Hair lotion is a hair styling product that is generally applied to the hair and left on. Its purpose is typically to moisturize the hair, although hair lotion can also be used to treat dry scalp, eczema, dermatitis, and other skin conditions affecting the scalp. Medicated hair lotions may also play a part in many hair-retention and hair-regeneration programs marketed for those suffering from hair loss. While a wide range of hair lotions and oils are available for sale, it is also fairly easy to make these products at home. They often contain simple, readily-available ingredients such as eggs, sugar, and vegetable oil.
The use of hair lotion is said to help keep hair hydrated, supple, and soft. Many people use hair lotion in an attempt to repair damage sustained after exposure to heat, chemicals, or UVA/UVB rays. Manufacturers typically claim that these products can restore the natural balance of oils to the hair and encourage hair to grow more rapidly. Additional claims often include protection from skin irritations on the scalp and elimination or reduction of dandruff flakes.
Most products marketed as hair lotion are oil-based. Castor oil, neem oil, and olive oil are considered beneficial for topical application to the hair. These products often also contain additional ingredients intended to support the health of both the hair and the scalp. The use of botanical extracts to enhance the effects of commercial hair lotions is considered quite popular. Extracts of chamomile, burdock, rosemary, henna, and other herbs are often added to commercial hair lotions to soothe the skin, enhance the color and appearance of hair, support adequate blood circulation in the scalp, and promote increased hair growth.
Many people make their own hair oils and lotions in the home. Since these products often contain few ingredients, they are generally very simple to create at home. Most homemade hair lotion recipes call for a base of olive or vegetable oil. Additional ingredients are often chosen based on the effect desired from the finished product.
Eggs are considered a popular ingredient in homemade hair lotions, because they are known for enhancing hair's softness and shine. Some people may forgo eggs, and instead apply a mixture of olive oil and honey to the hair. Lotions containing eggs or honey are typically left on the hair for a period of time, usually about an hour. The lotion is then normally washed out.
Other lotions, however, can be left in the hair until the next shampoo. Some people apply sugar water as hair lotion, due to the perceived moisturizing benefits of the sugar. Others apply homemade infusions of nettles, rosemary, or other herbs.