Sunday, March 29, 2015

Natural Beauty Products Review: Best Shampoos and Conditioners

Miley needs more, Kim needs less and everyone wants Jennifer’s. Hair simply tops the list of what women obsess about the most. A great hair day can give us confidence and a little bounce in our step. Yet what price does our health pay for such gorgeous hair? Does great hair have to be a byproduct of rubbing dangerous chemicals into our scalp that seep through the skin and blood, to circulate to every corner of our bodies?  Not any more. Nature is on the way to save you and your hairdo.

To start, look for natural hair products that don’t use sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or other chemical surfactants. SLS is a man-made substance manufactured from a toxic petroleum derivative, ethylene oxide gas, that is neither ecological nor sustainable. To bring nature back to my hair, I started experimenting by using 10 different organic and all natural hair products trying a different brand of shampoos/conditioners/hair gels every 5 days. So when I developed a very itchy dry scalp and clogged hair follicles (eek, nasty scalp pimples) for the first time in my life, I knew which products I had reacted adversely to. I learned which brands to avoid, which ones really worked to make my hair shiny, healthy and clean. 

While experimenting in my shower laboratory, I discovered hair products that are 100% natural and 100% gorgeous. Since I still like a good lather, I found products that enable soapy hair soup without sodium lauryl sulfate or other chemicals. I’ll confess that I am blessed with naturally good hair – dark brown, shiny, slight wave, overall easy to manage. My biggest hair challenge is being sensitive to change as my hair can lose its shape rather quickly in a hat, a strong wind, after a good nap or a few hours in an airplane. So I added these factors to my experiments and exposed my hair to the elements and as many naps as possible. All for the good of science of course. 

Recommended non-toxic hair products:
Oribe: This wonderful, luxury gentle hair care line is now sulfate-free and formulated without parabens or sodium chloride plus it is color and keratin treatment safe. It does have a light perfume scent (which I love). 

Dr. Hauschka: Sustainable, eco-friendly business practices from recyclable and biodegradable packaging to organic and naturally derived ingredients, all free of synthetic fragrances
    • Revitalizing Hair & Scalp Tonic
    • Strengthening Hair Treatment
Burt’s Bees: An earth friendly, natural personal care company making a wide range of natural products formulated to help you maximize your well-being and protect your environment – and to make our busy lives easier, these winners are widely available in health food and drug stores.
    • More Moisture Baobab Shampoo and Conditioner: Baobab Oil’s antioxidants combined with nourishing Avocado Oil. Gives you super smooth and irresistibly soft hair. 
    • Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment: Take the time to do this once a week for at least 5 minutes before shampooing, this treatment of avocado and olive oils soothes your scalp while rosemary, almond oil and nettle provide a glossy shine.

While I was conducting these experiments, my friend supermodel Carol Alt told me that she has washed her long, gorgeous hair with a flower. Just flower petals and water. I’m sure that there are other natural ways to clean your hair and look fabulous. Please share your own solutions, my chemical-free ears are open.