightening properties when applied directly on your strands. I recommend putting the juice from at least one lime in a spray bottle with water and spraying each day before bedtime to noticeably lighten hair without the sun. This trick is known to work best on unwashed hair and according to ECF, it's the acidity that makes limes a natural dye. Not only will your locks most likely get some highlights, but you'll be planting in major health benefits for your hair.
Image: Fotolia; Giphy