INCI: Hibiscus Sabdariffa
I l.o.v.e. Hibiscus. The deep red flowers of the hibiscus plant are what makes the deep red 'tea' (herbal infusion), which is then used in my DIY leave-ins, conditioners, and moisturizers.
Hibiscus is also on the list of ayurvedic herbs to help strengthen hair and help with natural shine. It also has a lower pH which will help to close hair cuticles.
It contains citric, malic and tartaric acids and is very high in antioxidants.
Hibiscus is also thought to help thicken the hair, and some people use it to stop hair fall and delay premature graying.
It also contains anthocyanin, which is what gives hibiscus its pH-affected color. Depending on the pH of what you put hibiscus tea into, it will appear to be red, purple or blue.
If the pH is low, say 4 or 4.5 — for example if you mix hibiscus tea with Aloe vera juice — the mix will be bright red.
If the pH is high, say 8 or 9 — for example, if you mix hibiscus tea with bentonite clay — the mix will look purple or bluish in tone.
Hibiscus is what gives the HiRoG Tea Softening Leave-In (Hibiscus, Rosehips, Horsetail and Green tea mix) its light soft pink color.
TIP: Mixing hibiscus tea with Sodium lactate makes the mix look transparent/clear to my eye! I'm not kidding. The pH of sodium lactate is around 8.
Because of this ability, hibiscus is known as a natural dye or tinter. If you want to make a wonderful, moisturizing lotion or thick hair cream or soft hair milk, AND you wanna give it a nice hint of pink color, try to incorporate hibiscus instead of a synthetic dye.
BUT WAIT! (lol) Hibiscus is also known to be good for the skin as well. Some people use hibiscus powder as part of their facial mask mixes.
Hibiscus is thought to help keep pores clear because of the vitamin C it contains. Some reports claim it can be used in the treatment of skin problems like acne and eczema because of its astringency.
At the very least, I suggest making your own toner using hibiscus:
makes approx 8oz
1/2 cup Hibiscus tea (4oz)
1/4 cup Aloe Vera juice (2oz)
1/4 Glycerin (2oz) *optional; replace with aloe vera juice if you don't like this*
1/4tsp Neodefend (preservative)
NOTE: This mix above can also double as a hair spritzer!