Anyone who has tried knows that hair care can be one of the toughest bathroom rituals to make the switch to natural. Despite this struggle, it is just as important as making changes to other aspects of your routine as there is really no hierarchy when it comes the skin on your face & body versus the skin on your scalp. Both have the potential to absorb nasty toxins from your personal care products resulting in potentially detrimental effects on your health & wellbeing.When making the switch to natural hair care it is helpful to understand how different products work.
Shampoo/Hair WashThe purpose of a Shampoo or Hair Wash is to remove dirt from the hair. This ‘dirt’ is often a combination of pollution, dust, accumulated hair products and natural body oils & secretions.
A great hair wash needs to be able to remove the dirt and grease from the hair without stripping it of its natural oils, resulting in dry and brittle hair. This is the job of the surfactant, and most will do this through their foaming action, much like a detergent. The problem is that most surfactants are synthetically produced & are derived from unsustainable sources including Palm Oil and Petroleum.
The alternative option to a synthetic surfactant is to employ a completely natural soap-based product, which can strip the hair and scalp of its natural oils, leaving hair looking dull and damaged. So what do you do? Washing hair should be a mild and gentle process that protects the hair without stripping it of its essential oils and elements....but there can be problems with both synthetic and natural products!
At Nourished we aim to tackle this dilemma by choosing products that work hard to make the best possible compromise. The hair products we include in our collection use the most gentle, naturally derived surfactants and balance them with natural oils to ensure your hair is clean but also healthy, soft & strong with a natural sheen.
Conditioner/HydratantHair is often left with less natural oils than desirable after the washing process and that is when your conditioner/hydratant gets to work! It is the job of the conditioner/hydratant to replace the natural oils so that the hair is smooth, silky and tangle free and for many reasons is much easier to formulate a hair conditioner/hydratant with natural ingredients than a natural shampoo.
Hair is primarily made up of a protein called Keratin, which contains negatively charged amino acids. Most chemical based conditioners will contain cationic surfactants that bind to the negatively charged Keratin, especially where there is damage resulting in an increase in negative charge. Much like a chemical romance, the negatively charged damaged keratin molecule attracts the positively charged cationic surfactant which smooths out the holes, gaps & flakes resulting in ‘healthier’ hair.
At Nourished our conditioners use natural alternatives to cationic surfactants including: Moringa Seed, Avocado, Broccoli, Argan, Linseed & Joboba oils, Shea & Mango butter, as well as Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) & Tocopherol (Vitamin E).
These natural ingredients work to give similar outcomes to the conventional, synthetic ingredients: smoother, stronger, healthier looking hair, without the side-effects!
Is Switching To Natural Hair Care That Important?
Yes! There are soooo many benefits to switching to natural hair care and once you go through the often tedious initial period of the switch, it is unlikely you will ever want to go back! Some of the many benefits of making the switch include:
+ reduced exposure to potentially harmful chemicals/toxins like sodium laurel sulfate, polysorbates, synthetic fragrance, petrolatum, triclosan, propolyne glycol (antifreeze), olefin sulfonate (kerosine)
+ less chance of skin irritation & allergic reactions. Natural hair care products are suitable for most skin types.
+ healthier hair! Not only will your hair be less oily, knotty, dry & dull, after making the switch you will also find it becomes softer, easier to manage and shinier!
+ environmentally friendly. Natural ingredients are biodegradable meaning no chemicals/toxins building up in our water-ways and landfills. At Nourished our hair care products use 100% recyclable packaging with vegetable ink for all printing, reducing.
Check out the Nourished collection of clean & green hair care products here.
Want to learn more about the benefits of Clean & Green haircare? Find out in our following article 'Why Shampoo Is Ruining Your Hair'.