I’m a sucker for a good hair rinse, and lately I’ve been experimenting with how to use horsetail -or shavegrasss – (Equisetum arvense) for softer, shinier hair. Horsetail is full of silica, which gives your hair a lustrous, flax-like sheen and softness, not to mention strength. In fact, silica has such a penchant for strengthening that many chicken feed mixtures include a form of silica so the chickens lay eggs with stronger shells. So if you have weak hair, hair loss, or split ends, horsetail is for you. Its antifungal properties make it fantastic for many scalp issues, as well.
So, how the heck do you use it? If you’re purchasing it commercially, go with the organic stuff. Horsetail likes to grow near water on wet sand, and if the herb is harvested near contaminated water, it’s not something you want to be using. I recently purchased a batch from Frontier Co-op, and I’m quite pleased with it. Prepare a decoction by boiling a tablespoon of the herb in a cup of water for 15 – 20 minutes. (A simple tea-like infusion isn’t enough for it.) Allow it to cool, then strain it. When you’re done washing your hair, pour the decoction over your head and allow it to stay on up to 15 minutes before rinsing it back out. Try this once or twice a week, and see how horsetail works for giving you strong and shiny hair.