Return your hair to its natural pH and strip out the silicone build up, by using natural shampoo and conditioner – which you can make at home! It’s good for you, your kids and our planet!
Commercial shampoo is cheap and the synthetic chemicals like foaming agents, make it easy to use. These harmful chemicals also help to temporarily mask problems rather than working with our hair to solve the problems – the way natural products do.
Our scalp produces sebaceous oils which naturally condition our hair and scalp. Sulfates, like Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) found in commercial shampoo, strip away these natural oils, destroying its natural balance. Our body then tries to balance itself back by producing more oil, making our hair greasier. The more we wash our hair the more greasy our hair becomes.
Beneficial bacteria, which are essential for maintaining healthy hair and scalp, are also removed by SLS. This, in turn allows the harmful bacteria to grow rapidly, resulting in rashes, allergic reactions, irritations, and premature balding.
Synthetic chemicals also damage the hair follicle, we then use plastic, paraben and silicon-based conditioner to cover up the problem and make our hair temporarily feel soft and manageable.
All-natural hair products are free from chemicals, they have natural oils, vitamins and minerals which nourish your hair, resulting in naturally soft and glossy hair. They not only cleanse, strengthen and condition your hair, but also balance it, meaning you can go longer between washes.
Shampoo bars (or natural soap bars) (Be sure to check the ingredients list because companies can use misleading terminology such as: plant-based, natural, derived from coconut etc. and then still use other toxic ingredients) are a great option because they don’t need any preservatives, unlike liquid/gel products. They also come with lass packaging – which is great for the environment.
Making the switch:
The switch from commercial shampoo to natural can be a frustrating process, because the build up of wax and silicone needs to be washed out. This requires about a week of daily washing and conditioning, to break down this build up. As you go though this process, you’ll experience sticky locks clumped together, management is tricky, so just tie it up. Don’t be put off, the results will be worth it.
Rub the shampoo bar into your hair and all around your scalp. It doesn’t foam as well as commercial shampoo, so it takes a bit longer to do. Make sure you get it all over, lather and then rinse very well. One wash should be sufficient.
You then need to ‘condition‘ your hair (don’t leave this out) with vinegar – Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is the best option (although I also have great results with my homemade Kombucha Vinegar). ACV detangles and reduces frizz, it brings back body and shine, decreases residue and build up, decreases dandruff and uncloggs hair follicles.
I pour around 50ml vinegar into a jug and then top it up with water (around 600ml water). After washing my hair with soap (or shampoo bar), I slowly pour my vinegar rinse over my hair. I run my fingers through it and then rinse it out, again a good rinse is required. Use more ACV for oily hair and less for drier hair.
There are many ‘natural shampoo bars’ out there and as our hair is all different, you may need to try different shampoo bars until you find your perfect match. I don’t go for a specific ‘ Shampoo bar’, I just use my natural soap, but my most gentle and nourishing (containing very high conditioning oils e.g olive oil and very low cleansing oils e.g coconut oil). I started with my olive oil and milk soap recipe and had great results. The downside about this recipe though, is that it doesn’t produce a good lather, it therefore takes a while to rub it into all your hair. I now use my buttermilk soap for newborns. The addition of castor oil helps to create a better foaming soap. It also has avocado oil and buttermilk which are both great for your hair (available on my Facebook page).
My hair is thick, I find that I have ‘big’ hair on day 1 and then days 2-4 are good hair days. The last few days, I wear my hair up and wash it after a week. I used to work shifts and would leave my hair for 10-13 days, I had more ‘good hair days’ like that, but when I switched to a Monday-Friday job, I started washing it every weekend (due to limited time on days 10-13). If you wash your hair daily, you may need to gradually lengthen the time between your washes, as your scalp adjusts to its new natural environment.
To keep it all natural and avoid introducing synthetic chemicals, I would recommend using natural styling products. My favourites are:
- Castor oil (with a few drops of rosemary and lavender essential oils) to tame frizz and flyaways – this oil is thick and sticky and coats the shaft rather than penetrate it. A little goes a very long way.
- Avocado oil, I add this nourishing oil to my ends if they start looking dry, I also glide it over my hair or ponytail to smooth it out and add shine, again only a little bit at a time.
- Shea butter and avocado oil, heat protectant. Shea butter is the closest natural product to silicone, pair this with avo oil – which has a very high smoking point and it’s a perfect match. Whip them together beforehand and then rub a small amount in your hands and then run your fingers through your hair. Nilotica Shea is softer (and smells like chocolate mmm), it’s my favourite.
- Coconut oil – another heat protectant, for both of these heat protectants, allow them to be absorbed before the heat. I rub it in the night before so that it can be absorbed overnight, then straighten in the morning. This prevents a greasy look.
I would love to hear about your experiences (good/bad) with using natural hair products or what your favourite DIY hair products are. Let me know if you have any questions, either below or feel free to send me a private message through my Facebook page.
If you enjoyed this, you may be interested in another blog I recently wrote about using natural soap: Experience healthy moisturised skin without moisturising!