Let's talk about ingredients. For this tonic for the scalp, all you need is distilled water, witch hazel and the essential oils of your choice. Witch hazel is the workhorse here as the botanical has anti-inflammatory and sebum-controlling properties to cleanse and stimulate the scalp. As Washington mentioned, it's a great cleansing option for protective styles – these oil-controlling, anti-inflammatory properties can help prevent flakes and buildup while relieving itchiness. "It's a mild refreshment for the scalp," Matrix texture specialist and Artistic Director Michelle O'Connor told mbg about witch hazel for hair.
Better yet, Washington is choosing a non-alcoholic version to spray into its roots. Alcohol can be harsh on the skin and disrupt the natural barrier and microbiome, which can cause irritation.
As for the EOs, Washington's part of rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender, all of which have hair-healthy properties: rosemary is linked to improving hair thickness; Lavender can help protect your length; Peppermint can promote blood flow to the scalp; and eucalyptus has antifungal and antiseptic properties. "You too are becoming like a walking aromatherapy," jokes Washington, which is of course a benefit in itself.
Finally, the distilled water dilutes the solution a bit (if whole nut hazelnut is too astringent for your skin) so that you can play around with these ratios depending on what your skin can handle. If you're new to witch hazel, you might want to try this phrase: