Natural hair care. Le sigh. In my quest to get back to basics and live a more natural life, I’ve found the hair care department to be the very most difficult area to perfect. I think it's tricky because we all have such different hair types: fair to dark, full to thin, coarse to fine, straight to curly, dry to oily, etc….. and what works great for one person can just fail utterly for others. I have had a small advantage while formulating my natural hair care products though; my saint of a Mother is actually a retired Hairdresser and a current adorable / crunchy grandmother. I always look to her when I ever have questions or need some input on hair-related products. My Momsie not only understands hair and how to make it look great, but she also appreciates the need to find effective, synthetic-free products so that we can sustain healthy hair for the long term. The healthier your hair is, the easier it becomes to care for. Now, that is a great cycle to get into!
I am not perfect. I will just start out with that. I tried the ‘No-poo’ anti-washing method a few years back.For a while it was all the rage among crunchy-mommies everywhere, but frankly, I never made it very far. Currently, I do use a shampoo that has chemicals in it, because every time I buy a new 'natural' shampoo, it fries my very long and curly hair. I have not yet perfected the whole natural shampoo and conditioner issue yet, but I do plan to. It is a goal I have set for myself, and I have a few things on the go. But for now anyways, I use my essential-oil-scented salon shampoo. And I try my best not to 'Overwash' with it.
Well, our hair has a natural protective barrier called Sebum. It is produced on the scalp and gets pulled throughout our hair as we brush, style, touch our hair,etc. Shampoo is a soap and cuts through oils, including our natural oils, making our scalp and hair squeaky clean. Our hair isn't really meant to be 'squeaky' clean though, which is why we need to follow up with conditioner. Now, if we wash our hair with shampoo everyday, a two-fold issue can arise:
A) From continuously stripping our hair's natural sebum, our hair can become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage.
B) From continuously stripping our hair's natural sebum, we are creating a cycle of dependence upon commercial shampoos. Here is what I mean: when our sebum is stripped, our body thinks that it is not producing enough Sebum. It tries to compensate by producing more and more sebum. This can cause an overproduction of Sebum, making hair that becomes oily very quickly (and needs to be washed with shampoo very often- notice the cycle of dependency?) There is good news though! :) Scalp sebum can be re-balanced, making for a stronger, healthier and more manageable head of hair.
Totally. I get it. Trust me. I so get it! Lol I would not be going around town with oily hair either, which is why the No-Poo method did not last very long for me! Lol But I might have a few painless strategies to help you out! I myself have done some rebalancing, and have picked up a few tricks along the way.
Currently, I can go 2-3 days between washes, which is amazing. When I look back, I feel like I had wasted so much time on washing, blowdrying, and styling my hair. Every. single. day. My current routine has freed up so much time in my mornings, and I still look and feel great! So, here are a few strategies that I use to help extend time between washes:
1) I cut out any synthetic (and usually sticky) styling products. When I put commercial products in my hair, I need to wash them out the very next day. Period. They buildup and give my hair a dirty texture everytime. So, rather than my old hair creams, I now use our Hair Me Roar hair repair oil for frizz control, style defining, and sheen. The best part is, you can use it everyday, and it just absorbs into the hair, nourishing each strand rather than clogging it up! For volume, I use our Eat My Dust texture powder, and rub it into my roots for an instant lift. Added bonus? Unlike my old synthetic texture powders, this all natural alternative can be used for a couple days in a row without creating a yucky, itchy build up! And if I ever sprinkle in too much, I can just brush it out with my boar-bristle brush. Easy Peasy!
2) I dry shampoo in between wet shampoos. Eat my Dust hair powder is not only a volumizing powder, but also a Dry Shampoo powder as well! (You guys know how I love my multi-use products!) Dry shampooing is very simple and can save a lot time. Just separate sections of your hair, shaking the powder onto the roots. Massage it into the surrounding hair (not directly into your scalp, as it can accumulate and be harder to brush out). Let powder sit for a few minutes–just enough to absorb all that oil! When you’re finished, hang you head upside down and brush the dry shampoo out of your hair until it is no longer visible. We recommend using a genuine Boar-bristle brush for the very best results. Your hair will look great and hold a style very well. So, a quick dry shampoo and style vs a shower, wet shampoo and long blow dry?! Yes please!
Now let’s talk about dry ends. Dry ends are common with long hair, curly hair and processed hair. Some other causes of dry ends are synthetic styling products, over-shampooing, hair dying or bleaching, and regular blowdrying. So..... yeah. Pretty much all of us experience dry ends from time to time. LOL!
I myself had a really hard time with dry ends a little while ago. I had just had my third child, and my post-baby hormones were turning my long, wavy-curly hair into a broken, shedding mess! I had out of control breakage. I am no math whiz, but B(breakage) + C(curly hair)= FF(fierce frizziness). Hands down, this is my least favorite equation. But, to the rescue: Hair Me Roar Repair Oil!!! I decided to develop a hair repair serum. I started with natural oils that have similar organic structure to human sebum (jojoba and camellia seed). I then fortified these oils with Marshmallow root (for its binding qualities and healing mucilage) and Rosehip (for its concentrated antioxidant and vitamin therapy). I then added in Cedarwood, Rose and Rosemary essential oils to support hair strength, growth, and overall health. And yes, the scent of this all put together is amazing.
I not only use Hair Me Roar repair oil daily for styling (and nourishing) my hair, but I also use it as a fortified pre-wet-shampoo treatment. I rub about 20 drops into my scalp and all the way down into my ends, and I leave it to soak in. Sometimes I let it soak for 10 minutes and sometimes for overnight, if I’m really on the ball! To wash it out, I jump in the shower and shampoo as normal. I find that doing this at least once each week really protects the ends of my long hair from getting too “shampoo-stripped”. Honestly, I couldn’t be more happy with this (also multipurpose) hair oil! As a side note: I've heard of people doing something similar with just coconut oil. So that's always an option if that's all that you have a home. :)
Another amazing tool to help achieve movie-star hair is a hair brush made with genuine Boar-bristles! I won't go through the numerous benefits of boar bristles here, but I invite you to check my blog called Hog-Hair Therapy. Seriously, if you buy a boar-bristle brush and really learn how to use it, I doubt you'll ever go back.
So, there you have it. My tricks for naturally strong and beautiful hair. I am continually learning (as is the human condition) and I hope to soon be telling you guys all about Red Lemon's new, effective, amazing, and natural shampoo and conditioner. But for now, this should get you started! I wish you good luck in your natural hair care journey. And be sure to let me know how things go for you!!!!