I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty regime of North African women: the ritual of the hammam, the application of henna of the hair and the skin, the attention given to the skin and hair to make them strong and healthy…and of course the majority of the products they traditionally use are entirely natural and locally sourced! There are real lessons to be learnt here.
Ghassoul is a type of clay typically used to cleanse the hair, although it can also be used as mask on the face and body. It is produced exclusively in the Atlas mountains in Morocco, and it is rich in minerals. It helps remove grease by absorbing sebum without drying the hair out, and makes it shiny and soft. It is usually sold either as a power, or as dry flakes. To use it, mix it with warm water until it becomes a paste a apply on wet hair. Leave for a few minutes and rinse abundantly. You can also add a few drops of argan oil for dry hair, or use essential oils as scent.
‘Neutral’ henna, which doesn’t dye the hair, is also often use for hair treatment or as a conditionner. It comes as a green powder, made into a paste by adding water. Some turn it into a regenerating mask by mixing it with yoghurt, oil or honey. It is recommended to use it once a month to give moisturize the hair and make it shiny. Leave it until it dries, then rinse and wash your hair. Ghassoul and henna are two natural, chemical free products, cheaper than manufactured shampoos and hair conditionners, and they are produced by local communities. What’s more to ask?