Friday, 14 November 2014

Catnip: Now For Hair, As Well As Cats!

So I am one of the biggest cat lovers out there (big claim I know) and when I heard about Catnip or  Nepeta Cataria to use its correct name, rinses I ordered some immediately. There is an amazing forum thread on this subject, which is very long but has a lot of wisdom on this subject. I recommend giving it a read if you are considering trying this. The link is here.

Honestly the brew does not look the most appealing, even with flowers next to it! 

According to an article written by Ktani (The Queen of Catnip) it is "non toxic, naturally acidic, may be antibacterial, antifungal, anitiviral, contains oils, and is soothing to skin." It can also stain hair slightly and many people seem to use it as a natural alternative to dying grey or white roots. The colour does wash out very easily and should only have an effect on very light hair.

The recommended amount seems to be around 1tsp to about 1 cup to 300ml of boiled water "covered and steeped to cool" as you would with a tea. It seems the amount is fairly constant amongst many people but the steeping time and the application on hair seems to change. I tried a few different steeping times and a couple of different ways/timings on hair. Catnip can be applied to hair a number of ways; on wet or dry hair, before or after shampooing, left in or rinsed out, over conditioner or not. 

I tried two different applications:

 Others seem to use it as more of a treatment and leave it soak in there hair for around an hour and then rinse/wash off.

 Some people seem to use Catnip instead of or as well as a conditioner to improve softness, shine and detangling and leave it in to dry.

The Catnip I bought cost £4.75 for 100g from ebay, which is enough to last quite a while for this treatment. I began by steeping 1tsp of Catnip in about 2 cups of water for about 4 hours and then poured over my hair a few times making sure to coat it all. I then squeezed out my hair a little and put in a cap for an hour, to let a little heat build up.

After applying I was pleasantly surprised when I could feel that my hair was coated as I didn't expect to actually be able to feel it. After an hour I then co-washed my hair, tied back and just left alone. When my hair was dry I do think it felt a bit softer, especially at the roots, where my hair is least damaged. The catnip was probably able to soak in the best at the roots as well due to body heat. It wasn't drastic but it was enough to convince me that it was doing something. So I decided to test it for a few weeks and see if I notice a difference.

 After a few weeks of trial and error, trying both the soaking and spray methods, I found that the best method for me was spraying it onto the hair and leaving it in to dry. I found that it made my hair very shiny and soft and that it felt coated. Almost like having a smoothing serum on my hair. I have seen warnings of build up occurring which I did find when I steeped for very long periods but it washed out very easily. I would also say that my hair looks shinier as well as having a little bit of a richer colour. The ends of my hair also feel softer and a bit calmer. It isn't a drastic change but I do think there is method in this madness.

I think this is one of those treatments that patiences and experimentation is required for. I do think my hair has become overall softer after using this for a few weeks but I don't think I could replace my conditioner with it just yet! I'm also not sure I have found it very useful for detangling yet. I am going to keep using it for a while and I think people who enjoy experimenting will like this. If, on the other hand, you are all about easy hair care then this may not be for you. It takes quite a bit of experimentation to figure out which method is best.

My biggest hope for this product obviously was that cats will follow me around in some form of pied piper esq way. So far my cat shows the same usual contempt for my she always does, unless its dinner time.

Would you considering trying Catnip treatments?

Let me know!


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