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Your Hair Isn't Dirty Laundry: Why It Needs Food Not Detergent

Hair is precious. It is part of us and needs to be loved as much as any part of us. Yet we dry it out, strip it of its natural shine, and force it into shapes with tools that make it brittle. Then, to fix it, we soak it and scrub it with harsh chemicals, further deteriorating its health as well as our scalp. Well, it's time to stop using detergent to weaken our hair and start restoring its natural glory with real food.

Remedying Harsh Hair Care Habits

We all have some guilty habits when it comes to hair care. Some, we think we're doing to help and they wind up making things worse, others we know the danger of but love the 'do. Fortunately, there are ways around them. So, no one is saying we need to stop using our favorite styling tools, but we should take extra care of our hair after using them.

One example of something we do, though trying to help, is over-washing, which might not be so bad, except most use the wrong–toxic–cleaning materials.

Is Over-washing Bad or Not?

How frequently we should be shampooing is determined by quite a few factors. It can change with hair type, due to the coarseness of your strands, treatments, if you have curly hair, if you have oily hair, fine hair, your age (including menopause), your daily activities, and even your current level of overall health.

One thing is for sure, even with variability, many people over-wash their hair. While some say it does not affect hair health, it does seem to have effects on the sebum, which is responsible for delivering your body's natural oil all the way to the tips of your hair. That's an important factor in giving your hair its natural glory back.

Each hair type does come with its own set of struggles though. With long hair, it is harder to deliver the oil all the way to the ends without the scalp becoming a little too greasy. Courser hair fights the battle of becoming dry hair all too quickly. So how do we maintain hair health without shampooing it so frequently?

One solution is to change up the stuff you're shampooing with. Although most people use harsh chemicals in their hair, using a natural shampoo to bolster hair health is key.

The bottom line is that washing too frequently with typical store-bought brands leads to hair thinning, itchy and dried out scalps, and fragile hair. So, rather than harmful chemicals (like triclosan) and other additives that send our hormones out of whack, our hair needs food to balance its health the right way. Down below, we'll talk about using real food to cultivate naturally amazing hair.

Another solution to hair struggles from over-washing is to find a way to extend the days between washing. Typically, even for the sweatiest of regular gym-goers, it's not recommended to wash every day. And washing that often with toxic shampoo... Well, your hair could be in trouble.

In order to extend the days between washes, try our dry shampoo. It has natural goodies (real food for real hair) that boost volume and growth. And if you have darker hair, we have another amazing natural formula for you.

Keeping Coloring Intact

Coloring treatments are another damaging culprit in the realm of hair care habits. Although they do look great, they can also harm our hair. However, with the right products, we can still manage to get a coloring treatment (and even help it last longer) and keep our hair healthy (in the color we want it to be)!

But, as with the solutions to over-washing, food rather than detergent helps keep our hair color intact.

While deep conditioning treatments and leave-in conditioners are the recommended remedies for coloring-damaged hair, there are hidden evils in them too. Sulfates, artificial colorings, and more chemicals work against the very goal the conditioners are trying to accomplish. Fortunately, there are healthy, sulfate-free options, which nourish both the scalp and hair to deliver lasting benefits.

Repairing Damage From Styling Tools

Styling tools are a habit that many of us already know isn't the best for hair care. But with the incredible style they allow, it's hard not to use them at least once in a while. So, instead of quitting them cold turkey, here's how to feel good about using them while still restoring your hair health.

Yep, hair needs food to restore the damage done by styling tools...not more harsh chemicals.

Okay, let's dive in on blow dryers. Heat to the scalp is a potent precursor to inflammation. It dries out everything. It makes tips easier to split and break off, knots become more prevalent, combing is nearly impossible without ripping out hair, and heat leads to flaky scalps.

To help combat that, there are specific foods that reduce inflammation, irritation, balance the hormones in the scalp, coat the hair, retain hydration, and feed it great vitamins and amino acids to bolster its shine and growth (or regrowth).

(Such is the case with nettle and avocado butter, both of which we've talked about in other posts as well. They are ingredients we love).

How to Stay In the Sun Without Ruining Hair

Nobody wants to stay out of the sun. And they shouldn't. The sun is meant to be enjoyed. It's incredibly healthy to soak up the rays. But paired with strong winds, and that awful dryness becomes an issue again.

However, there are some tricks to soaking up the sun, standing against a rush of wind, and enjoying the revitalizing aspects of nature without worrying about weather damage to our precious manes.

One seemingly odd trick is to eat your sunscreen. Our founder, Katie, has talked about this before. Eating to receive nutrients that combat UV damage, supporting the delivery of the energy it gives us instead.

That goes for hair too. But you can't just eat any sunscreen. Most of that stuff is toxic. So, don't do that.

Instead, give your body (and hair) the food it needs to combat UV damage and wrinkling. (Meaning Argan oil, green tea for the antioxidants, avocado, and even more of the foods we use in our scalp-nourishing formulas). Seriously, even a little bit of Argan oil goes a long way for guarding against weather exposure!

The Cost of Using Detergent on Your Hair

While typical store-bought brands of shampoo and conditioner do help make your hair look clean, it's at the cost of your health.

Many personal care products contain harmful ingredients like triclosan (a hormone disruptor). This and other ingredients irritate the scalp and lead to other issues with exposure over time. Between the sulfates, the artificial colors, the harsh stripping chemicals breaking down your hair along with the dirt, synthetic fragrances, and even formaldehyde, shampoos and conditioners are a problem.

They kill hair health... Unless you know how to pick the right one.

The Kind of Shampoo That Feeds Hair

Again, not all shampoos are equal. Some shine above the rest. Some deliver nourishing ingredients that keep our manes glowing even after a hard day in the sand and sun.

Why? The food.

Not toxic substances. Real food.

Here's a rundown of some wholesome foods that do exactly what we want them to when it concerns hair care.

  • Avocado butter (Moisturizing with it guards against UV damage, conditioning and coating the hair. The fat content delivers more bioavailable forms of vitamins, helping our hair and scalp receive more even with less washing.)
  • Nettle (This wild-harvested, backyard plant boosts hair growth uniquely. While we've talked about that in another post, the short of it is this–it helps block the overproduction of out of whack hormones on the head. It also delivers nutrients and increases circulation while keeping inflammation down.)
  • Argan oil (This one is especially useful for guarding against wrinkles, UV damage, eczema, and breakage. As a conditioning treatment, it is phenomenal.)
  • Aloe Vera (It reduces itching and dandruff, conditions the hair, promotes hair growth, and can add some shine.)
  • Lavender (It detoxifies the scalp and balances out the natural pH of hair.)

While there are more foods (even in just our hair products, those are some of the most potent ones haircare lines have to offer. If you're interested in checking out more of our powerful natural ingredients, we have a big list already made for you.

Food Over Detergent

To say the least, our hair deserves food, not detergent. Rather than stripping your hair of its precious vitality, use our natural products to revamp your luscious locks. See how easy it is to boost your hair's volume, growth, and shine naturally in as little as 30 days! A little lather with real ingredients goes a long way.

Resources

Wells, Katie. (2019, April 9). Why I Eat My Sunscreen to Protect Skin From the Inside Out. Wellness Mama. https://wellnessmama.com/4621/eat-my-sunscreen/

Wells, Katie. (2020, February 26). 8 Benefits of Stinging Nettle (& How to Use It in Tea, Tonics, Haircare & More). Wellness Mama. https://wellnessmama.com/4807/nettle-herb-profile/

Wells, Katie. (2012, May 14). The Importance of Balancing Stress Hormones. Wellness Mama. https://wellnessmama.com/4925/balancing-stress-hormones/

Wells, Katie. (2020, January 24). Health Benefits of Avocado Oil: Is It Healthier Than Coconut Oil? Wellness Mama. https://wellnessmama.com/123677/avocado-oil/

Wells, Katie. (2020, April 29). Top 10 Argan Oil Benefits for Skin, Face, and Hair. Wellness Mama.

https://wellnessmama.com/426023/argan-oil-benefits/

Wells, Katie. (2015, March 31). Do Food Dyes Affect Behavior? Wellness Mama.

https://wellnessmama.com/36873/do-food-dyes-affect-behavior/

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