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Cabbage Hats or How to Turn the Dullest of Vegetables Into a Spa Party

June 10, 2011

Cabbage… Might not be the sexiest of veggies, but it’s darn good for you. And did you know that it’s also great for skin and hair? Cabbage contains loads of vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C and E and minerals such as calcium, iron, sulphur and magnesium. Plus, cabbage has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s traditionally been used as wound compresses.
While cabbage is fantastic in skin care, for all types of skin, whether dry, aged or greasy, this time I’d like to focus on cabbage for your hair. As I mentioned, cabbage contains a large quantity of sulphur, which is an essential mineral for your hair and nail health. Including cabbage in your diet will indeed improve your hair and nail strength, but also an external use of cabbage in your hair is going to leave you with shiny, nourished hair, and also cabbage is said to prevent hair loss and even promote hair growth.
The great thing about cabbage is that the large leaves can be used whole to cover your hair when you’re doing a hair mask. This has many benefits for your hair:

  1. The cabbage leaves lock the moisture in, and enhance the properties of the hair mask
  2. At the same time, the cabbage leaves provide your hair with all the vitamins and minerals it contains
  3. It keeps the hair mask in place, making it less messy
  4. It protects your hair from outer harm such as heat, if you’re wearing a hair mask in the sauna for instance (also when not wearing a hair mask, you should put a cabbage leaf on your head when going to sauna, so as to protect your hair from overheating)
  5. You can also use the cabbage leaves as “curlers” (as in the picture) which will give your hair more volume.

So. Yeah. Put some cabbage in your hair already! It’s easy peasy:

First, pick out some large cabbage leaves, you’ll probably need around 2-3 large ones (if making curlers you’ll need more). The great thing is that you can even use some of the outer leaves that you wouldn’t necessarily use in cooking. You can use any kind of cabbage, I used the basic white cabbage.

Roll a wine bottle or a rolling pin over the leaves a few times. This is very important, as it opens the “veins” of the cabbage so that your hair can enjoy all its juicy goodness.

Then you just apply a hair mask or henna (a few recipes below), gather your hair on top of your head and cover with as many cabbage leaves as necessary. Cover with a shower cap or a small plastic bag if you feel it’s necessary.
Or turn the cabbage leaves into curlers. Cut the leaves into two or more pieces that are long and narrow. Take small wisps of hair, place one cabbage leaf on the hair and roll it up. I used toothpicks to keep the hair in place, you can probably think of other creative solutions as well. If you like, you can put a few large cabbage leaves on top of the rolled up ones, to keep everything in place and make sure all hair gets some of that cabbage. Or just cover with a shower cap or small plastic bag.

Hair mask recipes

You can use any hair mask that you like, or plain yogurt, egg or any vegetable oil. Also this works really well with henna, or any henna recipe. Here’s a couple of other ideas for hair masks:

Henna and cabbage. What a combo!

Fruity mask
A half to one fruit of one (or a mixture) of the following: papaya, mango, avocado, banana, honey dew melon.
Yogurt or one egg
Mix with a fork or a stick blender, leave on for 20 minutes – 1 hour.

“Nothing goes better with cabbage than cabbage”, said Charlie’s mot in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (at least in the movie). So why not make a cabbage hair mask that you cover with – more cabbage?

Run some cabbage in a blender until you have a paste. You can add some yogurt to get a better consistency.

Snowy’s moisture treatment (SMT)
Naturally, this isn’t my recipe, but Snowy’s, but it’s a really fantastic moisturizer.

4 parts conditioner
1 part honey
1 part aloe vera gel

Heat in the microwave (the honey might lighten your hair somewhat otherwise – if you don’t mind it, you can skip the warming up). Leave on for at least 30 minutes – the longer the better.

Clay/honey mask for volume/curls and lighter hair

This recipe  will lighten your hair, or enhance the blonde tones in your hair, and give great volume thanks to the clay, especially if you make cabbage-curlers. If you don’t want lighter hair, add the honey to the hot or boiling water, and use other herb instead of camomille (I’d suggest rosemary, nettles or peppermint), or just plain water.
This recipe was enough for my shoulder length hair, plus there was a bit extra that I smeared on my face – this is a fantastic face mask too!

1/2 dl camomile tea
2 tbs honey
1/2 dl thick yogurt
2-3 dl white or other clay
(10-20 drops essential oils)

For best lightening results: Steep 1 camomile tea bag in 1/2 dl water for 10 minutes, and let it cool. When the tea is room temperature or colder (max 30C), add the honey. Let stand for 1 hour (optional, but will definitely make the lightening effect stronger).
Add the yogurt, and then stir in kaolin clay until you have a very thick consistency kinda like mayonnaise. Add essential oils of your choice. Cardamon e.o. will help lighten the hair, other nice oils for hair care are: rosemary, grapefruit, sandalwood, ylang ylang.
Leave on for up to one hour. Make sure all of your hair is covered by cabbage, or that you put plastic over your hair. Don’t let it dry out on your hair! You’re never going to get it out of there.


As we’ve already covered, seaweed is fantastic for skin and hair.

Around 2 tbs dried seaweed or half a nori sheet
1 tbs aloe vera gel
2 tbs thick yogurt
1/2 tbs rice vinegar

Pour some water over the seaweed and allow it to swell, then pour away any excess water. Add the other ingredients and run in a blender or with a stick blender (possibly, chop the seaweed very finely). Leave on for around 30 minutes. Your hair will love you.

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