I was recently requested to blog about natural hair products and I love my readers so I'm always happy to oblige! Truth be told I've been experimenting with not washing my hair for the last 6 months or so but I'm not quite ready to release my results just yet. So this is why I've been holding off on blogging about hair products. I don't actually use that much! And it's hard to blog about nothing. However, there are a few gem products out there that I do use from time to time.
Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo & Conditioner – I was sent these lovely products from Liz Earle last year and I've been more loyal to them than most people are to their religion. There is just one shampoo for all hair types (because regardless of skin type we all need a nice gentle cleanse). The shampoo cleans the scalp and then the conditioners treat the hair by type. For me it was the dry or damaged conditioner to tame my wavy locks. The secret to getting a good lather is lots and lots of water. It seems counterintuitive but water helps distribute the detergent ingredients.
Aveda Rescue Remedy Shampoo - Although the formulation is a bit complex and there are some unpronounceable ingredient names here, I like this shampoo because it's sulphate-free and actually cleans my hair. Plus I love the smell of Bergamot, Ylang ylang, and Mandarin. Aveda’s approach to natural ingredients?
“Aveda is striving to be 100% naturally derived and makes continual improvements to its products every day. Naturally derived means primarily plant or non-petrochemical, mineral-based ingredients.”
As of October 2007, Aveda claimed that it’s shampoo and conditioners were 97.25% from naturally derived ingredients. Full mission statement here.
Although the majority of ingredients in the shampoo are fine, at the bottom of the list are a few ingredients to be wary of:
Methylisothiazolinone (6) and its sibling Methychloroisothiazolinone (6) are synthetic preservatives which are known human immune system toxicants and there is strong evidence that they are also human skin toxicants.
Linalool (5) masking agent and fragrancing with citronellol (4-5) and limonene (6) (all three of which are chemical constituents found in essential oils.
Although not the greenist of shampoos, for me this shampoo works well and is on one end of the spectrum of more main stream products that I will use. I read a lot of reviews about it and it seems for the mainstream this shampoo is probably too green (a lot of reviews said it didn’t clean the hair). Unfortunately I’ve experienced many, many green shampoos that didn’t clean my hair so it’s a toss up between greenness and functionality.
Batiste Nude Dry Shampoo – The traditional range of Batiste is pretty toxic so I was pleased when they introduced this eco version. I like to use this in between shampoos on my part line and on the crown of my head to keep the oil at bay. You can make your own version as well!
Green People Shampoo and Conditioner – Although it’s been a year since I blogged about these haircare products, I stand by how impressed I was that they have figured out how to make vegetables foam! So I have to give them another shout. Read full review here.
I might get some audible gasps here when I make my next statement. I don't use styling products. I repeat for the non-believers. I do not use styling products. Here's the thing. The more styling products you use, the more you are going against mother nature. I really hate going against mother nature. There's already way too much conflict in the world – North Africa, Middle East, Afghanistan. We don't need to be fighting our hair too. So for me with naturally wavy hair, if I'm going for a straight look I just blow dry it straight and that's it. No silicone heavy or petroleum rich serums. At a stretch maybe a little bit of olive oil on the ends if it's been a while since I've had a cut. Olive oil is one of the least absorbent of the vegetable oils so it will give your hair a nice bit of shine for most of the day. And it's easier to wash out compared with silicone which just coats the hair and leaves it dull as the coats pile up and up. (And then you have to use more, and more, and the vicious spiral continues). Here's the irony. My hair is as least as shiny if not more since I stopped using synthetic styling products. So put that in your pipe and smoke it. For a simple natural hair spray, I'll put equal parts lemon juice and filtered water into a spray bottle and spritz. Too simple to be true? Well I'm sure you've all cut a lemon before and can attest to how sticky its juices are.
For an easy way sans products to get gorgeous Hollywood curls – check out how to avoid helmet head. This method is great for doing before you go to sleep and you can even wear it under a cycle helmet (for all you true greenies out there cycling instead of driving/taking public transport). Another great look that's easy is blow drying your hair 90% dry (avoiding the last 10% which is where most of the damage is done to hair and coincidently which also prevents frizzies and just generally when your hair gets really straight, if that's the look you're going for). Then put up your hair in large velcro rollers and let your hair set/dry the rest of the way for about an hour. A little spritz of the lemon juice for those with fine or limp hair or some olive oil for those with thick, corse hair and voila!
*Ingredients with a number in brackets indicate the toxicity level as ranked by the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most toxic