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Nowadays, many of us are concerned about what we put into our bodies by way of food and drink, but what about what we put onto our bodies? The skin is the body’s largest organ. Still, many of us slather our scalps with irritating ingredients day in, day out. Switching to natural shampoo is a very beneficial move for the health of your hair and scalp, and here’s why.
There’s no legal or industry agreed upon definition of what constitutes “natural”. Generally speaking, however, the term “natural shampoo” refers to a hair cleansing product formulated with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils. Natural shampoos don’t contain synthetic chemicals such as parabens, phthalates and sulfates. It’s possible to buy bottles of natural shampoo but it often comes in bar form. This is more environmentally friendly because there’s no plastic packaging involved.
Switching to natural shampoo is very beneficial to the health of your hair. Natural shampoo often gets a bad reputation due to the detox phase. However, I think that the detox is a good thing. After all, during a detox your body gets rid of all the nasty chemicals it doesn’t need. I will admit that a hair detox isn’t particularly pleasant. At the end of it all, though, your hair will be in much better condition than ever before.
One of the biggest perks of switching to natural shampoo is that it’s usually free from sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). SLS is what makes traditional shampoos lather up so nicely. It’s also a surfactant that traps and removes dirt and oil. It’s very stripping and so in the long run, it does more harm than good. SLS is especially bad news for color-treated hair, as it can cause your color to fade.
Not only can SLS dry out your scalp and cause dandruff, it can also stimulate excess oil production as your hair overcompensates. And thus, a vicious cycle begins.
In addition to this, traditional shampoos and conditioners create a false sense of healthy hair. They mask problems rather than solving them. These products often contain silicone, which coats the hair and makes it feel glossy in the short term. In the long run, however, it actually dehydrates your hair and makes it more likely to break.
As is the case with skincare, it’s important to avoid hair care products that are overly stripping. Harsh products can often lead to dramatic short term benefits that hook you, whilst causing damage in the long run. Traditional shampoos offer a quick fix – and we all know that quick fixes don’t work for long.
One of the biggest environmental perks of switching to natural shampoo is that they usually involve less packaging. Whilst you can buy plastic bottles of natural shampoo, many companies offer shampoo bars instead. These bars don’t require any plastic packaging, which is a huge win for planet Earth!
Secondly, traditional shampoos contain more toxins and synthetic chemicals which are then washed down our drains and into the rivers and oceans. This can create chemical imbalances in the water, poison fish or destroy their natural habitats. Switching to natural shampoo is an easy way to minimize your impact on the planet.
I won’t lie to you: the detox process can be a little unpleasant. However, just think how much healthier you’ll be once you come through the other side with toxin-free tresses. The most common side effects of switching to natural shampoo are:
Greasy hair: I know, I know, gross. During the detox phase it may feel as though your new natural shampoo isn’t working. Your hair may not feel completely clean after you wash it, or you might just find it gets greasy again very quickly. However, this isn’t about the new product you’re using. When your hair is used to being overly stripped by traditional shampoo, it produces excess oil to compensate. Since natural shampoos are not as harsh and stripping as their traditional counterparts, your hair might feel greasy during the first few weeks of use. Persevere, however, and your hair will adjust to the change, so the greasiness will vanish.
Sticky hair: Even worse! When you stop using traditional shampoos, your scalp starts to purge itself of all the toxins that have built up over time, leading to a sticky residue that you might even blame on your new shampoo. However, this stickiness is actually just your scalp purging all the toxins and getting rid of them for good. It’s definitely worth gritting your teeth for a short while.
Dry, rough hair: On the other hand, you might find that your hair feels dry and rough at first. This is because silicone in traditional shampoos creates the illusion of soft, shiny hair. All it really does is mask brittle hair and stop it from getting the hydration it needs.
Your scalp needs time to re-regulate its natural oil production so don’t give up on your natural shampoo too quickly. After you’ve suffered through the detox, your hair will be healthier and shinier than ever before. Trust the process and you’ll reap the rewards. Besides, not everyone experiences a noticeable detox and you may well be one of the lucky ones!
If you’re not so lucky and do experience a detox, there are steps you can take to manage the symptoms. Rinsing with apple cider vinegar can be enormously helpful in reviving your hair because it gets rid of grease and residue. It can also help to restore the pH balance of your scalp. However, don’t pour straight vinegar onto your head. Here’s what to do:
If your hair is dry and brittle, it’s worth heading to the hairdresser for a trim. The ends of your hair are especially prone to breakage so a fresh trim will help to keep your hair looking healthy.
Clean beauty company Odacité is a vegan, cruelty-free and environmentally conscious wellness brand. This salon-grade shampoo bar, meanwhile, is everything you could want in a natural shampoo product. Suitable for all hair types, this product contains argan oil to ensure silky smooth hair. It also has castor oil to treat heat damage and coconut oil to remove dirt and balance oil production. And it does all of this without using any plastic packaging whatsoever.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the name is a reference to the 552 million plastic shampoo bottles than end up in landfill every year.
Parisian hair colorist Christophe Robin has styled stars from Kate Moss to Kylie Minogue, so it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about really great hair. In 1999, he launched a brand for color treated hair and he’s been setting the standard ever since with his all-natural, cruelty-free products. This wonderful hydrating shampoo bar is 100% natural and contains wonderful ingredients such as aloe vera and natural glycerin to soothe and hydrate hair.
If you enjoyed this article, make sure to read this guide on switching to natural deodorant and this breakdown of what cruelty free skincare really means.
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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