DIY Okra Hair Conditioner + Facial Masque

09/09/2012

So yeah, my kitchen garden got out of control and left me with these over-ripe, gigantic okra pods. Although their size makes them too tough and not so tasty for eating, I made good use of them in these beauty treats. It’s now coinkidink that manufacturers like LUSH are using okra in the hair and skin care products. So why is okra, heralded by many a Southerner, being harvested for its beauty potential? Okra is ripe with vitamin A and C, antioxidants that fight free radicals and heal. Okra also contains folate and biotin which are essential to healthy hair and skin.

Here’s what I whipped up:

Okra Hair Conditioner
20120908-225000.jpg 1. Wash a handful of okra pods and cut them into 2″ pieces.
20120908-225036.jpg 2. Fill a pot with about an inch of water.

20120908-225100.jpg 3. Toss the okra in the pot, and set the water to boil.

20120908-225205.jpg  4. When boiled, okra secretes a mucilage that’s chock with hearty fiber. Boil for 20 minutes, remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes.

20120908-225227.jpg

5. Pour the entire contents of the pot into a jar. 

20120908-225400.jpg 6. Allow the okra to continue steeping overnight.

okra hair conditioner, okra facial masque

okra hair conditioner, okra facial masque 7. The liquid is now thicker and slimier.

8. Strain the mucilage from the okra. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.

I’ve heard of many Naturalistas use the mucilage as a hair styling gel for light hold. I use it simply to moisturize and condition (leave-in) my tresses after washing—makes the strands mucho soft! Pimp your ‘poo with a couple of tablespoons of the mucilage to give your scalp a vitamin-packed punch. Mix the mucilage with equal parts apple cider vinegar and you have great final hair rinse—this has been said to be great for treating lice.

So what to do with the left over okra pods?

Okra Facial Masque

okra hair conditioner, okra facial masque I threw them in the blender, added a 1/4 cup of water and pureed into an awesome green facial masque. I spread the mixture fairly thick onto my face, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then rinsed with warm water. My skin felt like butter, and pleasantly tight.

okra hair conditioner, okra facial masque

okra hair conditioner, okra facial masque

okra hair conditioner, okra facial masque

okra hair conditioner, okra facial masque As with all beauty recipes, performing a patch test is always a good idea in the event that you are allergic to a particular ingredient.

Do you eat okra? Have you ever used okra in your beauty regimen?