If you are one of those people who starts January with huge intentions & grandiose plans, might I suggest sticking to something small & realistic ? As we emerge into the busy world blurry-eyed and missing the slower pace of life, easy chats with friends, peaceful country walks & daily schedule freedom, doing little things makes us feel better. And if a small tweak to a habit leads to looking better all the better! Botanic Garden haircare “It’s All About Stronger Hair” mask & oil were given to me by Lena, one of the brand’s co-founders, alongside my beauty order, in October. Using it reminded me of a childhood ritual that was passed from generation to generation, yet it wasn’t called a ritual, nor placed into wellness category. It was something simply something that many women did in order to have thicker, lusher hair.
When I was a teenager, we had a red Irish setter as a family dog. She was as gorgeous, as she was feisty, matching her colouring with her personality to a ‘T’. In the summer my ‘funnest’ job during the family holiday spent at out country house (aka dacha) was…. to gather nettle. A vet told my parents that adding it to our dog’s food would enhance both its health and colouring. So yours truly was ‘roped’ in, gloved, to gather the nettles & lay them out to dry. I then had to chop and blend it, creating a fine powder that was added to our dog’s daily food in autumn and winter. I didn’t question the validity of the vet’s statement, but I hated that job with a passion. In part because the ‘stupid’ task took me away from having fun with my friends, who were freely exploring the neighbouring surroundings, cycling, playing games, jumping on haystacks or swimming in local lakes, while I gathered the wretched plant & got occasional blisters on my legs. And to this day I don’t know whether nettle powder actually made a difference to my dog’s vitality and fur colour!
Botanic Garden Its All About Stronger Hair “Nettle & Flax Peeling Mask”
Imagine my surprise when ‘nettle’ came up as one of the main ingredients in Botanic Garden new haircare launch last autumn. Lena & Anastasia, Botanic Garden founders, create & craft products that allow each customer to thoroughly enjoy the process of using their products from start to finish. Plants & herbs are not only carefully chosen & sourced, but are combined in a way that brings utmost efficacy to the skin, hair & the senses.
This particular aromatic mask made from freshly blended herbs will help strengthen your hair from the root up and make them shinier. It also promises to improve hair growth through improving the state of ‘health’ of your scalp. Because we all ignore our scalp (which most of us don’t see, nor examine) to our own peril – sooner or later we all notice a negative impact of such ignorance on the state of our hair (volume, thickness, strength & appearance).
Nettle leaves contain acerbic acid which improves blood circulation and metabolism in the deeper skin levels. Mint will help balance the sebaceous glands, while Garden Sage and Rosemary offer antiseptic effect. There are also powdered flax seeds, which help to nourish & moisturise your scalp, as well as hair.
Tip: for optimum result combine hair mask with the strengthening hair oil “Hops & Burdock” once a week.
The mask comes in the form of a very fine powder (make sure you don’t sneeze and spread it around your bathroom, like a magic green potion). Just shake out some of the powder into the palm of your hand or into a small masking bowl & mix it with warm, preferably filtered water until you get a ‘porridge-like’ consistency – not too thick, nor too liquidy. You can also add a few drops of the hair oil for additional nourishment benefit. Then dampen your roots and scalp lightly with water & apply the mask, section by section, all over your scalp and hair. Leave it on a for a few minutes or, if you have time & want to give your hair & scalp a more thorough treatment, cover your head with clingfilm or reusable shower cap, cover it with a towel (turban like Aquis works perfectly) and leave it on for at least 25-30 minutes.
During the winter this mask offers a perfect excuse to wrap up warm, drink tea (or hot chocolate with brandy .) or do it while you are in the sauna or banya, where the effect of this hair mask and oil are enhanced by the heat.
Once you feel your hair and scalp have had enough, wash the mask thoroughly out, shampoo the hair and make sure you rinse the hair and scalp thoroughly again. Towel or blow dry on a low heat setting and enjoy naturally shinier, swishier, healthier hair and scalp.
List of Ingredients: ground leaves of Nettle, Peppermint, Sage, Rosemary, Henan, ground Flax Seeds
Botanic Garden “It’s All About Stronger Hair” Hops & Burdock oil for scalp & hair, 100ml
There is a lot to be said for the weekly use of specially formulated oil on your scalp. It is something that has been done for centuries in Asian & Arab countries and no wonder that we look up to Asian & Arabic women when it comes to lushness of their hair. As we age & navigate life, our hair suffers from the effect of pollution, under-par nutrition, stress, hormone fluctuations, pregnancies & poor sleep. By choosing to focus regularly (and not occasionally, as an after thought) on the health of our scalp, we make sure that our hair gets the care it needs & deserves.
This particular hair & scalp oil is an aromatic, as well as a nutrient-dense feast distilled in a clear glass bottle. Light-lemon in colour, the botanist in you can marvel at the floating in oil flowers, like space cadets in open space.
The oil fortifies & nurtures hair cuticles & roots, as well as helps improve the condition of skin on your scalp. Burdock oil was chosen for its effect on increasing the blood circulation directed at the hair roots, thus activating the process of growth, as well as strengthening. Avocado & Castor Oils nourish & strengthen, helping improve hair structure. Camomile & Olive Oils were chosen for their effect in helping prevent hair loss, as well as dandruff. The combination of essential oils (Rosemary, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Grainpfruit) helps to re-energise tired, lifeless hair and helps bring back strength & shine from roots to tips with regular use.
There are different ways to use this haircare oil. You can massage it (use energetic, yet gentle strikes, so not to damage hair roots or scratch the scalp) into the dry or slightly damp hair roots and all over your scalp. Keep it for a few minutes and wash thoroughly off, so not to end up with greasy hair roots. Or you can wrap the towel around your head and keep it on for thirty minutes or so, while you take a bath, read a book or watch a movie. It truly depends on you time & preference.
Tip: As long as you make this a regular part of looking after your hair, you can expect to notice an improvement in the condition & appearance, whether your hair is long, short, thick, straight, curly, coloured or fine.
Since I first got my hands on this uplifting looking & smelling hair oil, I have also been using a drop or two to tame away flyaways, adding a little bit of shine to my hair (mid-length to ends application only, with a very light touch, as in this instance even a tiny bit really goes a long way), as well as nourish my eyebrows. If I have any left over after applying it to my hair, I also massage it into my nails & cuticles.
I have also been using it as a nourishing & nurturing treat on the weekend for my daughter. I massage a little bit of it into her scalp and hair and leave it on in a bun for a few minutes before bath or shower. Start them young and install good self-care habits from early on. Plus sharing your own beauty routine with the children allows you to bond deeper with them, no matter what age.
List of Ingredients: Burdock Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado, Chamomile Oil, Castor Oil, Essential oils of Rosemary, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Hops Flowers.
As to my relationship with nettle, I think it’s fair to say that at least partially my viewpoint on this particular plant has been rehabilitated. Thanks to two very creative & talented women who taking past wisdom, knowledge and experiences, integrate ancient traditions into very modern & result-driven beauty formulas.
To find out more about Botanic Garden click here for the link to the website in Russian, with the full range of products or here, for the European version. Don’t be shy to reach out to the team, if you have any questions – they are as friendly, as they are knowledgable!