Women from the Yao ethnic group who live in Huangluo village in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have an average hair length of over 1.5 meters, helping the place win Guinness Book recognition as the “the world’s longest hair village”.
In a previous column, I wrote about the Yao women’s “shampoo”. Now, I would like to highlight the benefits of tea seeds, which is one of the active ingredients in the natural shampoo.
Tea seeds refer to the seeds taken from camellias, the long-lived evergreen shrubs or small trees that can grow anywhere from 6-20 feet tall with up to a 10-foot spread on average.
Before commercial shampoos went popular, people in the past washed their hair with tea seeds.
Oil extracted from the tea seeds is listed as one of the healthy edible plant oils, with up to 78 percent of monounsaturated fat, which is beneficial to the heart, brain, lungs and blood vessels.
Ample intake of monounsaturated fat would nourish skin and yield healthy hair. External application of tea seed oil in the form of conditioner or shampoo could keep hair black and shiny.
Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help prevent formation of mange and ringworm on the scalp. It can also help reduce hair loss, dandruff and itchy feeling.
As tea seeds are rich in oil, tea saponin and amino acids, the shampoo containing it can moisturize, prevent hair breakage and improve hair strength and resilience.
Meanwhile, tea seed oil has wide beauty applications as well.
By massaging the abdomen with tea seed oil, women with pregnancy stretch marks would see them weakened and reduced. The oil can also lighten freckles and pimple marks on the face.
It serves as an excellent skin moisturizer that could improve skin conditions such as dryness, itchiness and coarse pores. By applying in the eye area, it could reduce puffiness and dark circles.
The following is the recipe for a natural tea seed shampoo:
Ingredients: 3 catties tea seeds, 2 catties fresh ginger, 1 catty fleeceflower root powder
Methods:1) Grind tea seeds and fresh ginger into powder.2) Boil all the ingredients in pot of water, then cook the solution for another 10 or 15 minutes with medium heat.3) Set it aside until the solution cools down to an acceptable temperature for usage.
How to use:1) Soak the hair into the pot of solution.2) Wet the hair following a direction from the roots to the endings.3) Give the head a massage lightly with your fingertips.4) Rinse the hair with water and let it air dry.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb. 28
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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