For those new to the natural beauty scene trying to figure out a healthy hair routine can be a little overwhelming. To avoid wasting time and energy, we’ve pulled together a starting point for creating and maintaining healthy hair, the natural way. By Anthea Ayache
There are two things that can be challenging to change when adopting a natural beauty regime: deodorant and hair care. With the former, it’s notoriously hard to find a decent one that actually does the job, while with hair care, most people (it depends on the damage already inflicted on your locks) have to endure a two-week to two-month detox stage while hair re-adapts from years of chemical misuse.
Most commercial shampoos often contain 30 or more synthetic ingredients and harmful chemicals – think petrochemicals for one – that are absorbed through the skin and the scalp. Petrochemicals are derived from petroleum, so every time you care for your hair with conventional products, you are putting yourself at risk of toxin build up.
Now, kicking a habit is never easy and your tresses have been unwittingly subjected to years and years of toxic chemical care so we’re not going to lie, you’re going to have to expect a little backlash! During the detox process, your hair will shed the build-up from all of those conventional products likely resulting in in an initial feeling of heavy and tangled, over oily, or dry, rough, and brittle hair. This is, however, a short-term reaction and is simply your hair readjusting and regulating the oil production cycle.
The good news is, there are now a multitude of certified natural products on the market that make the natural hair care shift a breeze. So, if you’re looking to bring back that healthy shine and strengthen your hair, follow these eight top natural hair hacks. Your mane will thank you for it in the long-term.
1. Avoid super-hot showers
Hot water can make your hair dry and brittle as it strips natural protective oils from your hair. Keep to a temperature that is only slightly warmer than your body temperature and rinse your hair with cold water at the end – it helps to close the cuticle and seal in moisture from your (natural) conditioner. If you use cold water for your final rinse, there’s a higher chance that your hair will stay shiny and frizz-free for longer periods.
2. Don’t wash your hair frequently
Washing your hair every day will strip your locks of natural hair oils. Instead opt for a wash every two to three days which will help your hair regain its natural volume. Some celebs such as Adele even swear by not washing their hair at all to gain beautiful bouncy hair (check them out here). If you’re worried about sporting the greasy look on day three, spritz the roots with dry shampoo and give it a re-styling blow dry.
*We recommend Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo AED255 from www.beautifulbrands.ae
3. Switch to an all-natural shampoo and conditioner
Using products laden with harmful chemicals can lead to dire consequences for your mop!
Organic and natural products on the other hand gently infuse your hair follicles and skin cells with nature’s own minerals, herbs, and oils. They are also free from artificial colours and fragrances, instead the smell comes from nature’s own sources.
*We recommend ten years in the making, certified vegan, organic and cruelty free: The Grown Alchemist Haircare Shampoo and Conditioner Range (AED 175 each) available from www.beautifulbrands.ae
4. Don’t tie tightly or too often
If a tight ponytail is your go-to hairstyle every day, you could be causing more damage than you think. Hairstyles that are too tight and constantly tug on hair follicles can cause tensile stress which can lead to some serious hair loss conditions. Opt instead for loose ponytails and use hair ties that have no metal fasteners or are made of organic materials.
5. Give it some extra protein
No matter what your type, all hair needs a healthy and balanced dose of protein (keratin) and moisture. If that delicate balance is not in check you will likely find breakage. Keratin strengthens damaged hair and can help achieve strong, healthy locks, but be warned using too much can actually make hair brittle. Use a spritz of a natural leave-in protein spray a couple of times a week for polished strands.
We recommend Less is More PROTEINSPRAY Brandhuber & Trummer (AED159) www.balmessence.com
6. Use a proper brush and brushing technique
For true hair care, avoid using anything with plastic bristles to prevent hair breakage from static electricity. Boar bristle brushes are highly recommended as they remove dirt while redistributing natural oils from root to tip. They’ve also been used by screen sirens for decades. Think Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth and Katherine Hepburn! We recommend Rock & Ruddle (AED135) www.balmessence.com
7. Protect your mane before hitting poolside
Chlorine is used to kill bacteria in swimming pools and as a harsh chemical bleach, it can unsurprisingly wreak some hefty havoc on your hair. Prevent that by ensuring your hair is already fully wet before entering the pool and by adding a deep conditioner or natural oil before going into the pool. It creates a protective layer between your hair and the chemicals.
*We recommend the gorgeous smelling L’or Bio Extraordinary Oil by Melvita (AED93.50) available at www.greenchicme.com
8. Follow a healthy diet
Drink lots of water and eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. The most effective natural hair care is a healthy food intake full of antioxidants, minerals and friendly fats. You are what you eat, and what you put into your body will be reflected on the outside.
Extra Tip! As we mentioned at the start of this article, your hair might react to the changeover from chemicals to nature but keep at it. In the end your perseverance will pay off, your hair will look and feel better and your body will thank you for the detox.