I’ve spent a lot of my life despairing at the state of my hair. It’s frizzy, then oily, then dry and basically unmanageable. This year I’ve spent more time looking into all things hair and trying to understand everything more. This led me to exploring cleaner & natural hair products, of which I have been using exclusively for the last couple of months. Turns out my hair isn’t too bad! It just needs a lot of TLC. I’ve cut out ingredients like silicones and sulfates for the health of my hair. In the hope that more and more people are seeing the benefits, I’m sharing What I Learnt When I Switched To A ‘Clean’ Hair Routine.
Why A Clean Hair Routine?
There are a lot of reasons to start looking more closely into the ingredients lurking in your shampoo bottle. The whole clean trend has clearly filtered down to our beauty products, with people looking to know what they’re putting on their bodies as well as in them. The scalp, often neglected, is one of the most ‘absorbent’ areas of skin on our body. It goes right into our heads! Eek. Also, just imagine how many shampoos are washed down the plug every single day; the ingredients in them are directly impacting our planet.
There are so many bad ingredients in a lot of products
I read this book by Imelda Burke and then read the ingredients label on all my hair care product. Turns out, the majority of the shampoos were filled with sulfates (harsh, foaming ingredients) which initially cleansed and then left my hair feeling incredibly coarse, frizzy and greasy. Conditioners and styling products all contain silicones which are great initially but they massively weigh down hair and coat it in product. They’re not soluble, which is pretty scary. They cling to the hair and need harsh ingredients to wash them out and then you need to add more to leave hair feeling ‘sleek’. Absolute nightmare. In terms of my daily products, it means I have a lot less but I use everything.
My hair is a lot curlier than I thought
How did I get to the grand old age of 25 without realising how wavy my hair is?! I don’t even know. I’ve always known that it’s a frizzy ol’ thing, which has been mistreated by me and my straighteners for years. Sorry, hair. I’ve majorly cut out shampoo over the past 2 months, and have managed to have far more curly hair days. It’s a bit of a learning curve, and I ended up stalking reddit a lot of the time for some answers. The lure of shampoo has called me twice, when I really wanted a deep clean but I’ve been using formulas without sulfates or silicones. Essentially natural hair products are free of ingredients that alter your hair’s natural state, so everything can be a bit wilder but also much nicer.
Foaming Isn’t Fab
That squeaky clean feeling in your hair after a vigorous shampoo sesh? Might not be that good for you. Every natural shampoo I’ve tried has been really low or non-foaming which does take a little while to get used to. Lathering up in the shower like a herbal essences commercial is pretty much the shampoo expectation for most of us. The more you foam and strip the scalp of all oil, the more your body inevitably produces. Since I’ve been using cleaner products, sans SLS, my scalp feels so much nicer – no itchiness or dryness – and I can go longer between hair washes. Huh. I will say investing in a brush like this is worth it to massage product into the scalp, ensuring you’re left with cleaner hair. It does take a few weeks to get used to it as well!
There’s A Lot Of Trial & Error
Switching to natural products is quite a big change! I’ve learnt that formulas are typically more concentrated, so you have to use less product for the same result. It feels counter-intuitive, but using loads of product can lead to greasier hair. Also whilst there are fab, affordable things like coconut oil & apple cider vinegar, a lot of products can be expensive. Places like Naturisimo and Love Lula do offer samples, so you can try before you commit to a full size product.
The Clean Hair Products I’d Recommend
- Tropic Nourishing Hair Cleanser
- Less Is More anything, especially the mallowsmooth conditioner
- Boucleme anything, if you have wavy/curly hair
- Alchemy hair oils
- Noughty products in general
- Apple cider vinegar, to rinse
- John Master’s Organics for styling products
- Meow Meow tweet shampoo bars
What next? Read about the best natural hair oils!