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Preserving Your DIY Hair Product

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

     One problem most of us at home face when creating our own hair products is that of how to preserve it- how to extend the shelf life. Below is a list of  natural preservatives. Most of them serve a dual purpose as both a moisturizer and a preservative.

Tea Tree Oil Thyme Essential Oil          Honey
Grapefruit Seed Extract Bitter Orange Extract

     Tessential_oilhis takes us into essential oils as many essential oils act as good antimicrobial agents. Note however, that although essential oils can act as preservatives (some more than others) they are not strong enough to use as the only preservatives in a product. Such oils would not protect a shampoo but they would prevent a body oil containing vegetable oil from turning rancid (approximately 6 – 12 months).

 

     Essential oils will inhibit germ growth if used in large enough concentrations. Therefore it is imperative that you buy only the purest, highest concentration of  an essential oil you intend to use as a preservative, because most blends are in a concentration of 3 – 5%, and it is not advisable to use them for preservatives or germ killers.

*Effectiveness of Essential Oils in Killing Bacteria

Essential oil Minimum Amount in % Essential oil Minimum Amount in %
Thyme 0.070 Rosemary 0.430
Origanum 0.100 Cumin 0.450
Sweet Orange 0.120 Neroli 0.475
Lemongrass 0.160 Birch 0.480
Chinese Cinnamon 0.170 Lavender 0.500
Rose 0.180 Melissa Balm 0.520
Clove 0.200 Ylang Ylang 0.560
Eucalyptus 0.225 Juniper 0.600
Peppermint 0.250 Sweet Fennel 0.640
Rose geranium 0.250 Garlic 0.650
Meadowsweet 0.330 Lemon 0.700
Chinese anise 0.370 Cajeput 0.720
Orris 0.380 Sassafras 0.750
Cinnamon 0.400 Heliotrope 0.800
Wild Thyme 0.400 Fir, Pine 0.860
Anise 0.420 Parsley 0.880
Mustard 0.420 Violet 0.900
* Refer to this website for more information:  http://www.botanicalworks.com/NaturalPreservatives.htm
    
If you are interested in purchasing some oils check out these websites:
     I personally find that is far easier to purchase such things online. Try for example a website like www.amazon.com which allows you to compare the exsperiences of other as well as get all the information necessary to make an informed purchase.
     One tip: there is a ginormous difference between aromatherapy oils and essential oils, make sure you pay acute attention to what you are purchasing and make sure you pay attention to the ingredients list.
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