1 Argentina: Hydrate with Aloe Vera
It’s all about length, says hair stylist Leonardo Rocco, who was born northwest of Buenos Aires. “Women in Argentina associate long hair with sensuality and glamour.” To help keep long strands in shape, he recommends applying aloe vera directly to your scalp or adding it to your usual shampoo.
2 Mexico: Gelatin Hair Mask
South of the border, they fight frizz with a blend of 1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin, 1 cup water, and 1 tsp. cider vinegar. Massage the gel-like mixture through shampooed hair, leave it in for 5 minutes, then rinse. “It’s a practice passed down for generations,” says Ifergan.
3 Jamaica: Cactus Benefits
The same nutrients that allow the prickly pear cactus to thrive in the scorching Jamaican sun can help rejuvenate heat-damaged hair. “We peel the cactus and wash our hair with the oil to make it feel lush and hydrated,” says Denine Smith.
4 Puerto Rico: Work with Your Texture
“The island is humid and windy, and women here spend a lot of time at the beach,” says Guaynabo stylist Elizabeth Rosado. “Instead of fighting their natural texture, we help them embrace it with soft layers.” Opt for long, face-flattering layers similar to Jennifer Lopez’s, who is of Puerto Rican descent.
5 Germany: The Oktoberfest Rinse
“We’re known as a beer-loving country, so it’s no surprise that we find many uses for the brew,” says Munich salon owner Thomas Kemper. “I like to mix a half liter of beer with lukewarm water.” Pour it into a spray bottle and spritz dry hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse. Do this weekly to keep strands strong and glossy.
6 Czech Republic: Onion Rinse
To achieve ideal neutral blond highlights Sula suggests this trick, which originated in the pre-hair-product era: “Boil some yellow onion skins, let the water cool, and use it as a rinse.” Boil the skin of 6 onions in 4 cups water for a blond color rinse, the secret of Czech women. We tried it; the rinse doesn’t smell.
To get a rich espresso hue, women in India combine mehndi, a vegetable dye, with coffee grounds or tea leaves. “Mix it all into a paste, then apply to hair,” advises Naegamvala. “The longer it’s left on, the more the color deposits.”
7 Russia: Pamper Your Ponytail
Vodka, caviar and…horse shampoo? “Believe it or not, the latest craze here is surprisingly unfancy and inexpensive,” says Moscow stylist Andre Drykin, who says many Russian women use the equine-formulated Mane ‘n Tail shampoo. “It makes their hair thicker and healthier.”
8 China: Take-Out Tresses
How’s this for too good to be true? You can boost your hair health by eating Chinese food. “It contains a lot of the natural herbs-such as sesame, ginger, and fleece flower root, a common Chinese herb-that are good for hair health,” says Wong. “It is the ‘healing cuisine’ for Chinese women.” To get your fix, ask for the sesame chicken next time you order take-out.
9 Vietnam: Lush Lotus Treatment
Prevent breakage with a boket, or lotus tree, treatment. “Growing up in a French-Vietnamese household, I learned that the boket, which grows in Southeast Asia is the secret to strong, shiny hair,” says Los Angeles stylist Kim Vo. For a homemade remedy, steep the leaves and use the liquid as a cleanser. Then grind the pods to a thick, buttery consistency and use as a conditioner.
10 Guyana: Sardines for Shiny Hair
You may want to learn to love sardines. “They are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids,” says Guyanese hairstylist Angie Hookumchand. “Eating them will make your hair grow faster and enhance its radiance.” Singer Leona Lewis, who is of Guyanese descent, seems to follow the tip with her shiny, mile-long tresses.