These days, there thousands of natural hair care products available, but make sure you read the labels – “natural” doesn’t always mean they are free of substances you would prefer to keep away from your head.
Hair is the area where I really have had the hardest time finding natural products I liked and that also worked. There are lots of truly natural hair products out there, but sadly, many of them don’t work for me for various reasons. I have lost count of how many I have tried; the testing has been extensive! But I am happy to report that I have now found products I love in every area when it comes to hair.
My criteria when testing these products were:
- They had to be all natural
- They had to actually work on my impossible baby fine, curly hair
- They could not contain anything I am allergic to (which includes fruit extracts, some nut oils, and apple cider vinegar, which is in TONS of hair products)
- No animal testing
After lots of trial and error (and a few allergy migraines), I have finally found products that fit all this in every area of hair washing and styling. Here are the winners in my tests:
I know a lot of people do the no shampoo thing but I just really can’t do that. So I still shampoo, but my hair is very dry, so I try to not do it too often.
My absolute favorite new shampoo discovery is Thicker Hair by Just Natural. All their products are handmade, organic, vegan, paraben, sulfate, alcohol, chemical and gluten free, smell wonderful and work! One downside for me is that many of their products contain apple cider vinegar, but luckily, the Thicker Hair Shampoo does not, and I love it! It is aloe vera based, smells great (fresh and sort of “herby”), lathers a lot, and really does bulk up my hair. It leaves it full, soft, shiny and pretty.
Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment
I almost always put coconut oil (organic, virgin, cold pressed, unrefined) in my hair for at least ½ hour (ideally 1 hour) before washing, and it is amazing what a difference it makes. It makes my hair so much fuller and at the same time incredibly soft, with curls that hold their shape instead of turning to frizz. When I feel extra ambitious, I melt the oil in a water bath and add essential oils to it. I change the oils depending on what I need that day, but most often I use rosemary and sage – great for sensitive scalp and dry and thin hair.
My favorite by far in this category is Thicker Hair Conditioner, also from Just Natural. It’s thick and creamy and I massage it into both my hair and scalp and it gives it just the right amount of moisture without making it greasy or heavy.
With the risk of sounding like a spokesperson for Just Natural: I love their Herbal Gel for Curly Hair. It smells incredibly fresh, sort of green and faintly citrusy, is very light and non-sticky, and works. It gives the curls just enough hold without making them crunchy.
But, since my hair turns to frizz at the mere suggestion of a breeze, I also use John Masters Organics Sweet Orange and Silk Protein Styling Gel. It too smells really good and provides a bit more hold than the herbal gel, so I use a small dab of this on top of the Just Natural gel and that gives it just the right amount of hold (this combo makes the curls last for days, no need to reapply anything).
This has been a long and frizzy search. I have lost count of how many “less toxic” hairsprays I have tried, but I always ended up going back to Bumble and Bumble, even though I hated using it (but it works). But I finally figured it out! I ended up going back to a product I had tried before and just changed how I apply it. Every time I tried Intelligent Nutrients Perfect Hold spray in the past, I would apply it like I did Bumble and Bumble – a generous amount of spray right on the hair, which with Intelligent Nutrients resulted in flat, dull hair with no curls. It just recently dawned on me that I was doing this all wrong. Instead of spraying it right on my hair, I now mist a little bit of it in the air and step into the mist so just a little bit of the spray lands on my hair, and this approach works perfectly! My hair is soft and curly, but stray strands are kept in place and there is no frizz. And it smells so good!
Another thing I found that makes a huge difference is a shower water filter. We bought one of these last year; it has the filter in the handle (I prefer hand held showers) and the quality of my hair has improved remarkably. And my skin too. We ran out of filters and had to use our regular shower for a while this spring, and my chest broke out something terrible, I had this huge rash that looked awful. But as soon as we installed the new filter, it disappeared. My skin is a lot less dry too. Makes you wonder what’s in that water…
For more on skin, check out my favorite natural skin care products