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Fern and Milk Hair Conditioner

Would You Condition Your Hair With Ferns?

This morning on my way to work, I was talking to my dad, who, bless his heart, is always reading the Sugar sites. While discussing what makes a good conditioner, he suddenly said, "You know, for years, your grandmother used ferns and milk as a conditioner." Say what, Daddy? "She'd go out and pick fern leaves, boil them, then mix in whole milk. And that's what she always conditioned her hair with."

My dad grew up on a farm, and his childhood was spent learning ways of doing things that city slickers lost a hundred years ago, so he comes out with stuff like this every once in a while. I understand the milk part — it has tons of great softening proteins — but I'm a bit mystified by the ferns. Were they in there just for shakes, or do they have some great conditioning property? I'm thinking of going home and trying this out, but I'm wondering: Have any of you ever heard of this recipe, or something like it? Or did my dad just tell me a family hair secret?
Source: Flickr User Randy Son of Robert

Join The Conversation
Beauty Beauty 7 years
Thanks for the great research, dogwoodblossoms! Sounds like she was using it to thicken and lighten her hair! I'm gonna try it this weekend :)
aubrey214 aubrey214 7 years
I'm pretty sure that would be a Maidenhair Fern. I'm pretty interested to try it considering I have one of these ferns in my living room. Won't cost me anything really, but time.
dogwoodblossoms dogwoodblossoms 7 years
I found something! quoted from Culpepper's Herbal "stays the shedding or falling of the hair, and causes it to grow thick, fair and well-coloured,.." from this page, Wall Rue section: - A Modern Herbal |
Beauty Beauty 7 years
My grandmother had big, shiny, naturally blond curls, so yeah, it was pretty great (why did I not inherit a couple of those genes?). I don't know about the fern species, but that's a smart question, yoga. I'll ask!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I'm interested in if it works. I wonder if it's a specific fern species too?
Lori-Gragg Lori-Gragg 7 years
Couldn't hurt to try it,do you remember your Grandmothers hair was it soft and silky,and if so then I would definately try it,and I would be interested in the results,so if you do try it,please keep us updated,anything to save money,would be worth the time in the kitchen..Thanks for the great tip.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
Thanks! Great thought, but my dad remembers going out and picking ferns for her, and I don't think hemp grows wild in our area.
LMessing LMessing 7 years
So Dad is 100% sure it was just regular fern? Hemp seems a much more likely candidate as a hair conditioner, and the leaves themselves do resemble fern fronds. It may not be hard for someone - like your dad when he was a little boy, for instance - to confuse the two.
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