First of all, let me apologize for this hiatus since the last post. Work kept me alway from blogging and this post is long due! This is one of those posts that I really wanted to do since It’s usually a theme that comes up in every conversation with friends and family, around my experience with natural beauty.
At a certain point, in my jouney towards a healthier and sustainable life, there were three things that soon became a true quest to find: natural toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo. I will later dedicate posts to the first two, but today, this is a post about shampoo. I should begin to explain that I am very fortunate to have wavy hair which I can virtually do anything with since it has its own personality. From more curly to straight hair days, I can easily go 4 days without washing my hair because it is very dry and it actually becomes nicer a few days after. Nevertheless, the practice of sports or even a yoga session in the summer, lead to more frequent washes. Despite my low maintenance hair, I actually have a very sensitive scalp. After many years dealing with soreness, dry, itchy and wounded scalp, and many treatments later (mostly with Nizoral), I’ve decided to balance it the natural way. I was seriously becoming socially conscious as I was constantly struggling with an itchy and hurting scalp.
I gave up on commercial shampoos since 2013 and never looked back. Here, I will share my experience and the brands that worked for me. Please do take in consideration a couple of things: first, this is based on my own experience and type of hair; then, the most important thing is to also change what you eat and find out if there are any allergies or intolerances, and avoid highly processed foods. My hair has truly become much thicker since I changed to an almost exclusive whole foods, plant-based diet. As you know, your skin, hair and nails will reflect your general health!
The folowing list starts with the first products I’ve used to change my hair care routine and then goes all the way down to my favorites and the ones which worked best for me.
1. I’ve started to switch to the Body Shop Ginger Shampoo. My husband still loves it and many of our friends lost their dandruff by using it.
Pros: It’s very easy to find and buy, not expensive, smells like ginger, it’s effective.
Cons: It still has SLS in its ingredients (and other chemicals)
2. I’ve also tried the Greenpeople Shampoos. The ones I’ve used were: the Daily Aloe, the Organic Homme 10 Itch Away Shampoo (for men) and the Quinoa & Artichoke Shampoo. Out of these three, I would choose the Quinoa Shampoo as my favorite. There is also a scent free option for highly sensitive people.
Pros: They all last a long time, easy to find online (or in many UK shops), leave hair very shiny, smooth and light. They are also a good value for their size and smell good (herbal scents)
Cons: It still has sodium coco sulfate.
3. As I’ve already said in the previous post about Soapnuts, I’m really pleased with this brand. This is also true for their shampoos, either in liquid or in soap form. I’ve tried their Ayurvedic Shampoo soap and the Bergamot Ylang Liquid Shampoo. I’m really pleased with both and I’ve already recommended it to several people.
Soap Pros: It’s highly effective when I have some “scalp crisis” or my hair falls more than usual due to stress. Hair gets much thicker and healthy looking. It’s a good value, considering how long it lasts for (several months). It’s a soap, so it’s easy to transport. It’s also good for face and body. It’s also great for children as are all of their products.
Soap Cons: Many people dislike the scent, like a bonfire (I really don’t mind it at all). Also, many people dislike washing their hair with soap (the trick is to foam it in your hands and then apply 2x).
Liquid Pros: It’s really practical to use. Has a great herbal/flower scent. Lathers really well. Leaves hair really shiny and light. The foam comes from soapnuts and not chemicals = 100% natural. They now offer a scent-free option for highly sensitive people.
Liquid Cons: For my lenght of hair (almost to my waist), I have to use a larger amount of the liquid so, it lasts a bit less than the others. It would be nice to have a bigger bottle for families and people who need more of it.
4. Powdered herb ‘shampoos‘ are one of my favorite hair treats. I make my own blend of Shikakai, Amla and Kapoor Kachli. There are many combinations you can use, including soapnut powder, and you can find these in indian markets or buy online. I’ve been using Ayuuri and Hesh which I’ve found in an Indian supermarket in Lisbon. All of them are easy to find and mix.
How to prepare and use: The trick not to don’t expect a lathering product, but a mud. You mix the powder with filtered water (I usually prepare around 200ml of this paste) until it looks like yoghurt. Apply half of it to wet hair focusing on roots, massage well. Rinse and repeat with the rest. Second time round, I leave it on the hair while washing the body. Rinse for the last time with plenty of water.
Pros: Completely natural. Herbal scent. Hair gets very shiny, healthy looking and thick with use.
Cons: Not for everybody. Many people dislike the ‘mud’ consistency of it and find it very unpractical and messy. It’s not practical while traveling and in a hurry – it takes time to prepare, use and rinse it properly. I consider it a ritual and really like the results, but it takes a while to get used to it.
5. Baps Amrut Kesh Madhuri Shampoo. This one has to be my favorite so far, because it’s so fragrant and effective. It’s basically a liquid form of the powders. I’ve never found it anywhere outside the Indian supermarket where I first got it and I’m now on my 3rd bottle. If you ever find it in your Indian market or online (I’ve seen a few online while writing this post), please give it a try. It’s absolutely lushious. The liquid itself is black, but it never gave any colour to my hair (I don’t know how it would work in light hair, sorry).
Pros: 100% natural herbal ingredients. Great herbal/flower fragrance. Lathers a lot even with just a little amount (I use like two almonds for my long hair). It is worth to buy the 500ml as it’s cheaper and it lasts forever. Leaves hair looking like a bollywood movie star, thick, shiny and bouncy 🙂
Cons: I’ve honestly never found a flaw in this shampoo and highly recommend everyone to try it. As I said, it is black, and although it has never tainted my hair, I don’t know how it would work for a person with blond or white hair. The only thing is that you shoud clean the shower with a bit more care after, because it leaves the white enamel a bit tainted (not permanently! It washes off easily).
These are my top 5 choices at the moment. I’m really looking forward to trying other natural brands and let you know how it worked out. (I’m currently trying the Evolve Superfood Shine Shampoo that I’ve got at a really great price through a previous Naturisimo beauty box). Also, I will later write a post about hair conditioning and care routines. The funny thing is, I really don’t like spending too much time or money on hair routines and products, so although this seems like a lot, it really isn’t. The trick is to keep it natural (even if you choose to dye it!) and choose good natural products that work for you. Better quality and conscious choices are a good long term investment!
What about you? Have you tried any of these products or are you looking for new choices/options for a greener/healthier hair routine? Let me know in the comments!
Disclaimer: All opinions about these products are my own and not influenced in any way. This is not a sponsored post.