New Way To Shampoo
by Lisa Chambers
Some companies even use the theory that these silicones protect your hair- which
in a sense, it does. Yet, at the same time, it is also creating a barrier so that your
scalp can't breathe and your hair can't absorb the natural oils produced by the scalp.
These natural oils are important if you desire truly healthy and strong hair. It can also
sometimes play a part in hair loss or excess shedding of the hair. Trust me- I used to
swear by some of the more expensive brand conditioners years ago, until I read an
article about people trying shampoo bars and vinegar rinses instead. I gave it a shot,
and to my surprise the giant wads of hair mangled in my hair brush gradually got
smaller and smaller. I'm finding years later because of my awareness of this subject
I have more of a fierce mane now than I did in my younger days!
Now I have embraced the fact that not everyone will welcome a complete vinegar
rinse method or change over to soap based shampoo bars. It can take a long time
for not only the person to get used to, but also their hair. These natural methods
work wonders but there could be several weeks of devastating hair days in between
as the hair adjusts, and on certain hair types it could be far worse than others!
Some people just may not have the time, in the commonly busy lifestyles our society
is used to today, to put into mixing whatever concoctions in question before hopping
in the shower. I realized there had to be a solution somewhere in between, and I think
I have a few ideas that might help. Following these simple steps may help you get
luscious hair while taking a baby step into embracing the more natural.
First, ditch the conditioners! As I said, those silicones won't be your friend years
down the road. We have to learn to embrace our hairs' natural oils as a means of
conditioning. In my experimenting, I found my hair to actually feel better and more
balanced by using a more moisturizing shampoo than simply conditioning afterword.
Using a conditioner after seemed to weigh my hair down more. Also, learn to read
your shampoo labels. Anything that ends in "-cone" is likely to be a form of silicone.
Now it's time to learn how to shampoo. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need
an abundance of lather to clean. Use smaller amounts of shampoo than you usually
do and aim for the scalp and hairline. This will help keep your hair from appearing
dingy or greasy while leaving some of your natural oils at the tip of your hair,
where breakage and drying is most prone.
Now it's time to play!!! Yes, we're going to have some fun with our shampoo! For
those with busy lifestyles, which is the main reason I think people have a hard time
giving up shampoo, it's a lot easier to mix a concoction and leave it by your shower
than it is to have to prepare for each shower. What you add and how much is
dependent on your hair type. They key is to start small- remember you can't take
out what you already put in the bottle. Start with just a few drops of a nourishing oil,
vegetable glycerine, or a healthful extract for extra nutrients and shake up your bottle.
That's it. You'd be surprised how much even just a few drops of a nice oil to your
shampoo can leave your hair! Begin with "lighter" oils too, and you can work your way
up until you find a nice balance that leaves your hair with the desired conditioning
in the end.
Here's some ideas for ingredients that you can add to your shampoo in order of "light"
to "heavier". "Heavy" ingredients will give more moisturizing and conditioning results,
but may weight your hair down depending on your hair type - remember to work your
* Extracts- Rosemary, chamomile, and grapefruit are examples of extracts that are provide
antioxidants and a nice touch of shine to the hair.
* Essential Oils- Most essential oils tend to be on the "light" side and many have
various positive effects on the hair. Some of the best include rosemary, ylang, cedarwood,
peppermint, orange.... the list could go on and on!
* Light oils- Sunflower, safflower, jojoba, sweet almond oil, and fractionated
coconut oil are examples of lighter oils you can use for conditioning.
* Heavy but nourishing oils- Avocado, olive, and castor oil are massively
enriching ingredients that could be added, but you want to go sparingly until
you know how much your hair really needs!
* Natural vegetable glycerine- The ultimate in moisturizing because it acts
as a natural "humectant", meaning it draws moisture from the air to the skin or
hair. However, too much glycerin can leave a film on your hair and give it a waxy
sort of feel. (That is the one drawback of soap based shampoo bars and why
vinegar rinses are recommended after using them.)
* MOST important tip of all- Do NOT add anything such as milk, juice, or
anything water based to your shampoo unless you plan to keep it in the
refrigerator in between use! Water based products already contain preservatives
in the correct amount. Adding more moisture or anything perishable could
invite bacteria or mold, which we definitely don't want to smear anywhere
on our bodies!
An occasional vinegar rinse for your hair in the very least , even if once a month,
is recommended no matter what hair regimen you use. Vinegar acts as a conditioner by
smoothing the hair shaft and help break down excess build-up, whether it be natural
glycerine or those horrid silicones. By smoothing the hair shaft without stripping the
hair, if will make your hair actually shiner and less prone to breakage.
Now as for me, personally, I am sticking to my vinegar and shampoo bars. Not only
do I feel better about making a step in favor of the environment (most store bought
shampoos and soaps contain sodium laurel sulfate, which is NOT environmentally
friendly), but I am quite enjoying the effects of my faster growing hair while needing
trimmings less frequently. However, different people have different tolerances and
preferences- which I can understand and completely respect. That's why I have
been experimenting with these ideas and sharing them, in hopes to give others
possible tips and ideas to find their personal balance between modern and natural
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