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Dry, brittle hair may be a side effect of aging, but a simple scalp massage using oil infused with herbs can help.

Healthy hair massage

Dry, brittle hair may be a side effect of aging, but a simple scalp massage using oil infused with herbs can help. Gently rub infused oils at the base of the hair follicles to lubricate each shaft and strengthen the roots, giving hair a thicker, healthier appearance.

For thinning or prematurely grey hair, infuse coconut oil with rosemary or lavender. Pour 1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut oil into a small bowl and heat by submerging it into a slightly larger bowl filled with hot water. Drop in three sprigs of fresh lavender or rosemary, and warm the oil to a comfortable temperature. Strain the mixture and massage it onto your scalp.

Not only will the oil scalp massage condition dry hair, it can reduce flakiness, stimulate blood circulation, and distribute existing natural oils throughout the hair, conditioning it and increasing shine.

Apply warm oil to scalp and along hair strands using gentle, circular motions with your fingertips. When you've massaged your entire head to the base of your neck, wrap hair in a warm, damp towel and relax for an hour. Then wet hair with warm water, lather twice with gentle shampoo, and rinse with apple cider vinegar. The result? Shiny, thick hair.

Facial clay

Standard clay can be drying to the hands. Not so with facial clay, when you apply it to your face in conjunction with essential oils. Facial clay absorbs clogging oils and deposits beneficial minerals. Meanwhile the essential oils increase moisture levels.

Green clay not only has deep cleansing properties, it also balances and stimulates the lymph system, enhances blood circulation, and is especially effective on acne-prone skin. Green clay can be used on all skin types but if you have dry or sensitive skin, use white or rose clay, which does not draw oils from the skin. Look for facial clay powder at your health food store.

Clay mask

2 Tbsp (30 mL) green, white, or rose clay powder
1 tsp (5 mL) honey
1/2 tsp (2 mL) olive or sunflower oil
1 drop essential oil (rosemary oil for oily skin, camomile for dry skin, or geranium for normal skin)
1/2 cup (125 mL) spring water

Combine clay, honey, and oils. Slowly add water, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, stirring until a paste forms. Apply thin layer to face, avoiding eyes, nose, and mouth. Let dry 20 minutes and rinse with cool water.

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