Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Hair Conditioning Recipes #1: Do-It-Yourself - Watercress


I am the world's worst packrat. I save every article or note that I can find about hair care. Consequently I have hundreds of boxes full of little hair tidbits that I look at from time to time.

One of my favorite hobbies is to whip up a do-it-yourself at home hair treatment. I love to glop all kinds of deep conditioning oil treatments on my hair if I think it will help.

Over the past 20+ years I have put just about everything you could imagine on my hair. Sometimes I will draw the line at some bizarre combinations like peanut butter and pickle juice.

The following list is not complete but I have tried many of these different homemade hair treatments over the years:

  • Castor oil hot packs

  • Beef-marrow treatments (yucky but they seemed to work)

  • Egg yolk treatments

  • Mayonnaise (many different variations)

  • Hot oil treatments (olive, sesame, coconut, peanut, almond, wheat germ, jojoba & basil)

  • Honey, molasses and maple syrup

  • Beer, gin, vodka & assorted alcoholic mixtures

  • Cayenne pepper, horseradish, white pepper and Tabasco sauce.

Some of the hair treatments were great, some were disgusting and some were downright horrible. The castor oil treatment that I tried actually darkened my hair and took 5 shampoo treatments to remove the yucky, sticky tacky feel and horrible smell of the castor oil.

The honey was messy and gloppy although the molasses was much worse. The maple syrup was nice but not worth the effort.

I have decided to share some of the bizarre hair recipes that I have collected, personally tried, and gotten feedback on over the years.

WARNING: Proceed at your own risk. I can not guarantee the results of any of the home hair recipes. They are for your own personal experimentation purposes only.

Before you apply this watercress hair treatment or any special hair treatments check your scalp for any abrasions, cuts or bumps. If you find any, please don't try this hair recipe until your scalp completely heals. If your scalp does not heal be sure to see your doctor.

Watercress Treatment For Oily Hair

A very good friend of mine is troubled with excessively oily hair. I found the following recipe for her in the book, Everything You need To Know To Have Great Looking Hair by Louis Gignace that was published in 1981 and is long out of print).

watercress.jpg (14907 bytes)My friend tried the Watercress hair recipe (the photo of the Watercress is from the Science U website. For more info on Watercress check out this great site) and found it to work quite well at eliminating her oily hair problems.

She highly recommends it to anyone with oily hair.

Watercress appears to work on oily hair because it is rich in iron and phosphorus as well as vitamins A, C and E.

  1. Blend a large handful of fresh watercress with 1 cup of water in a blender or food processor until well blended. If you have long hair you may need to use 2 full handfuls of watercress.

  2. Heat the mixture on a burner until boiling and then boil for 10 minutes.

  3. Strain out the watercress keeping only the liquid.

  4. Let the watercress liquid completely cool. Do not apply hot liquid to your hair or burns to the scalp could result.

  5. Use a cotton ball to apply the liquid or carefully pour the watercress mix on your newly shampooed hair. Make sure that before you apply the mix that you carefully squeeze out as much excess water as possible.

  6. Leave the mixture on the hair for 20 minutes. Note: It may be best to apply the liquid to the hair right in the shower to prevent excessive dripping. My friend washed her hair, turned off the shower, removed as much excess water as possible and then carefully poured the watercress liquid onto her hair while still in the shower.

  7. Rinse the watercress liquid out of your hair after 20 minutes with cool to cold water. Towel blot dry the hair , apply a very light non-oily detangler and if possible, let the hair air dry.

Other Notes On Watercress

While watercress appears to work on oily hair some experts believe that excessive use of watercress as a dietary food can lead to potential kidney problems.

Watercress is also recommended by herbalists as a poultice for arthritis and gout. It is not recommend for daily use or for women that are pregnant. It is best to buy the watercress from a reputable source since wild watercress may host a deadly liverfluke or other parasites.

Hair Boutique Notes On Watercress Hair Treatment

I would love to hear any feedback from anyone who tries this hair treatment on their own hair. Since my own hair is on the dry side, the watercress would not be a good treatment for me to try. If you try the recipe and wish to share your experiences please email me.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

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