The natural haircare experiment: Sorted. Sort of.

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Ok. This is my second time writing this post, as I had it written and scheduled to go live a few days ago….and then I discovered it had totally disappeared. Not sure why or how, but there we are. So here goes attempt number two!

I’ve been going ‘NoPoo’ for two months now, and my hair is much better for it. I’m still struggling with tangles which I think is down to my hair being damaged from the hair dye from the last couple of years. I’d never had as bad a problem with my hair going static and knotting as I did in the last two years. I did have to start straightening again while I was working in shops over Christmas because it was just too difficult to handle and that won’t be helping my hair in the long term.

However, it has been great not having to wash my hair as often. Now I only wash my hair every 3-4 days. I’ve heard many people say “I could never do that, my hair just gets too greasy”. Well, I can assure you I used have to wash my hair every day or at least every second day. Often using dry shampoo, hairspray and all sorts. Now that I don’t use that stuff…not an issue.

I’ve also worked out what works on my hair, and these are the only things I use on it…

Naked Rescue Intensive Care Conditioner.

This costs about £4.32 in my city centre Boots chemist. I have gone through a lot of it, because I use it to make scrubs and hair masks, and a leave in conditioner spray to keep in my handbag. It is totally vegan friendly.

I use a small drop and massage my whole head as shampoo, make sure it is well rinsed and then apply more to the middle section and ends to detangle my hair before getting out the shower.

Incidentally, a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a while was telling me how she’d found these ‘great’ hair products that had made a noticeable difference to her hair with her hair not being as greasy, having more volume and better condition…and it turns out she’s been using the Naked shampoo and conditioner. I’m actually going to try the one she has been using as my ‘shampoo’.

Baking Soda Rinse

I have a small measuring jug and fill it up with a cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda and stir it until it’s a solution and not just baking soda on the bottom. I then pour this on over my head in the shower, massage my head and rinse.

I will say if you don’t massage and rinse it out properly, you may find you get build up on your scalp. However, it’s great if you have found that you’ve got a build up of product on your hair since you last washed it, or if you’ve been using a mask with oils in it.

Quinoa Scrub

1 part quinoa to three parts conditioner. I usually mix it in a small plastic bowl and massage into my scalp from the neck up to the top of my head. I’m actually intrigued to use quinoa to make homemade body scrubs. This has been great and really helped with my previously itchy scalp, and I try to do this once a week. I got the bag of quinoa in the picture for about £1.30 in my local Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Lavender Spray

Rather than using dry shampoo, I recommend using lavender spray. Especially if you struggle with an itchy scalp. Those of you who studied French may recall that the verb ‘to wash’ is ‘laver‘ in French and that’s no coincidence! Lavender has disinfectant qualities and is known to be good for skin conditions.  Plus, it apparently helps protect against head lice (I’ve been lucky to stay nit free my life so far, but others – especially if they live in a house with multiple children aren’t so!). To make it you get four pints of water, boil it in a large saucepan and then add three drops of lavender essential oil. Once it is cool you can decant it into reusable spray bottles. I keep a big garden spray bottle in my bathroom, and small travel size ones for my handbag. It is important you use proper pure essential oil, and you’ll be able to get lavender oil in pretty much any health food shop, and possibly your local chemist too. A 10ml bottle of lavender essential oil will last you ages and cost you around £5.

Keracare Clear Protein Gel

I’m not convinced by this hairgel at all, and felt like it built up on my hair and actually made my hair less curly. I have found one of the ingredients: hydrolised wheat protein on a list of ingredients to avoid.

If anyone has any recommendations of a good hair gel with none of the rubbish, I’d love to know! I’ve not been able to find any edible aloe vera gel (only juice) which is what is recommended in the Curly Girl handbook.

Clearspring Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

While straightening my hair, I’ve putting this on the ends of my hair by getting a teeny 1p sized scraping rubbing it on my palms then applying to the ends of my hair. It doesn’t make my hair greasy at all. I’ve also been using it to moisturise my skin which can get very dry. I got a 200g jar in my local Health Food shop which cost me about £4 with my student discount. 🙂

Have you found anything that really helps rather than hinders looking after your hair? Please share in the comments…

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