As Italians we had the most amazing frugal and natural recipes for almost everything, and it usually involved chamomile in some form or shape. Indigestion? A cup of strong warm chamomile tea. Pink eye or some other form of eye infections? Compresses of strong chamomile tea. For someone like me who suffered from both consistently, I can assure you both remedies work.
As a child born in the late sixties, my mom was always worried about my extremely long naturally blonde hair, mainly because I got myself into the worse messes a healthy rambunctious child could get into and so did my long hair. Keeping my hair clean, detangled and healthy was a task my mom took very seriously. Too seriously sometimes.
Natural was best, and my mom knew that; A way of life I'm applying still to this day.
So to keep my hair blonde, clean and shiny, my adorable mother would use a mix of chamomile tea and white wine vinegar, after shampooing with Castile soap.
* With the sun, chamomile reacts to lighten blonde and brown hair, so my hair always had those gorgeous natural highlights not even the best hair salon can give.
* White wine vinegar has a pH similar to hair, acting as a balancing toner for the hair and scalp, which also removes excess oils, soap-scum and left behind dirt particles leaving hair shiny and soft.
To make my mom's recipe...
1 part of white wine vinegar (can be substituted with apple cider vinegar for a less expensive option).
5 parts of strong chamomile tea
To lighten hair, combine ingredients in a spray bottle. Damp hair with solution after washing hair. Now get out in the sun, and let hair naturally dry. The sun combined with the chamomile will lighten hair over time. Repeat daily. Avoid mid day sun to avoid burning your skin.
As a hair toner, combine both ingredients in a spray bottle. Use after shampoo. Leave on and style as usual.
This simple solution works wonders for those of us who use shampoo bars without SLS, as shampoo bars tend to leave hair stiff, due to the higher pH.
Let me know in the comments area if you try and liked my family recipe.