We do our shopping and purchase our hair care products and assume we are doing the right things for hair health. Through promotion and marketing we are led to believe that some of the products available today are things we just can’t do without. But is that really true?
To find the answer you must first look at the structure of hair. Below the skin is the hair follicle, the sebaceous gland and blood vessels. The hair itself is made up of protein. When you brush your hair it causes the sebaceous gland to produce sebum. This oily substance coats and protects the hair from the elements. It also stimulates the blood vessels to provide the nourishment your hair needs. Brushing your hair and or massaging the scalp are beneficial to hair health.
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With commercial products, most shampoos and conditioners contain harsh chemicals and synthetic products. In shampoos, that means it can over clean your hair and strip it of its precious oils. Now you need to condition it to replace the oils. It can harm the scalp and hair follicles. It is the same with laundry detergents. They are loaded with fillers and less actual soap so that they can sell you more detergent. It’s a money making strategy that has worked so they will continue to do so.
Now if you are like most people, you’ve read the labels but don’t have a clue as to what the ingredients really are and what their function is. Here it is in layman’s terms:
1) Distereate and propylene glycol or glycol are petroleum based (crude oil). They are very cheap which is why they are widely used in the cosmetic industry.
2) Isopropyl alcohol is another very cheap solvent.
3) Propylparaben or Methylparen are preservatives that are synthetic. The human body typically does not understand synthetic, it understands organic.
4) Cetearyl alcohol is an emulsifier and it can be natural or synthetic. Synthetic is often used because it’s cheaper and easier to produce.
These petrochemicals are absorbed through the skin, then down through the organs and tissues. Many believe that long term exposure to these toxins can cause permanent damage anywhere in the body, and yet, governments have sided with big industry to not require them to disclose what these products contain or what they really are. Instead we have big fancy names you can hardly pronounce let alone understand.
The solution? It’s not as hard as you think. It’s as close as you health food store or even your own fridge. Here are some tips:
1) Buy a natural liquid soap from the health food store. Also purchase some essential oils such as lavender (for all hair types), rosemary, clary sage, cedar wood, birch and peppermint (for hair loss) bergamot, rosewood, eucalyptus etc. Also purchase natural oils such as olive, jojoba, or avocado. Here’s what to do; in a clean spray bottle, pour in about ½ a cup of distilled or spring water. Add 1 cup of liquid soap. Then take 2 tsp of your vegetable oil and add 10 to 20 drops of your chosen essential oils. It can be just one or several combined oils. Shake gently. There you have it. Simple as that! (Essential oils always need to be in a vegetable oil base because of its concentration). You should not need a cream rinse after that because oils will be replaced.
2) If you need deep conditioning, try saturating your hair in mayonnaise or warmed olive oil. Wrap tightly and cover with a shower cap and let rest on the hair for approximately 20 minutes, then rinse out. You can also take 2 egg yolks and whisk them until frothy, then add some warm water. Pour over hair and leave on for 2 minutes then rinse well.
3) It’s a good idea to do a final rinse on your hair with something acidic such as cider vinegar, lemon juice, beer or even milk. Add any of these ingredients with some water to rinse your hair with to restore the alkaline/acid balance of your hair and scalp, and take off any residue you may have left on your hair.
There are many good natural recipes for healthy hair but these are a few things to get you started in the right direction. Experiment with different essential and vegetable oils to find what you like best. Natural, your body understands, so here’s to a good hair day!