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Tarragon might sound to you like something that belongs on your plate at the dinner table and not on your head. But tarragon, one of the four "fine herbs" of French cuisine, is commonly used in natural shampoos and hair care products because it actually has some benefits for your hair. Many ladies find that hair care products with tarragon have a pleasant scent that isn’t too overwhelming or perfumy, so it won’t interfere too much with your trademark scent.
According to Barbara Close, author of Pure Skin: Organic Beauty Basics, using a shampoo formulated with tarragon can add extra shine to dull, dried-out hair. This is especially beneficial for ladies who color their hair on a regular basis, or treat or style their hair with heat -- which can leave your hair looking less than vibrant. Close recommends adding about 10 to 15 drops of natural tarragon essential oil per 2 oz. of a natural shampoo if you go the D.I.Y. route. You can also add tarragon essential oil to your favorite shampoo.
Using hair care products that contain tarragon can give your hair a bit of extra body, according to Josephine Fairley, author of The Ultimate Natural Beauty Book. For this reason, Fairley recommends shampoos and conditioners made with tarragon for women with fine or limp hair to give your hair that little extra boost. You aren’t likely to find hairspray or other styling products with tarragon already in them, but you can add 10 to 15 drops per 2 oz. of hairspray if you wish.
When you add tarragon to shampoo and soap, it can help to cleanse the hair and scalp, removing excess oil and bacteria that can build up. If you use a lot of product to create your style, it can also build up in your hair and on your scalp, especially if you skip a day washing your hair. Shampoos with tarragon can cleanse your hair without stripping the natural oils that make it look its best.
What to Look for
When you’re looking for a hair product that contains tarragon, look for it to be toward the top of the ingredient list if you want to get the maximum benefit – otherwise, it may just be there to appeal to the natural/organic crowd or for its pleasant fragrance. Tarragon essential oil and tarragon extract are most common and provide the most benefit, according to Close.
Before you use any new hair product, you need to test a small amount on your skin to make sure it won’t cause any irritation. Leave it on for 20 or 30 minutes – watch for redness and itching. The same testing method works if you choose to add tarragon essential oil to an existing hair care product; just add a the tarragon oil to a little bit of the product to start, so you don’t ruin all of it if it turns out tarragon just isn’t right for your hair.