VZ Botanicals was started after Melanie Vonzabuesnig wrote her hair loss experience for the My Story section of Natural Health Magazine, September 1997. As soon as the article appeared, Melanie started receiving hundreds of inquires from other women experiencing hair loss. These women wanted to try aromatherapy for their own hair loss. Because of the success she achieved and the training and experience she since acquired, these women entrusted Melanie and asked her to formulate essential oil blends for them. Before blending formulas she asked many questions in order to get as much information as possible to create a safe and effective blend for each individual. After selling formulas in this manner on and off for several years, she decided to offer hair formulas on a consistent basis through VZ Botanicals.
Because her true passion is researching, writing and educating, Melanie began compiling information for her book Hair Loss in Women…Getting to the Root of the Problem. She researched every aspect of female hair loss in order to educate as many people as possible on this condition which is now affecting more women than ever before.
After completing this book, Melanie began writing her second book, Aroma Hair…Aromatherapy Formulas for Healthy Hair. This book was written for those who want to learn more about aromatherapy and to begin creating their own formulas.
Producing therapeutic-grade essential oils begins with the growing, harvesting and distillation process. Precise measures must be taken to ensure that the healing components of the essential oils remain intact.
Horrified by my own reflection, I fell to the cool tile of my bathroom floor and sobbed uncontrollably. “Why God, why are you doing this?” I demanded. It was now impossible to conceal my baldness with the few strands of hair remaining on my scalp. It was inevitable…soon I would be completely bald.
It all began when I was seven years old. I can still remember the day. Mom sat me in a chair under the big oak tree in our yard and began brushing my long chestnut brown hair. The sun shone in my face as I dangled my bare feet in the soft green grass. This deeply relaxing moment was abruptly interrupted when Mom discovered a small, perfectly round bald patch at the nape of my neck.
The patch eventually filled in with new hair, but soon another patch appeared. At times I had two or three bald patches at once. Although they were well hidden beneath my long layers of hair, knowing they were there made me feel like a mangy old dog.
My parents carted me from doctor to doctor until we finally accepted the fact that there was no known cause or cure for the mysterious, but common hair follicle disorder called alopecia areata. I didn’t like it but I learned to live with it – until many years later (at age 32) my hair started falling out by the handfuls. This time it wasn’t growing back as it always had in the past. Within the next two months alopecia areata robbed me of almost every hair on my body. Not even my eyelashes or eyebrows were spared. It was unclear whether I had developed another form of hair loss along with the alopecia areata; or if the alopecia areata had progressed to alopecia totalis meaning total loss of scalp and body hair.
I was advised to get a good wig and get on with my life. With an ache in my heart and a sick feeling in my stomach I took a deep breath, and entered the wig shop. The sales person asked what my hair – when I used to have hair, looked like. She quickly proceeded to locate a dark brown shoulder length wig and plopped in on my head. “There” she said, “you look beautiful, just like a movie star.”
“I look like an Elvis impersonator,” I cried as I flung the thick hairy bush off my head and left the shop. I didn’t want to be bald. I didn’t want to be Elvis. I just wanted to be me again and without hair that seemed impossible.
Eventually with the help of a hair stylist friend, I purchased a more suitable, natural looking wig. My friend enthusiastically mentioned aromatherapy as a method to help thinning hair and hair loss. Feeling hopeful, I armed myself with every book I could find.
Learning about how essential oils can help stimulate the scalp into producing new hair, was fascinating. Each type of oil had its own function such as cleansing, nourishing, increasing circulation, supplying oxygen, balancing ph levels etc. As I continued experimenting, I learned which oils complemented each other and began mixing my own formulas.
Every evening I massaged the essential oil blends into my scalp. Their soothing aroma seemed to lure me into a deep sleep. In the morning I washed the oils out. Instinctively I knew this was going to work for me.
Becoming absorbed in learning everything I could about the healing powers of aromatherapy allowed me to stop focusing on my hair loss. Taking control of my own health gave me a new sense of confidence. I learned that aromatherapy works on many different levels. It works in harmony with the body’s own natural healing system.
Soon I felt an overall sense of well-being. I was beginning to look and feel better. Within three months of applying the oils I began to notice very fine, soft new hairs covering my scalp. Later the hair began to thicken and darken and I was finally able to discard my wig!
My new hair was dark, shiny and healthy looking. I vowed to keep it that way by continuing to use aromatherapy and natural hair care products.
For over fifteen years now I’ve been able to maintain my hair. I still have small bouts with hair loss occasionally but I am able to get it under control and get the re-growth started again before it becomes noticeable.
Using aromatherapy for hair care was only the beginning. Now, lining my bathroom shelves are 20 small amber glass bottles. Each bottle contains a different essential oil, each one unique in its aroma and healing properties. My family knows which bottle to pull out to help ward off a cold, reduce a fever, heal a burn, and ease a headache or calm frazzled nerves!
Losing my hair was a painful, life changing experience. But it was this experience that led me to explore aromatherapy and to experience the beauty and power of nature’s gentle yet potent healing oils.
Aromatherapy is a natural healing system which uses essential oils to help re-establish balance and restore physical and emotional health.
Essential oils are distilled or extracted from various parts of plants such as flowers and blossoms, leaves, stems, seeds, roots, peels, bark, herbs, needles, twigs and cones.
Each essential oil is made of up hundreds of natural components. The intricate balance of these components is what gives each essential oil its unique therapeutic properties.
All the vital energy of the plant is contained within the molecules of each single drop of oil, making each drop a valuable and potent healing agent. This is why essential oils are typically sold in very small bottles. For most purposes a drop or two is all that is needed.
Some of the properties of certain essential oils are anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic etc. These properties make essential oils valuable for skin, scalp and hair care.
Essential oils work in harmony with our own natural healing system. They travel throughout the body seeking to re-establish balance and to revitalize areas of weakness or malfunction.
Essential oils enter the body through skin absorption or through inhalation. The method used for hair and scalp conditions is skin absorption. Because the molecules of essential oils are relatively small and have a low molecular weight, they are easily absorbed through the skin. This means that they have an affinity to fat cells. Since fat cells are present in the subcutaneous layer of the skin, absorption begins as soon as contact is made.
Once absorbed into the skin, the oil travels into the bloodstream and throughout the body, making their way to muscle tissue, joints, lymphatic tissue, cells and organs. As they interact with our internal chemistry, actual physiological changes take place. Part of their work is to increase blood circulation, transport oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and to help rid the body of carbon dioxide and other waste materials. Once their work is complete, they leave our system in a gentle non-intrusive manner.
As essential oils work on they physical and cellular level, they also influence our spiritual and emotional well-being. They strengthen and calm the nervous system. This balancing effect on the mind and body creates an overall sense of well being.
The intricacy of essential oils makes them very versatile. Each particular essential oil may be used for many diverse purposes. Using essential oils to improve hair often provides surprising benefits that go way beyond a healthy head of hair!
Hair follicles must receive a steady flow of nutrients in order to remain healthy. The follicles receive their nutrients through the blood supply. If circulation is poor, follicles will become malnourished, the root will suffer and the hair will not grow to its full potential. Essential oils act as a rubefacient, directing blood flow to the area in which they are applied. The increased blood supply helps to nourish and energize the follicles.
Most of VZ Botanicals formulas focus on scalp massage. The foundation for beautiful, thick, healthy growing hair is a clean vibrant and well- nourished scalp. The way to healthy hair is through a healthy scalp. Scalp massage with aromatherapy formulas are designed to get the scalp in the best condition possible, allowing the hair to grow with ease as it becomes beautiful, strong and healthy.
Victorian women applied a mixture that included the spirit of camphor to their hair roots each night to promote beautiful, healthy hair. Victorian men used coconut or palm oil with processed ylang-ylang flowers as a hairdressing product known as Macassar oil.
Native American Indians were known to rub the gel of an aloe vera plant into their scalp and hair to keep hair thick and healthy.
Young Polynesian girls bathed their hair in coconut milk infused with the fragrant tiare flower to provide moisture and protection. This sweet smelling lotion is now manufactured in Tahiti as Monoi Tiare, and is highly regarded for skin and hair conditioning.
One of the most obvious benefits of scalp massage is increased circulation. The scalp, being an extremity is one of the hardest places for blood to flow. The increased blood flow helps to nourish the follicle. The scalp depends on blood flow to bring oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles.
Tension causes tightness in the scalp, which restricts blood flow. Scalp massage restores pliability and relieves tension, helping to create an ideal environment for new hair growth.
Scalp massage activates neural pathways to the brain and stimulates unused brain cells -- enhancing brain function. It also relaxes blood vessels in the head and neck, increasing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Scalp massage improves mental stamina as it relaxes the entire body. And it feels really good too!
The benefits of scalp massage are greatly increased when essential oil formulas are used. Scalp massage with essential oil formulas can feel relaxing or invigorating. Their lingering scent can produce feelings of euphoria and well-being. Scalp massage with essential oils is an experience to look forward to and enjoy.
Before using aromatherapy for hair loss or any other scalp condition, it is important to find out the cause. Hair loss can be a symptom of a more serious condition. Any changes in hair should be taken seriously. Excessive hair loss indicates a problem that needs to be corrected.
There are many causes of hair loss. Some are serious and may need medical attention. The types and causes of hair loss, including medical conditions are explained in Hair Loss in Women…Getting to the Root of the Problem.
There are four main categories of hair loss. Each has its own distinctive characteristics. The categories are telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata and cicatricial alopecia. Of these four categories, cicatricial alopecia is the only category that causes permanent, irreversible hair loss. Cicatricial alopecia only accounts for 3% of all hair loss cases.
For the other 97% there is potential for improvement. As long as the follicle remains alive and undamaged it is capable of producing hair. The longer the follicle remains inactive, the more difficult it will be to re-establish growth. Consistent care at the first sign of hair loss is recommended.