All Natural Hair Care
As I have worked to study nutrition and have learned of the harmful effects of the chemicals in the foods we eat, I realized the need to start looking at what I am putting on my body as well. This included looking at creams, lotions, toothpaste and shampoos and conditioners. It is the shampoos and conditioners that are at the center of this article.
I remember picking up a bottle of shampoo one day and reading the ingredients. I had to wonder what I was actually using. I have since read and found out. So many of the chemicals that are used in shampoos and conditioners are dangerous and some even carcinogenic. Some have “safe” levels of use, but many of these chemicals in our typical hair care products exceed these levels.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is probably one of the most common chemicals found in shampoo (and other body care products). If you would like a little more info on this read this article: http://www.natural-health-information-centre.com/sodium-laureth-sulfate.html
This article also has information on SLS and a couple of other common ingredients found in most shampoos: http://www.healthy-communications.com/hidden_dangers_lurking_in_shampo.htm
The skin is an organ of the body and medications are often prescribed by doctors that are in the form of creams that are put on the skin and absorbed through the body. The reason is because this is a quick way to get the needed medicines into the system. It would not be wrong to assume that the chemicals in shampoos and conditioners will also be absorbed into the body.
In this day and age the thought of not using the typical hair care products may be something totally unthought-of by most. What would you use then??
I will tell you what I have done. To begin with I started washing my hair with my own homemade soap. My teenage daughter started doing this too. What we all found out is that there was a transition time for our scalps and hair to adjust to this change. We also had to re-learn what normal was, as far as clean hair. We have always lived with shampoos and conditioners and the result of how our hair behaves is what is “normal” to us. In times past, before the onslaught of a chemically laden society people used soap to wash their hair and “normal” clean hair was a different product.
The first few washing’s were not necessarily that impressive. It made me wonder if the build up of so many chemicals and plastics from shampoos and conditioners had to first be removed.
After this period of time what we noticed is that the soap would lather much better and our hair was feeling softer and nicer than what it had in the past.
The next thing we began doing was making our own hair rinse. The PH of soap is not the same as shampoos so we used an apple cider vinegar rinse to balance this. Besides helping with the proper PH, it also provides some awesome conditioning for the hair and scalp. After my hair dries it feels softer than it ever has. My daughters that were dealing with scalp eczema type conditions have noticed a huge improvement since using this homemade hair rinse.
Here is the recipe:
Natural Homemade Hair Rinse
˝ cup apple cider vinegar
1 qt. water
Combine and pour and massage onto your scalp and hair. Rinse well and no you won’t smell like vinegar, I promise!
I keep a 1 qt plastic Rubbermaid type jar in the shower and a bottle of vinegar in the bathroom cupboard. When we run out, I simply put the vinegar into the jar to the ˝ cup mark and then fill the rest of the way with water.
I have also found since using homemade soap and homemade hair rinse that I experience less tangles and less difficulty combing out my hair when I wait until my hair is dry before combing. I do give it a quick comb over the surface after doing a bit of towel drying but then wait to do any more.
After a time I decided I would try making shampoo soap bars. The difference between a regular bar of homemade soap and shampoo bar is the types of oils that are added. I add olive oil, castor oil, almond oil and avocado oil to my shampoo bars. These oils have the benefit of helping your hair to retain moisture. I have loved the results of these bars. If you are interested in my shampoo bars you can click here: http://crystalscountrystore.com/shampoobars.htm
There are other options however for natural hair care. One is to use no shampoo at all. I ran across an article on the web by a woman who explains how she takes care of her hair without using any soap at all. You can read that article here: http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/1-nb/53-no-shampoo.htm
If you would like to work at making your own soap/herbal type shampoo I found this interesting looking recipe: http://www.pioneerthinking.com/rs_herbalshampoo.html Just make sure you buy a good quality soap bar. The author recommends Castile soap, but my understanding is there is no regulation as to what castile soap really is. Most think of it as 100% olive oil soap, but this may not always be the case. So just be sure to read your labels carefully.
There seems to also be no end to the homemade concoctions that you can mix up to use on your hair. However most of them contain eggs or mayonnaise or other such products and do not seem very realistic to keep up with for a busy mom!! I try and find solutions that are simple, and fairly easy to maintain for my whole family.
As you work to change your current hair care methods to more natural, health conscious methods I am sure you will be pleased with the results. Just remember to give the process and your hair time to make this transition.
Herbs and Family Health
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