24 November 2011

5 Natural Alternatives to Toxic Shampoo

There are some amazing alternatives to store bought shampoo full of toxic chemicals. Etsy offers a spectacular array of natural products made by creative sustainable crafters who know where their ingredients come and cater to the needs of their customers the way they would to themselves.

But you can make sure you have a clean and healthy care even without the act of buying. Yes, Mother Nature has it all in store for us, and the only thing we need to know is how to use her riches.

Illustration: The Extent of Silence
Let me start with what I have been using since my teenage years - eggs. Egg yolks were essential if you wanted to have a thick hair. Treating it regularly with a mask of 1 egg yolk and a tablespoon of kaolin sure produced the effect! At the time though I didn't know that eggs also cleaned my hair, I only thought they were nourishing. But it's never too late for some additional knowledge, right?

Apart from recreating hair, the eggs fight dandruff and prevent hair loss. They work perfectly well for all hair types.
  • Oily hair - beat 1 egg, add the juice of 1 lemon. Apply to wet hair and leave for about an hour. Rinse well.
  • Dry hair - whisk 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of one cucumber. Apply and leave for 15 minutes to restore the luster of your hair.
One thing I've learned though is that after the egg treatment your hair smells rather unpleasant. You can avoid this by rinsing it with a solution of 1 tablespoon of vinegar in 1 cup of water.

Baking soda
I have written a lot about washing my hair with baking soda, but I will repeat it again – it is easy, cheap, and great for your hair. Rinse with vinegar to condition.

Edit: Since I wrote this post in 2011 I have learned the hard way that baking soda is extremely detrimental to hair. You can read a very thorough article with my findings, called Baking Soda Destroyed My Hair and see for yourself. I do not recommend anyone to ever wash their hair with baking soda.

If you know the ingredients of mayonnaise you won't be surprised - it has eggs, oil and vinegar. All three of them are doing wonders to your hair and think about what they can do combined!

Mayonnaise is great in your fight against split ends and dry hair. If you massage a handful of mayonnaise in your hair and leave it for 10 minutes you will have a smooth, shiny thick hair after just a few applications. To get rid of the smell, rinse with vinegar.

Aloe Vera
I am a big fan of Aloe Vera mostly because of its anti-inflammatory properties and the way it helps with acne or sun burn. But it is also very effective as a shampoo. You can use Aloe Vera gel and massage it gently all the way to the scalp. In this way it will not only clean your hair but will also work for a healthier scalp. Aloe Vera increases the blood flow, and balances the pH levels, and prevents hair fall. It removes dandruff, promoting a healthier scalp. With all these benefits, it is even more refreshing than using typical shampoo.

Calendula is a widely spread flower often considered as a weed. It is, in fact, a versatile herb known for its skin healing properties. Calendula contains flavenoids and has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, ideal for soothing and treating the scalp. You can buy the dried flower or dry it yourself at home.

Make a natural shampoo by filling a glass jar with dried calendula flowers and adding olive oil until the flowers are completely submerged. Close the jar and store it for 2 weeks in a dark place but don't forget to shake it well each day. Strain the oil into a clean bottle or glass jar. For a natural preservative, add vitamin E oil to it and start using as you would a regular shampoo.

Here are 10 more ways to wash your hair without shampoo.
Whichever way you choose to wash your hair don't forget to wash it with lukewarm water. Hot water dries out your hair and makes it look lifeless and dull. For more advice on how to take care of your hair during the winter months, read my article 6 Natural Tips to Winterize Your Hair Effortlessly.

Have you tried any of these natural alternatives to shampoo? How do you keep your hair healthy?