My Natural Hair Care Routine: Take One
Written by Lindsay Ropella
So, I know a few weeks back I teased you over on the Facebook page that I was working on going au natural with my face and hair products. I shared my natural, facial cleansing oil method already, but I’ve been holding out on you as far as my hair care routine.
Changing over all my hair products from shampoo to hair spray has not been an easy task. I’m very picky about my products – if it doesn’t work as good or better than what I’m already using I’m not into it, even if it is natural. I’ve been experiencing a lot of trial and error recently. Some of the natural products I’m really loving and some of them didn’t make the cut. I have currently switched about 60% of my hair care products over to all natural versions, but I’m still working to find some great alternatives for a few final products. I was going to wait to share my natural hair care routine until it was at 100%, but in all honesty I’m not sure when that would be. I know I’ve had a couple requests to share a few specific natural products I’ve been using, so I thought I would share what I’m doing now and then do an update once I have completely switched everything over.
Shampoo: For my shampoo right now, I’ve jumped on the “no poo” bandwagon. This process says to wash your hair with baking soda. Crazy, right?! I thought so too at first but it’s actually been amazing for my hair. My hair is softer, less frizzy, and is not falling out nearly as much (which is a lifesaver for me since I don’t have a ton of hair to begin with). To follow this method, all you have to do it take a bit of baking soda (blue mason jar above) in your hand while in the shower, mix in a bit of water, and slather the paste all over your scalp. Don’t worry too much about getting it through the lengths of your hair because that will happen naturally as you rinse out the mixture.
*NOTE: I’m still really loving what this is doing to my hair, but in a few months I may try the honey shampoo method, as I’ve heard that is less harsh on your hair than baking soda. The acidity level of honey more closely matches that of your natural hair, where as baking soda is a bit too alkaline. If I try this I will make sure to report back!
Conditioner: Conditioning your hair with the “no poo” method is super easy and it’s making my hair feel great! When I’m in the shower, all I do is pour about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (yellow mason jar above) into a plastic cup, add the same about of water, and pour it all over the length and ends of my hair. I let this sit while I finish showering just like I would with normal conditioner, and wash it out at the very end. Apple cider vinegar is awesome for your hair because its pH is almost identical to that of natural hair.
Deep Conditioning Treatment: If you are the type of gal to do a deep conditioning treatment every once in a while, a great thing to do for your hair is a coconut oil hair mask. What you do is soften up enough coconut oil in your hand to completely coat your hair, and then add a speciality oil of your choosing. The best one to add would be pure argan oil (below) but I know that can be very expensive. If you don’t have any pure argan oil or do not want to purchase any, you can also try adding a little bit of grapseed oil. Work this into your hair all over your scalp and into the ends. This mask is best to do on a lazy Saturday or on a day when you have a couple hours to stay around the house. Wrap your hair in a towel and leave it on for at least 2 hours. If you can manage to do it before bed and sleep with it on your hair without being too uncomfortable that is definitely the best option (just be sure to use an old pillowcase!). Wash it out of your hair after your treatment is complete.
Leave-in Treatment: Once I get out of the shower, I towel dry my hair and then spray my leave-in treatment throughout my hair. Marshmallow root is very good for hair so I decided to use some to make a natural leave in conditioner. After much searching, I found the best place to buy marshmallow root is through Mountain Rose Herbs. I steeped 4 tablespoons of the root in 3 cups of boiling distilled water overnight. The next morning I strained it through a nylon to get out some of the bigger chunks (I didn’t want those to end up stuck in my hair) and mixed the liquid with an equal amount of distilled water. I then put this into a spray bottle and use it as my leave in hair treatment.
Heat Protectant: OK, this is the point in the routine where I admit that I have not yet found a good natural alternative. I think the idea is that with using all the natural products listed above, you can just air dry your hair and it will dry shiny and frizz-free. That is actually true, but I still need to blow dry my hair for the volume. I also still use curling irons on my hair so I need something to protect it from the heat. I tried to go without at first, but noticed the heat was, in fact, doing some damage to my hair. The product I use is Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray. It’s certainly not natural, but it is alcohol, sulfate, and paraben free, so right now it’s the best I can do.
Volumizing Spray: My volumizing spray is another product that is far from natural. However, I don’t use this every day. I get a decent amount of volume just from blow drying my hair alone, which is great. But for days when I am going out somewhere where I really want to my hair to have a lot of body and bounce, I spray some Loreal EverStyle Volume Lifting Root Spray. This is another product that is alcohol, paraben, and sulfate free so I feel a little better about using this product than some of the other ones out there. It gives me an INSANE amount of volume and lift near my roots (I regret a little bit having to say that I love this product) and holds for the entire day. But like I said, I really try to use this stuff only once or twice a week.
Pomade: Of course, no hair routine is complete without some pomade to make all your hard work stay in place. All I use for this is some coconut oil. What I did was melt down some coconut oil in the microwave, pour it into a mason jar (purple mason jar in first image) mix in some lavender essential oil for a fresh smell, and let it harden overnight. I make sure to keep this in a cool place because I really want this coconut oil to stay in it’s hardened form. What I do is rub my fingers on top of the oil to get just a TINY bit of oil onto my hands, and then rub it onto any loose flyaways or any places where I think my hair will start to fall out. It really helps to smooth everything down and keep it all in place. But be careful with this stuff! Too much can give your hair a greasy appearance. I would suggest playing around with this on a day you aren’t going anywhere. That way if you use a little too much it will be OK and you won’t have to wash your hair and start all over.
Hairspray: I typically never use hair spray because it’s just not needed. But on the special occasion I do do something fancy with my hair (like once a month if that) I will just use regular old hairspray. I do need to put some effort into finding a better alternative, but honestly I hardly ever use it so it really hasn’t been a concern for me. If you know of a natural hairspray alternative I would LOVE for you to share it in the comments!
That’s about it! Like I said, I am still working to replace some of these products, but right now this is what I’m using. It really has made a big difference in the appearance of my hair. My hair is now more smooth, less frizzy, is growing in faster and thicker, and I’m loosing significantly less hair. Additionally, my hair is much easier to blow dry and style and the finished appearance looks much smoother and healthier.
If you have, or are working toward, making the switch over to all natural hair products I would love to hear what you are using! Share with me your thoughts and products in the comments below and hopefully we can all share some great tips with one another!
Please note that this post contains a few Amazon Affiliate links. I only include them for your convenience and only list products that I have used myself and really enjoy. I do receive a small percentage back for any products purchased through the links, which is used for operating expenses of The Newlywed Notebook. Thanks for your support.