Balancing a desire to use natural hair care products with effective hair cleansing and conditioning is not easy. In fact, hair care may be one of the trickiest areas in which to go natural, when you are used to synthetic hair products.
Luckily, we’ve done the hard work and made the mistakes for you.
To understand natural hair care it is useful to know how the different products work and what they are supposed to do…
The main aim of shampooing is to remove dirt from the hair. This dirt consists mainly of bodily secretions (ew!) but dust and pollutants also need to be cleared away along with the residues of hair styling products like wax or hairspray.
A good shampoo removes grease and water-soluble dirt without stripping away all the natural oil in the hair, leaving it dry and crunchy. The active ingredient in shampoos that does this is called a surfactant.
Surfactants work by removing the dirt from the hair’s surface and dispersing it in the washing solution so that it is not redeposited on the clean hair or scalp. They are generally helped in doing this by foaming up, hence most shampoos are foamy. Surfactants are basically detergents.
Detergents are usually synthetically-produced although often they are based on a natural material, such as coconut oil or palm kernel oil. This creates a bit of a dilemma. To use a soap-based alternative would lead to dull and damaged-looking hair which means that some totally natural ‘shampoos’ can give you not so much a hair do as a hair don’t!
The products stocked on the Feelsofab are the best possible compromise. Surfactants are used, but only the most naturally-derived, gentle ones available. They are balanced with herbs and natural oils which provide natural benefits. So you’re purchasing a shampoo that works and won’t wreck your hair, but it still has a very high percentage of natural raw materials.
Hair conditioner is much easier to achieve with all-natural ingredients than shampoo (same goes for styling products). The active ingredients in most commercial conditioners are known as cationic surfactants. After shampooing, hair is often left with too little natural oil, and conditioners are used to fix this.
The cationic surfactants in conventional conditioners are attracted to damaged hair where keratin (the hair’s building blocks) have been affected and a negative charge has been built up. The cationic surfactant fills the holes and the result is an improvement in condition.
Before synthetic detergents were invented, rinses of lemon juice or cider vinegar were used to improve the shine and feel of hair after washing. These acidic substances help soften the water and have an astringent effect, shrinking the cuticles of the hair and making it smoother.
Try this at home, or for a glamorous natural hair care alternative, try the Acure Organics Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Conditioner.
The range of natural and organic conditioners stocked at Feelsofab.
Where they contain preservatives or surfactants, they are the mildest, most natural ones available.
Why bother with natural hair care?
It’s absolutely worth your while tossing out your synthetic hair care products. Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM webiste, writes,Harmful chemicals in cosmetics can lead to health problems and if you’re trying to live a clean, green life it only makes sense to seek out non-toxic, all natural options. Choosing organic shampoo and conditioner products is one of the best places to start.