Sharing more waste-free and natural living posts has been something I've thought about foreva'! I've been reluctant in the past to post these because people who often like recipes aren't always into other things like opinion pieces or environmental discussions, or those type of ‘serious’ topics. Yet, in the past I've stepped outside of my comfort zone a couple of times on WHE (like discussing my battles with food and anxiety) and have received nothing but love and kindness. So I'm taking a bit of a plunge here and will be hopefully posting more natural DIY's and body related posts. Unlike the recipes, I won't be sending out newsletters for each of these posts, but you will be able to find them under the new header of 'Natural Living', which is still very much under construction. To get the ball rolling, today I'm sharing my hair routine with y'all as well as my favourite hair DIYs..
TO WASH OR NOT TO WASH
- OIL TRAINING + NOT WASHING
Washing your hair is something that everyone, surprisingly enough, has an opinion on. There is the "not washing is gross, greasy, + smelly" camp and the "washing your natural oils out is toxic" side, but truth be told, I find the middle of the road to be the best place when it comes to washing. In reality, your scalp with produce oil in relation to how much you're washing it. So the more you wash it with oil-stripping shampoo, the dryer your scalp becomes, and the more oil it'll make - and the more you'll need to wash it.
Washing your hair less and allowing your scalp to adjust (this is called oil training) will result in it producing less oil. Begin by not washing your hair once a week, then work up to not washing it twice a week, and so on. I personally like to wash my hair 2 times a week although I've been told by hairdressers to leave it for two weeks (I just can't do it). On the days I don't wash, I still like to get my hair damp. Since my hair is fine and dry, getting it damp helps re-set the curls and tame the puffiness. The added benefit is that it keeps the natural oils, which are a great moisturizer and make hair shiny and healthy looking. For those of you with thick or coarse hair, you may want to leave it dry when showing. My sister (who has straight thick hair) doesn’t get her hair wet when showering, and finds that by day 2-3 her hair is at its best. Adam (with thick curly hair) on the other hand, uses a conditioner daily, but only washes once per week, tops.
When you do wash your hair, choose either a totally natural shampoo (look for ones without: sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS); cocamidopropyl betaine; cocamide DEA; ammonia laureth (ALS); preservatives; or, fragrance. I personally love to use just a basic castile soap most of the time. The other method to follow is the 'no-poo' (terrible name, right?) method. To do this simply wash your hair in a diluted mixture of 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1 Cup water, followed by an apple cider rinse. I've personally only use this method here and there out of fear it will be drying, but many people use it regularly and love it - it's all up to your individual hair type.
My weekly routine often looks like Tuesday-Wednesday no washing, Thursday wash, Friday-Sunday no wash, Sunday night coconut oil hair mask, Monday wash and apple cider vinegar rinse. The key is to find out what works best for you and your hair!
•HOMEMADE DRY SHAMPOO
So let's say you're not washing your hair as often and your bangs start to get a little greasy - it'll happen. The perfect fix for this is a dry shampoo. Now, I'm guessing you've all heard about dry shampoo, as it had kind of a resurgence lately and then a little bit of a backlash with people complaining that it made them lose their hair. Truth be told, dry shampoo is not shampoo, and it's not a replacement for washing. Instead it's used just to soak up the extra oil that some of you will see in your part or on your bangs. While you could buy some dry shampoo at the local pharmacy, store brand ones often contain ingredients like parabens, fragrance, propane, and isobutane. Um, gross. But no fear, you can easily make your own with ingredients you already have in your pantry. Yay, happy dance
ALL NATURAL DRY SHAMPOO
- ¼ Cup Arrowroot Powder
- ¼ Cup Cocoa (For dark hair - if you're blond, silver, or white, omit. If you're a redhead, only use a little cocoa)
- Essential Oils like rosemary, lavender, or grapefruit
- Combine all the ingredients together. Store in an easy shake bottle like this (or even an old Simply Organics spice jar). When you're ready to use, add a bit to your part or bangs and comb out the extra. Because there is cocoa in this mixture, wrap your shoulders in a towel if you happen to be wearing a light coloured shirt.
•APPLE CIDER VINEGAR RINSE
Let's just admit it - apple cider vinegar is the cure-all for basically anything that ails you. It helps balance your hair's ph level which can be altered my shampoo, it removes product build up which allows your hair to get its curls back and brings back natural body. Best of all, it makes it shiny and soft, as it acts as a natural conditioner.
How often you use an apple cider as a hair rinse will depend on your hair, but I like to use it once every week to two weeks. You can either used plain apple cider vinegar, or herbal infused apple cider (see below)
Herbs for Vinegar Infusion:
To make a herbal apple cider rinse take 4 tablespoon of any of the dried herbs listed below and allow them to infuse in 1 cup apple cider vinegar (in a dark location) for 3-6 weeks. Drain and discard the herbs before using vinegar.
- Normal Hair: Chamomile, Calendula, Lavender, Nettle, and Rosemary
- Oily Hair: Burdock Root, Calendula, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Nettle + Rosemary
- Dry Hair: Burdock Root, Calendula, Lavender, Marshmallow, Nettle, + Camomile
- Thinning Hair + Hair Loss: Basil, Ginger Root, Lavender, Nettle, + Rosemary
- Dark Hair: Nettle + Rosemary
- Blonde Hair: Calendula, Lemon, + Chamomile
- Red Hair: Red Clover Flowers + Calendula
- Dandruff: Calendula, Horsetail, Lavender, Rosemary, + Peppermint
•ARGAN OIL + COCONUT OIL MASKS
Using a little oil on your hair is a great way to add moisture and reduce frizz. Coconut oil is a fantastic one to use if you have dandruff issues or medium to fine, shiny hair. Adding a weekly or biweekly hair mask to your schedule will help strengthen your hair and make it shinier. For coarser or drier hair, an oil like argan oil will be more useful.
To apply a coconut oil mask, run a small amount of coconut oil through dry hair (a couple Tbsp. will do -just enough oil to coat it) before heading to bed. Gently brush the oil in to ensure that all your hair is coated. If your hair is long, braid it or put it in a bun. Leave the oil in overnight before washing out with shampoo the next morning. Be sure to either use a shower cap or an old towel over your pillow to avoid stains. If you choose argan oil, use the same method.
•BEACHY TEXTURE SPRAY
On of my favourite homemade hair products is 'beach' spray which gives you that textured "I just swam in the ocean" look. It helps add more curls to my hair and is a major frizz reducer. For straight hair it will add some weight and casual beachy waves.
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil (the type which is liquid at room temperature is best)
- 1 tablespoon Sea Salt
- Essential Oils of Choice (Add lavender for a nice scent, rosemary for brown or darker highlights, and chamomile for blonde and light highlights)
- Mix everything together and pour into a spray bottle. Before using, give the bottle a gentle shake. Apply to damp hair and let air dry naturally.