The importance of botanical infusions in hair care and why we make our own
Before we get into the details, it’s important to first know why botanical infusions matter. Plants contain many phytochemicals and nutrients that are beneficial and very effective in achieving a healthy scalp and hair. The biochemical properties within all the different botanicals we use can reduce inflammation, dandruff, hair loss/fall, boost collagen production, increase elasticity, encourage healthy hair growth and prevent damage/breakage.
There are a number of ways to extract phytochemicals from plants :
There are two ways to get essential oils; through cold pressing where the rind is squeezed until the oil is released, or via steam distillation where the steam passes through the plant matter removing the essential oil and water-soluble plant compounds. In the latter, cool water condenses the steam, separating the essential oil from the water soluble components. The water soluble compound is the bi-product of the steam distillation - also known as a hydrosol.
Tinctures are the most potent ways to extract medicinal compounds from a plant. All you need to do is soak the herb or botanicals in alcohol. (Vodka is the most commonly used alcohol). Tinctures are designed for internal use.
Macerations are created when plants are soaked in a soak carrier oil for a number of weeks rendering its phytochemicals. Infusions can be used internally (like when making an herb infusion oil for cooking) or topically in beauty products.
Varying degrees of effectiveness:
The goal is, or should be to deliver maximum results. In order to achieve an effective finished product, the extraction method is very important.
There are a multitude of factors that can reduce the efficacy of an extract, two of the most important being time and exposure to light. The longer a plant or extract sits around (potentially stored improperly) the more the nutrients are depleted. At the High End Hippie, we make our extractions fresh and in small batches so that they are more bioavailable and effective in the final formula.
We make our infusions by using the maceration method. By preparing a maceration, we can render a wide range of phytochemicals and nutrients from the plant. Macerations are potent yet safe to use topically at full concentration without causing irritation to scalp or contact dermatitis.
Benefits to using a botanical infusion produced by the Maceration method:
Macerations are a more sustainable way to render plant extracts since less plant matter is required to produce an infusion compared to an essential oil. We can also reduce our carbon footprint by growing and foraging the botanicals locally.
Consistent Supply Chain:
We can reduce our carbon footprint and have a more consistent supply chain by sourcing the botanicals used in the infusion in western Canada.
Important infusions in HEH shampoo and conditioner bars:
Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind and it is interesting to know that the Egyptians were the first to discover this amazing oil. It not only nourishes your hair, but offers natural lightening properties that keeps your colour vibrant and soft. Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties can help regulate oil production and minimizes the appearance of dandruff. Vitamin C and E found in Chamomile can help prevent free radical damage at the hair follicle, preventing hair fall or loss. Photochemicals within Chamomile can help restore damage at the hair follicle, boost collagen production, and increase elasticity promoting healthy hair growth and preventing breakage.
Chamomile is perfect for colour treated blondes, or people suffering from dandruff and excessive oil production. We infuse chamomile in the Clarify shampoo and conditioner bars.
Rose and Marshmallow Root:
Rose is known for being the flower of love and for good reason: it vibrates on the same frequency as the heart chakra, helping to alleviate depression. It's also packed with B vitamins. A B-vitamin deficiency can result in hair loss or thinning, and brittle hair.
Marshmallow root was adopted by the Ancient Greek and Indian cultures for its healing properties.
It is a demulcent herb, meaning that it is both cooling and soothing. The anti-inflammatory properties in both these botanicals are perfect for those suffering from eczema, psoriasis or dry itchy scalp and why we infuse them in our Soothe shampoo and conditioner bars.
Milky Oats are rich in silica, magnesium, phosphorus, chromium, iron, calcium, alkaloids, protein, Vitamins A, C, E, K and B complex. When taken internally they support the nervous system by reducing stress, depression and adrenal fatigue, which can lead to hair loss and thinning.
The high silica and vitamin B complex found in Milky Oats can fortify, protect and prevent hair loss and fall. B vitamins are crucial for healthy hair and scalp. They also contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can minimize free radical damage at the hair follicle and provide a soothing and moisturizing effect on the scalp. Milky Oats are beneficial for people experiencing dry, damaged and brittle hair and are infused in our Restore shampoo and conditioner bars.
This dreamy-scent is lavender's most defining characteristic, alongside its ability to promote hair growth by stimulating circulation to the scalp for fuller, thicker-looking hair. It contains antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infection, strengthen the hair at the follicle and prevent hair loss. It’s the perfect option for fine, thin hair types or people suffering from hair loss or excess fall. Lavender is infused into our Awaken shampoo and conditioner bars.
Calendula has been used for centuries for its many healing properties. Calendula is a power house loaded with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It can ease itchy and inflamed scalp, reduce redness and post-shave irritation on the skin, and reduce the appearance of dandruff. It also has a soothing and moisturising effect on the hair and scalp. Calendula can help strengthen the hair follicle and reduce premature hair loss and fall. Vitamins B, A and polyphenols found in Calendula are believed to help stimulate hair growth and promote thickness. Prefect for those suffering from dandruff, hair loss and thinning, we infuse Calendula into our Active Bar.
At the High-End Hippie our standards are high, which is why we go the extra mile to source the best ingredients for maximum performance. We want to help you create ease in your life by simplifying your hair care routine with highly effective bars that reduce the need for styling products and tools.