I think it’s safe to say that if you’re a person that wants healthy hair with the minimal amount of damage then you’re also a person that wants to make sure that the products you’re using are healthy as well. For the ingredient readers out there or those of you that are interested in knowing what you can use for your individual needs outside of your regular wash routine, I’ve prepared a small list of ingredients that are already in most natural hair products or that you can add at home to simply contribute to the well-being of your luscious curls.
Most of the ingredients below can be added to any of your products and can all be found in your kitchen or around your house. Just in case you need an extra boost of moisture, shine, volume, or scalp stimulation, you can mix these ingredients with your shampoo or conditioner and wash as you normally would.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Why: If you’re a person with dry scalp, you should definitely try an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse or simply add Apple Cider Vinegar to your shampoo or rinse out conditioner. It will eliminate the buildup on your scalp and serve as an extra cleanser to your shampoo. Don’t be afraid of the smell of the vinegar. It will simply go away after you rinse.
Why: I think the “why” for this one is really a silly question. Why do you water plants? Many people have been taught that water is not good for your hair or that it will eventually cause dryness, but it all depends on other factors such as if your water is considered to be “hard” or “soft” and if your shampoo is stripping your hair of the moisture all together. Hard water is water that contains a lot of chemicals and has not been properly filtered. These chemicals enter your hair follicle without you even knowing it and contribute to dryness. Sulfate shampoos are known to be great cleansers but in the process of cleansing, they also strip your hair of all the needed nutrients and oils that provide you hair with moisture. With that being said, water isn’t the enemy here.
Why: Eggs help to fight breakage. Depending on the length of your hair, one to two eggs can be added to your shampoo to provide your hair with the needed protein to strengthen the hair cuticle. But be cautious not to add eggs to your products on a regular basis because it can also have a negative affect that can result in an imbalance of moisture and protein.
Why: Aloe Vera oil serves as a humectant or in other words to us naturals, as a “sealer”. It provides strength to the hair cuticle by protecting the hair from climate changes.
Why: If you flip over the back of your conditioner and read the label, you will most likely see that your leave in conditioner contains some form of glycerin. Glycerin is known to be a moisturizer that helps to prevent breakage.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Why: I’m combining these oils for a reason. The first reason is because they all work well together and are already combined in most of your hair products. The second reason is because they all provide your hair with the same benefits with slight variation. Each oil works to condition your hair, increase blood circulation, and fight bacteria and dandruff. Castor Oil in particular is known to provide AMAZING results with hair growth while Almond Oil is known to reduce split ends. For those of you that are looking for a way to prevent frizz, Grape Seed Oil should definitely be added to your products. Other than the slight variations that I mentioned, you can use any of these oils to condition your hair or serve as a deep conditioning treatment if warmed for 10 to 15 seconds and then applied.
Why: Shea Butter has a light creamy texture that absorbs easily into your scalp. It works to provide moisture and can used from the roots to the ends of your hair. Overall, it is definitely used to fight against dandruff and dry itchy scalp.
Tea Tree Oil
Why: It is magic in a bottle! Not even exaggerating. Most people use Tea Tree Oil to fight acne so think about the magic that it does to fight dandruff. I suggest always diluting the Tea Tree Oil before using or only applying a couple of drops to your products, which is also another benefit; a small amount goes a long way.
Why: You literally can remove the seed from the avocado and scoop it from its outer skin and apply it directly to your hair. Avocado whether in the raw or oil form serves as an excellent deep conditioner. It has a natural slip that helps to detangle your hair while increasing elasticity in the process.
Why: Nutmeg or nutmeg oil provides shine and volume to your hair while also promoting hair growth. If you happen to read the back of the ingredients on your shampoos and conditioners, you may even see that nutmeg is already an ingredient but it is still perfectly fine to add more to fit your individual needs.
Why: Cinnamon when mixed with Nutmeg or alone makes a great mixture with your conditioner. They also smell delicious! You may feel a tingling sensation on your scalp from the use of cinnamon but that is exactly how you know its working. Cinnamon increases the blood flow to your scalp resulting in hair growth.
Why: Honey helps with all of the above (i.e. dry scalp, adds moisture and shine, promotes hair growth). It can be used as a standalone conditioner to treat your hair once a week or can also be added to Apple Cider Vinegar to create a homemade cowash (without the lather, of course).
[by Kiara B.]