Go the organic way with natural products that are good enough to eat, says Shevelle Rhule.
“For me, when I decided to embrace my natural hair I went back to nature with natural products. I think many of us feel that our natural hair thrives when we use natural or naturally derived products,” says natural hair blogger Belle (www.hairspiration.blogspot.com). This is a feeling that has motivated scores of women into the kitchen – not to create the perfect chocolate soufflé, but to try natural combinations of honey, coconut oil and raw egg to encourage luscious hair growth. “Hair roots are just like any other organ in your body – they require nourishment in order to keep functioning properly. Ingredients in natural hair products contain nutrients like proteins, natural antioxidants, amino acids, essential oils, essential fatty acids and vitamins, which nourish your hair from the outside in,” explains Karen Tappin, founder of natural brand Karen’s Body Beautiful. “Since natural hair products do not contain any harmful chemicals, they are side effect free and much better for your health too.”
Growing up we all have very vivid memories of our hair being washed and combed by our mother fortnightly; a varying ritual that we would continue as adult. However, many things that we are often taught about tresses do not encourage optimum hair growth. “A classic example would be using petroleum-based scalp grease aimed at helping you grow longer hair, when in reality it could have an adverse effect on hair growth, as the petroleum blocks the hair follicles which prevents growth,” says Salem Durant, creator of Root2Tip. “This versus a natural hair oil that uses essential oils to boost blood flow to the scalp will assist more with growth.” If you have dreamy memories of having long hair as a child there are many reasons, like the fact that your hair was natural and free from the damaging effect of blow drying and straightening, or the fact that your tresses were often styled in protective braided styles preventing breakage and retaining length.
The natural community has particularly embraced the rise of natural products in the market, although certainly not exclusive to this hair type it’s often the reason many of these organic brands started. “In 2000 I had been natural for more than five years but there wasn’t nearly as much information or product available for hair care as there is today. So, a big part was just trying to make the products that I wanted to use since they didn’t exist in the world,” agrees Jamyla Bennu, creator of natural range Oyin Handmade. They have undoubtedly come a long way in their availability but they’re accessibility still leaves a lot to be desired, believes Belle. “Natural products need to be more readily available, the products exist but unfortunately not everyone is aware of it or able to get hold of them. We need to be able to purchase and replenish these products and not just online or at Whole Foods.” However, many women are still willing to search high and low for the sake of gorgeous tresses. “People are now paying more attention to what they use on their hair and how they care for it. With today’s economy and busy work schedules many people just want healthy beautiful hair that is easy to care for,” enthuses Karen.
Kitchen Start Up
As hair products are naturally sourced it can be great fun and very rewarding to create the mix at home. “Budding kitchen mix-tresses should start with ingredients that are proven to improve the health of the hair. A great conditioning treat for the hair is olive oil and honey in equal parts; this leaves the hair silky soft and not sticky,” explains Salem. “If your hair is feeling weak or breaking then reach into your fridge for mayonnaise or whisk up some raw eggs to give your hair a protein boost.” Other popular concoctions include one part apple cider vinegar to ten parts water as a scalp balancer and hair clarifier, or you could deep condition your hair using avocado mashed with olive oil for the perfect nourishing treat.
Just as the popularity of organic beauty products and mineral make up continues to grow, it is only a matter of time before natural hair products become a booming market. Jamyla concludes, “Chemicals certainly have their place – in preservatives they help food and cosmetics not to spoil, in emulsifiers they help oils and water to mix together in moisturising formulations and in medicines they help us to live longer, healthier lives. But many people are turning towards more naturally sourced ingredients in hair care because of a recognition that the plant kingdom holds so many beauty benefits.”
Oyin Handmade and Karen Body Beautiful is available to buy from www.nexrastore.com and Root2tip from www.root2tip.com
Top 5 Natural Buys
• Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner, £9.99
• Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter Love, £15.99
• Oyin Handmade Honey Wash, £13.99
• Anita Grant Rhassoul Deep Condish, from £5.95
• Root2Tip Vanilla Sun Twurly Butter, £9.86