My story with natural hair care starts in November, 2013 when one day I just got fed up and decided to try something unconventional and completely natural. It started as a google search for a natural deep conditioner, such as honey, and I found several different blogs and webpages about different methods of not only using an occasional treatment on hair, but doing 100% of all cleansing and conditioning as well, in a natural way!
Now, I’ve never been interested in baking soda on my head, even though I do know it’s a good cleansing agent around the house and I sometimes use it to get stains out of things or to scrub with, so I was not at all interested in the classic baking soda and apple cider vinegar No ‘Poo method. The ACV interested me some, just not the baking soda, because I was looking for something that would cleanse my hair, not strip it.
In my searching, I came across a blog that mentioned honey shampoo and it caught my attention, so after kickstarting my adventure with a homemade deep-conditioning recipe that I made up using an egg, olive oil, lemon essential oil, sugar and coconut oil, I tried the honey-wash method for a few weeks.
When I started, it was good! My hair felt like a greaseball when I stepped out of the shower, but as it dried, it became light and fluffy and clean feeling. This happened with every wash until a few weeks in, my roots started feeling heavy. Not bad-greasy heavy, just over-moisturized kind of heavy, so I decided to stop the honey and just rinse my hair with water, followed by ACV rinse, which I did about once a week.
Recently, though, my dandruff has been getting worse. I’m not sure if it’s from the hard water, or just from not rubbing my scalp well enough, but I was getting a layer of dead skin goop under my hair, so that if I scratched any itchies, my fingernails came up caked under with crud. This was not good.
My hair, however was still very soft and manageable and beautifully shiny with hardly any tangles, so I didn’t want to go back to regular shampoo just for my scalp’s sake and end up ruining my hair’s progress, so I did some more research and found out that both turmeric and bananas are good for dandruff and itchy scalp problems! I am a HUGE fan of turmeric in anything, so this was an awesome discovery for me (my actual google search was “is turmeric good for hair?” because I knew it’s good for many other things and I was curious if it’s amazingness stretched that far). I also found out that a lot of people who have used banana ended up with banana pieces stuck in their hair…
The tips I came across to solve that problem are this: use a VERY ripe banana, blend it with your other ingredients in a blender or other such thing (I used a nutribullet, personally) to make sure it gets very smooth and creamy, mix it with an oil of some sort, and use a fine toothed comb in the shower while rinsing it out, rinsing the comb in between each pass to make sure it’s all gone.
The recipe I used in my latest concoction involves:
- a VERY ripe banana (for moisture, dandruff control and itches),
- avocado oil (for moisture, vitamins E, A and D, antioxidants, and amino acids),
- olive oil (moisture, dandruff control, shine and softness),
- a good, un-homogenized, cream top yogurt (for some serious moisture, probiotics and gentle cleansing),
- blackstrap molasses (for minerals [like copper, among others]),
- raw honey (for moisture, gentle cleansing, and it’s antibacterial, anti fungal properties),
- brown sugar (exfoliant. NOT white sugar. It dissolves),
- turmeric (for the itchiness, dandruff control, exfoliant, and antibacterial properties),
- apple cider vinegar ( for ph balance, shine, softness, blood circulation, gentle cleansing, dandruff control, and antibacterial properties)
- pineapple ([it has bromelain, which breaks down protein and is an anti-inflammatory agent] for healing [especially in combination with turmeric], and hair growth, antioxidants, vitamins B6 and B9 [for protein metabolism and blood flow]),
- peanut butter (for protein, curls, shine, and softness),
- and cocoa powder (for minerals, antioxidants, moisture, shine, softness, volume, healthy growth, flavanols [natural sunscreen], vitamins, healing, and stress-reduction [who can resist the strong scents of peanut butter, banana and chocolate?! ;)].
So, now that you’re overwhelmed with ingredient information, and are in awe of the wonders of nature… I blended all that up in my nutribullet cup so that it was very, very smooth and creamy, applied it to my dry, unwashed hair and scalp, then massaged my scalp only with grape seed oil (protects against moisture loss, faster hair growth [via vitamin E, linoleic acid, proteins and minerals], blood circulation, loosening dandruff flakes, shine, and hair strength), put my hair up into a top-knot, and let it sit for about 45 minutes.
When I rinsed it out, I used hot water (to help release some of the oils from my hair), and yes, the fine-toothed comb to comb out any and all banana, peanut butter and loose dandruff flakies.
Aside from some oil still in my hair (it always takes me about 3 rinses to get it all out.. my hair sucks up oil like a sponge! But amazingly, it doesn’t really feel greasy. Just really moisturized), my hair is now the softest, shiniest and curliest it’s been in a long time and you know what the best part is that I noticed almost immediately..? My head doesn’t itch. The flakes are gone (except for a few loose ones that I missed with the comb) and the itch is gone, my hair is still healthy, and I didn’t compromise on my real ingredient standards.
Speaking of which.. In my searching for answers to my scalp dilemma, I also found some shampoos and conditioners from a company called Moroccan Method that have the same standards that I do for using real, raw, straight-up ingredients, but they already have it mixed up in a bottle! So if you’re a daring one, and want to brave the world of trial and error in your kitchen and at the grocery store, playing with different natural hair treatments as I do, go for it! But if you’re interested in natural hair-care, and just don’t quite have the gumption or creative mind-set to make it up as you go… check out these shampoos and conditioners. You’ll have the same quality (if not better!) of ingredients that you would have if you mixed it yourself, but it’s made by professionals who know what they’re doing, and you won’t have the hassle of mixing, blending, gooping, and rinsing. 😉
So, have happy hair days, get rid of those chemical laden atrocities in your bathroom closet, and come back to natural goodness! 😉