July 26, 2019 4 min read
Many of the biggest health and beauty trends of today boil down to a single concept: simple is best! Rather than using overly complex chemical formulas with an ingredients list that reads like War and Peace, why not stick to a handful of potent ingredients which provide your hair with the care it needs?
Thankfully, many modern shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care products have adopted this philosophy. While cheaply made hair products full of synthetic chemicals are still the norm, there are certainly options for paraben-free, sulfate-free, and synthetic free products!
So-- let’s look at why simple is best for hair care, examples of natural hair care ingredients, and answer a few frequently asked questions about simple hair care products and routines.
Don’t tell anyone I told you -- but your hair does a pretty darn good job of taking care of itself. This isn’t to say that hair care products can’t lend a hand, but complex formulas full of harsh chemicals can sometimes do more harm than good!
As an example, let’s explore two ingredients found in many modern shampoos, conditioners, and other beauty products: parabens and sulfates.
Parabensare used to preserve cosmetics, food, and pharmaceuticals. Parabens are anti-microbial, meaning that they can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. They also can strip away hair’s natural oils, cause hair damage, and have even been connected to more serious health concerns.
Sulfatescan be both naturally occurring or synthetically manufactured surfactants. This means that sulfates will lessen surface tension in liquids, which leads to that satisfying lather we all expect. Unfortunately, sulfates can be highly irritating to hair, skin, and eyes.
So what can we use to replace these undesirable ingredients? There are plenty of natural, potent, and simple ingredients that can promote healthy and beautiful hair. These include:
Organic RSPO Sustainable Palm Oil -yes, we know palm oil gets a bad rap (and rightfully so). However, organizations like the WWF and RSPO have made the case that responsibly sourced palm oil is better for our environment than boycotting the ingredient! Sustainable palm oil (link to “is all palm oil unsustainable” when posted) promotes healthy hair cells, rejuvenates hair follicles, and delivers high levels of nutrients.
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil -this well-known ingredient is used as a moisturizer, natural lubricant, and delivers high levels of healthy fatty acids to hair, skin, and even in our diet.
Sea Salt -you may have heard of the hair craze known as “salt sprays”. While these products may not be ideal for everyday use, they do show the power of sea salt when it comes to hair care.
Other essential oils and carrier oils -there are too many healthy alternatives to synthetic chemicals to name. A few include sunflower oil, olive oil, peppermint essential oil, lavender essential oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, and the list goes on!
Absolutely! Although it is important to understand that being simple and natural does not make a hair care routine effective. Only the proper ingredients and products can use organic, natural ingredients to deliver healthy and beautiful hair.
As an analogy, let’s consider a diet which advises cutting sugar. Most dieticians, nutritionists, and regular people would agree that cutting sugar is a positive health choice. Yet these two diets will not be similarly effective:
Both of these diets meet the criteria. While Diet A is technically sugar-free (and sounds awesome), it will likely end with you in the emergency room. In the same way, natural hair care is a great way to go so long as you choose your products and routine carefully!
No. Synthetic chemicals are primarily used because they make manufacturing cheaper and easier -- not because they are inherently more effective. Also, creating in bulk means that products need to be shelf safe for a while (no one wants mold or a staph infection….) so they require more preservatives.
For some individuals, yes. Your hair may be accustomed to having its oils stripped away, which can lead to excess oil production. Individuals who switch from traditional shampoos to all natural shampoo bars may experience a transitional period which typically lasts between a few days and a few weeks. See related: Why Isn’t My Shampoo Bar Working?
They certainly can. By using fewer products and switching to shampoo bars instead of plastic shampoo bottles, you will be reducing your plastic consumption. It is also worth noting that run-off from shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and sunscreen can have an ecological impact. Natural products can lessen this concern!
At The Yellow Bird, we are proud to use only simple ingredients that are always free of synthetic chemicals. Our Shampoo Bars are great alternatives for those looking for natural, conscientious hair care products.
These shampoo bars are affordable, low waste, last far longer than traditional shampoos and conditioners, and are perfect for all-in-one hair use!
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