Achieving healthy and beautiful hair is a common goal for many of us, but with so much conflicting advice out there, it can be hard to know where to start. In this blog post, we've put together some tips to help you get started on your hair care journey. It's important to note that the tips we're sharing are not mandatory, but rather suggestions that can help improve the look and feel of your hair, while also saving money and reducing plastic waste.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you do not need to use shampoo every time you wash your hair. If your hair is not too greasy, you can try alternative methods such as rinsing with water, using herbal dilutions, or co-washing. Shampooing with sulfates can be drying to your ends, so it's recommended that you protect them by pre-conditioning them with a silicone-free conditioner or a light layer of oil, such as olive, almond, or avocado oil.
When it comes to choosing a shampoo, it's best to opt for Decyl Glucoside-based shampoos and avoid sulfates. Some recommended options include Living Naturally soap nut liquid shampoo and Beauty Kubes dry shampoo cubes. You should also avoid shampoos that contain silicones or are pearlescent, as they can be harmful to your scalp, especially if you have fine hair.
To lessen the harshness of your shampoo, you can dilute it using a squeezy bottle with a nozzle. Start by adding half of what you would normally use and add 50-100ml of water. You can apply this directly to your dry hair or rinse off using one warm cup of water with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to counteract the effects of hard water. I apply everything, including rinses with a squeeze bottle.
If you're interested in exploring more natural options, there are many 100% plant-based cleansers available, such as: soap nuts, henna powder, and clays. You can mix one tablespoon of henna, amla, clay, or flour with hot tea or water to make a paste and add 100ml of rain, filtered, or spring water and optional one teaspoon of ACV. For fine-normal hair, you can use around one tablespoon of herbal powders and up to two to three tablespoons for thicker hair. Soap nuts are best used whole and left to soak in cool water overnight, then use the liquid rinsed and massaged through your hair. Around eight to ten soapnuts per litre of water...or conkers, as they grow here!
I try to alternate between a diluted shampoo wash, a natural cleanser, or a co-wash. You can do a 10% shampoo, 30% co-wash, 60% cleanser OR a 40% shampoo, 30% co-wash, 30% natural cleansers. Alternatively, you can try an ABC wash cycle and switch between shampoo, natural cleansers, and co-wash. There are many ways you can mix it up!
Finally, co-washing is a great alternative to shampoo for many people. It involves using a lightweight, watery conditioner to massage and clean the scalp and hair. It can be especially helpful for curly hair, dry hair types, greys, scalps that are not producing much sebum/natural oils, and dandruffy scalps. Don't be afraid to put conditioner at your roots, as it can be a great move for many people if done right.
In conclusion, achieving healthy and beautiful hair doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. By incorporating some of these tips into your hair care routine, you can improve the look and feel of your hair while also doing your part for the environment. Remember to experiment and find what works best for your hair type and needs.