It has been on everyone’s lips (…and hair!) among naturalistas for some time, I named okra.
This flagship ingredient of Afro-Caribbean cuisine has indeed become a must for the care of frizzy hair.
But does it really live up to its reputation? I tell you everything!
I myself was not very familiar with okra before discovering its virtues for hair care.
It is actually a plant native to Africa that can also be found in the southern United States and the Caribbean.
Excellent for health, it is used in the composition of many exotic dishes.
Okra has many virtues, thanks to its antioxidant properties, the vitamins and minerals it provides.
In terms of properties, okra contains manganese, which is an antioxidant that protects body cells (skin and hair) against free radicals and the harmful effects of pollution.
There is also vitamin K in okra, which makes it an ally for blood clotting and bone formation.
There’s also calcium and magnesium, which are mostly found in boiled okra or raw okra.
As a reminder, magnesium is necessary for the development of bones, the production of proteins, the proper functioning of the immune system but also for the good health of the teeth.
Okra is one of those vegetables rich in iron, an essential mineral for transporting oxygen in the human body and for forming red blood cells in the blood.
Iron is also essential for cell renewal, the production of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Finally, okra contains, among other things, copper which is involved in the constitution of hemoglobin and collagen.
And these are just some of the components of this little miracle vegetable that will become the best ally of our curls!
The benefits of okra for hair
With all the nutrients found in okra, it’s no wonder it has become a star in the cosmetics arena.
As what interests us is the hair, we will focus on what this vegetable can bring us on this side.
First of all, for manes in need of hydration, it is very effective because the vitamin B9 it contains promotes cell repair.
Okra therefore helps to strengthen the hair roots and preserve the hair fiber. And a little bonus, it prevents the appearance of dandruff.
Also, okra slows hair loss because it contains vitamin B6. The latter has an impact on zinc in its action which consists in inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase which is an enzyme causing hair loss.
Likewise, thanks to the action of vitamin B9, okra helps stimulate hair growth and overall health.
Rich in vitamin C, okra prevents hair loss and gives it a shiny appearance.
Result: Say goodbye to dull, dry hair and say hello to bouncy curls with vibrant color.
Finally, with the vitamin B2 it contains, okra boosts the production of keratin, the latter being an important element for the good health of the hair but also of the skin. Thanks to this benefit, the curls are better defined and last longer.
How to use okra in hair care?
In general, to use okra for hair care, it should be boiled as this results in a mucilaginous gum.
When water is added to it, this substance swells and takes on the consistency of a thick gel. It works wonders for thickening hair lotions.
In this viscous form, okra gel helps nourish, shine and define curls.
As a hair mask
Used as a hair mask, okra softens, stimulates growth and facilitates detangling of hair.
You will need :
- 3 or more fresh okra.
- A strainer or strainer to filter.
To do this, simply mix it with water. You will therefore need three fresh okra or more if your hair is very thick and a little water.
You have to cut them into slices with a knife, then pour them into a saucepan filled with water.
Bring everything to a boil and stir with a wooden spoon until you get a viscous texture. If the mixture is gelatinous, just add a little water.
When you have obtained the desired consistency, you must pour the mixture into a strainer to filter it. The okra gel must cool in the open air.
Before using okra gel, the hair must first be washed and rinsed thoroughly. Apply the mixture from root to tip to detangle curls and define them.
You can wrap your head in cling film or a plastic cap for half an hour to let the gel work. Rinse hair thoroughly with clear water.
In styling gel
For those who like protective hairstyles like bantus knots or twist outs, okra gel is ideal for fixing them.
For these hairstyles are supposed to help protect the hair, vegetable oils must be added to the okra gel.
So, in addition to the water and the okra itself, add two glasses of mineral water and two tablespoons of vegetable oil.
You must of course choose the latter according to the porosity of your hair, but it should be noted that okra goes very well with olive oil.
It must be added when the gel has been completely cooled and filtered.
You can use this mixture for your hair, but also to seal the hydration of your curls when you have done your usual hair routine.
Moreover, you can add okra gel to your vape to do your daily refreshes: hydration and shine guaranteed!
Note that while drying, the okra gel can leave residues in the hair, so you must have a light hand when applying it.
A simple wash gets rid of these residues.