Most of today’s salon hair care products contain a huge list of ingredients. You will definitely get lost reading the labels. These shampoos, mousses, conditioners and sprays can cost significant amounts of money, while not doing anything special for your tresses.
A mix of chemicals can sometimes do more harm than good. Most shampoos and conditioners contain such harmful ingredients as parabens, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, magnesium aluminum silicate, ammonium laureth sulfate and selenium sulfide.
At the same time, natural treatments can make your hair look better. In fact, they can be surprisingly effective and can sometimes save you a lot of money. Learn more about natural hair care and what it can do for your tresses.
Before You Begin: A Quick History of Hair Care
It will come as no surprise that hair care dates back to ancient Egypt. Since beautiful hair was a sign of health and fertility, women were doing their best to make their locks look as fantastic as possible. Since there were almost no chemicals known at the time, ancient Egyptians used natural hair care products. Surprisingly enough, they worked.
As time went by, more and more steps were made toward creating products that helped hair grow in all the right places. Special remedies were developed to keep it from appearing where it was considered to be unnecessary.
Progress is going forward on an hourly basis and more and more products are being developed. However, we shouldn’t forget that nature did a good job caring for the earth’s population and while we are starting to come to a conclusion that organic food is best for our health, why not consider natural hair care, as well?
Get Out Your Grocery List: A List of Natural Hair Care Products
In order to get the best buy for your money, once you decide to get away from professional hair care products, you need to learn what natural remedies are good for your locks. Once you study this list, you will know what to look for in the store.
1. Shea Butter
Shea butter is a natural conditioner. It’s extracted from the Shea-Karite tree nut. The Shea tree grows in the African tropics. It’s famous for being one of the best black hair care products. This butter has impressive moisturizing qualities. Shea butter is not just a good hair conditioner for dry hair, it can be used as a skin moisturizer as well.
There are several ways shea butter can help your hair:
Soothing Properties: Shea butter soothes your dry and itchy scalp. It may also prevent or even get rid of dandruff.
- Emolliating Qualities: This rich butter locks the moisture in the hair without making it greasy or heavy.
- Heat Protection: Shea butter coats the hair shaft and protects your tresses from the heat that comes from hair care tools, such as hot curlers and blow dryers. The heat protection qualities also allow this butter to protect your hair from UV rays.
- Softening Properties: Dry and fragile hair can benefit from the many moisturizing and soothing shea butter qualities.
Shea butter can either by refined or unrefined. Unrefined butter is more natural and retains more of its natural qualities; however, it emits a smell, which might not be pleasant to some people. Refined butter doesn’t have this problem but won’t give you as many benefits as the unrefined product.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the most popular ingredients you will see in the hair care products for natural hair. It has a myriad of useful properties and will do a good job taking care of your tresses all on its own. Here is what the coconut oil has to offer:
- Prevents Hair Damage: The fatty acids in the coconut oil assist the natural proteins in your hair with damage prevention.
- Increases Blood Circulation: When you massage your scalp with the coconut oil, it boosts the blood circulation which allows the sleeping hair follicles to awaken and start growing.
- Gives Your Hair Vitamins: Coconut oil is rich in Vitamins E, K and Iron. These are compulsory for making your hair look soft and healthy.
- Has Antibacterial Qualities: Antifungal and antibacterial properties of coconut oil help fight dandruff and offer protection against lice.
3. Aloe Vera
The benefits of Aloe Vera for treating all types of health conditions are not overrated. This truly magic remedy has many amazing properties. It does wonders for damaged hair as well. Aloe Vera contains amino acids, folic acid, vitamins A and C. Here are just some benefits aloe vera has to offer your hair:
- Dandruff Treatment: Aloe vera has soothing properties and does a great job moisturizing a dry scalp. It can both eliminate dandruff and prevent it from forming.
- Cleansing: Oily hair is an unfortunate problem that can make your tresses look dirty even after you wash them. Aloe vera rinses extra oil out of the hair without making it dry and brittle like chemicals do.
- Frizz Relief: Amino acids contained in aloe vera strengthen your hair and make it shine. It fights the fizziness and leaves the hair smooth and soft. It also does a good job detangling the hair.
- Hair Growth: Regular use of aloe vera can deal with hair loss. It wakes up the sleeping hair follicles and rejuvenates the active ones to promote hair growth. It helps your hair hold on to the moisture and gets rid of the dead skin cells on your scalp.
4. Jojoba Oil
The molecular structure of Jojoba oil is similar to the oil which is naturally produced by our scalp. This oil is famous for not having any side effects when used on your hair. The main complaint about this oil is the smell of burned wood. However, the smoky scent is slight and almost non-existent in the natural oil.
Many natural hair care tips include using Jojoba oil before using shampoo or as a leave-in treatment. Here are some of the Jojoba oil benefits:
- Scalp Psoriasis Relief: People with skin psoriasis sometimes suffer from scalp psoriasis. Jojoba oil can deal with the symptoms by getting rid of the dead skin cells and lifting up the debris to help wash it off.
- Dandruff Control: Jojoba oil contains natural zinc and selenium that are usually used in regular shampoos that fight dandruff. The antifungal properties of Jojoba oil also help deal with fungal infections that often cause dandruff.
- Detangling: Dry and frizzy locks need extra moisture and conditioning that Jojoba oil can offer. When applied on such hair, Jojoba oil quickly makes it manageable and gets rid of the knots. If used before washing, it can help your scalp and hair retain the natural oils.
- Protection: When you use it on your hair after washing, Jojoba oil forms a protective layer that can save your hair from UV-ray damage as well as the effect of chemicals while swimming in the pool. It can also keep the dust and dirt from settling.
- Hair Growth: Jojoba oil is your scalp’s yard cleaner. It cleans up all the dirt and dead skin cells which in turn allows the hair follicles to grow. Jojoba oil does a good job unclogging dirty pores.
5. Argan Oil
Argan oil is a vitamin-rich product. It can be used as a hair moisturizer for both men and women. It conditions the hair and regenerates hair follicle due to high amounts of Vitamins A and E. Argan oil does a good job penetrating the hair shafts and nourishing your locks from the inside. It’s also a great anti-oxidant which contains different fatty acids that help the moisturizing process.
One of the downsides of pure Argan oil is the price. But you will only need a small amount for it daily. Argan oil has many different uses besides hair care. Such products like Skinception Argan Oil or Babyliss Pro can repair damaged skin, deal with eczema and help erase wrinkles. Here is how argan oil can help your hair naturally:
- Conditioner: Just a few drops of argan oil will hydrate and moisturize your hair after the shower and protect it from the heat produced by the blow drier or curling iron.
- Styling: This oils fights the fizziness and creates shine on your hair. Just several drops of it will help your hair look fantastic.
- Treatment: Argan oil helps revive damaged hair. It’s great for nourishing dry locks and awakening sleeping follicles when being massaged into the scalp. It can also reduce dry scalp symptoms.
- Shampoo Ingredient: By adding a couple of drops to your shampoo or other hair care products, you will immediately see hydrating effects on your hair.
- Hair Growth: Studies have shown that argan oil promotes cell regeneration which in turns leads to hair re-growth. Massaging your hair with Argan oil just once a week will lead to impressive results.
6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil has been used as a hair care product for centuries. This oil contains oleic acid, palmitic acid and squalene. All these acids are emollients. They allow the oil to have moisturizing and softening properties. Extra virgin olive oil penetrates the hair shaft and helps your hair retain moisture.
This oil also makes the outer hair cuticle smooth which results in a healthy and shiny look. Here are some properties of olive oil that you will like:
- Conditioning: Olive oil is good for dry hair. It is a perfect moisturizer which makes the hair moist and strong. However, it might not be a good conditioner for thin hair, since it will weight such locks down.
- Damaged Hair Treatment: Olive oil is a great remedy for hair that’s been relaxed, permed or bleached. Such hair needs extra moisture that olive oil can provide.
- Split Ends Remedy: Due to its smoothing qualities, olive oil helps broken and split hair ends.
- Dandruff Removal – Olive oil can help reduce dandruff if you massage it into your scalp on a regular basis and then comb out the flakes. After the flakes are removed, massage the oil into the scalp and put on a shower cap for one or two hours.
You must have heard about all the benefits honey has for your body when you eat it. It doesn’t just end there. Honey can be a savior for dry and damaged hair. It contains many vitamins and minerals that are vital for hair growth. Anti-bacterial properties of honey are also useful for hair and scalp. So what good can honey do for our locks? Let’s take a look:
- Softens Your Hair: Just like most of the products we mention here, honey is an emollient. It can do wonders for conditioning and softening your tresses.
- Stimulates Hair Growth: Honey is a great anti-oxidant and emollient so it is good at fighting free radicals and stimulating hair growth. Researchers found that honey awakens sleeping follicles and improves growth of hair.
- Prevent Hair Loss: Honey prevents moisture loss from the scalp. The high amounts of sugar assist in retaining moisture and strengthening hair follicles which in turn prevents hair loss.
- Prevent Infections: Famous antibacterial and antiseptic honey properties can help keep infections away from our scalps and fight any bacteria that leads to dandruff and itchiness.
8. Tea Tree Oil
You will find tea tree oil in many positive natural hair care products reviews. People started using it for its healing properties over thousand years ago. One of the reasons tea tree oil is used for hair cleansing is that it doesn’t cause any dryness. It can reduce hair loss and stimulate hair growth. This natural product is becoming more and more popular in the modern days. Here is how it can help your hair:
- Repairs: Antifungal, antibacterial and ant-infection properties of tree oil can deal with many hair and scalp problems
- Cleanses: Tea tree oil removes dead skin cells and awakens hair follicles
- Moisturizes: Tea tree oil moisturizes the hair and prevents fungal and bacterial infections of the scalp.
- Cradle Cap Treatment: Tea tree oil is a remedy for cradle cap in children.
9. Vegetable Glycerin
Vegetable glycerin is well-known for its moisturizing properties for natural and curly hair. It can absorb and hold on to the moisture and prevent hair breakage. It is often one of the ingredients different hair care brands, such as Vidal Sassoon and Sally Beauty Supply use. You must be careful when using glycerin since it is sticky when applied. What can glycerin do for your hair? Let’s find out:
- Moisturizer: Glycerin assists in moisture retention and improves elasticity of the hair.
- Damage Prevention: Glycerin prevents hair breakage of natural hair during combing.
- Hair Growth: Glycerin stimulates hair growth and improves the strength of your tresses.
- Conditioner: Due to its many useful properties, vegetable glycerin is a remedy for dry and frizzy locks.
Even if you decide to go for an over-the-counter shampoo or conditioner, make sure they contain at least some of the above-mentioned ingredients. The more natural components your hair care products have, the more chance they will help your locks instead of damaging them.
How to Make Natural Haircare Products at Home
There are so many hair care product brands out there that you can easily get lost. Many of them have their own natural hair care product line; however, the price tag on these products can be outright scary. The huge advantage of using natural ingredients is that you can make such shampoos, masks and hair conditioners in the comfort of your own home.
1. Shea Butter Heat Protection
Before blow drying your hair or using curlers and flat iron, melt down the butter and mix it with any natural oil, such as avocado or grape seed. Apply the mixture to your hair in small amounts right before any heat treatment.
2. Coconut Oil Conditioner
Pour coconut oil in a bowl and heat it up in a pot with hot water until it reaches room temperature. Pour a tablespoon of the oil on your head and carefully massage it into your hair. Start with the roots and go down. You might need up to five tablespoons of the oil, depending on the length of your locks. Spend at least 5 minutes doing the massage.
Put on a shower cap or wrap a towel around your hair and leave it there for at least 20 minutes. The best effect will be reached if left overnight. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
3. Aloe Vera Rinse
Take one cup of aloe vera juice and mix it with two cups of cooled boiled water. This rinse can make the hair a little stiff. If you don’t like this effect, you can soften it by adding a bit of lemon juice or some vinegar.
Wash your hair as usual. Distribute the rinse evenly over your hair, wait a few minutes and towel dry it.
4. Jojoba Oil Leave In Treatment
Mix one part of Jojoba oil with one-part grape seed or avocado oil and apply it to your scalp before shampooing. Leave the mixture on for at least 20 minutes. For best results leave it overnight and wash your hair in the morning. This treatment is most suitable for dry hair. If you have oily hair, consider doing the same with coconut oil.
5. Argan Oil Dry Scalp Treatment
Warm up about 10 drops of argan oil. You can either do it between your palms or in a bowl by placing it into a larger bowl with warm water. Massage the warm drops into your scalp for several minutes. Put a shower cap over your hair and leave it there for two or three hours or even overnight. Take it off and wash your hair as usual.
Use this treatment once or twice a week and you’ll forget about dandruff.
6. Extra Virgin Olive for Split Ends
Warm up a small amount of olive oil which will be enough to cover the ends of your hair. You can do it in a microwave. Massage the warm oil into the lower part of your hair where the problem is most obvious. Pin the hair up and cover with a shower cap or a towel. Leave it there for half an hour and then wash your tresses as usual.
7. Honey Hair Mask
Mix and puree two ripe bananas, half a cup of olive oil and half a cup of raw honey. Apply the mixture onto your hair starting from the scalp. Leave it there for about 10 minutes. Then put on a shower cap and leave it for about 20 minutes. Rinse your hair well. Besides getting a moisturized feel and shiny appearance your hair will smell amazing.
8. Tea Tree Hot Oil Treatment
Take a half cup of a carrier oil such as olive, castor or almond oil and add two drops of tea oil. Use only one drop if your hair is naturally oily. Put the mixture into a bowl and place the bowl into a pot with hot water. Leave it there until it gets warm enough but not uncomfortably hot.
Distribute the oil evenly throughout your hair. Massage some of into the scalp. Put on a shower cap and leave it there for about an hour. Wash your hair as you usually do.
9. Glycerin Refresher Spray
Mix one teaspoon of olive oil, one cup of distilled water and one tablespoon of vegetable glycerin. Place the mixture into a spray bottle. Use on your hair daily to get a refreshed look. This spray shows best results on natural and curly hair.
When you are tired of spending huge amounts of money on hair care products that don’t always help your locks and sometimes even damage them, consider these nature’s remedies our great-grandmothers and their great-grandmothers have been successfully using for centuries. Treat your hair right by avoiding harsh, drying chemicals, and you will soon see the shiny results in the mirror.