Last week my daughter commented on her friend’s lustrous, silky hair and asked her what she used. The answer surprised her and me also. This kind of sounds like one of those ads that you might see in the sidebar of Facebook but in this case the product really is available in your local grocery store and is not expensive. It is unusual though. Her friend said that she uses lard on her hair. Yes, I know, the thought of putting rendered pig fat on my hair seemed really quite unpleasant, but I kept hearing about how beautiful, shiny and soft her friend’s hair looked, so I thought I’d give it a try.
We happened to have very high quality lard in our refrigerator that came from a friend’s farm where they had raised their own pigs organically and rendered the fat themselves. Even though it had been sitting in our fridge for over two years, when I opened it it was a beautiful white, with no smell at all and a creamy consistency. At this point you might be wondering why I would keep lard in my fridge for two years. The original intent was to make a special salve for burns with it. In Tibetan Medicine, pig fat is one of the best things to use on human skin and is especially recommended for healing burns and skin diseases. It is readily absorbed and considered very nutritive. However, I wasn’t able to get all the ingredients I wanted so it just sat there until I took it out to put in my hair. Knowing how well regarded it is in the Tibetan Medicine tradition for human skin it made sense that it could also be good for hair.
I rubbed about 1 tablespoon of lard into my hands and then worked it through my hair, making sure I got the ends. You might need a bit more as I learned later that it should also be massaged into the scalp which makes sense. Then I just left it for about 30-45 minutes and then washed my hair the way I normally do. If the weather were warmer I would have sat out in the sun too to help it absorb. After I washed and dried it it felt very heavy and silky. The next day my husband (who doesn’t even notice when I get 3” cut) stroked my hair and asked me if I had done something different with my hair because it felt so nice. He loved it! Now he affectionately calls me, Lard Head.
I am definitely going to make this a part of hair maintenance. Using it every shampoo is probably not going to happen, but maybe once or twice a month. After doing this I also found this interesting blog about lard as a Winter super food.