Once upon a time, I created a recipe for an all natural shampoo. It was a much better alternative to the harsh shampoos that I had used for most of my life. After some time, however, I found that it was making my scalp really dry and irritated. After doing some research I learned the value of having a pH balance shampoo recipe. And that’s why I shared my pH Balanced Shampoo recipe.
But the truth is: Hair care is SO personal.
What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. And that’s why today I’m excited to share this ultimate all natural hair care roundup. I’m going to be answering a few of the most common questions I’ve received about natural hair care and then sharing a TON of great recipes and tutorials to hopefully help you find YOUR favorite natural hair care routine.
While there is a lot of great DIY stuff floating around the web, I’ve actually found a product (and company) that I prefer much better to any DIY hair care stuff I’ve tried. For my own scalp issues and for my children’s STUBBORN cradle cap, nothing DIY worked. I found HairStory and was so happy to find natural products that went above and beyond my own strict requirements for hair care. You can read more about why I love them in this post. Or you can visit their shop here.
Common Natural Hair Care Q & A
1. What is “No ‘Poo”?
For those of you just starting out on the natural hair care journey, you are bound to see “No ‘Poo” everywhere you go. Don’t worry, it does NOT have anything to do with your bowels. It’s a short term for “No Shampoo.” The most common approach to No ‘Poo is using baking soda for washing and an apple cider vinegar rinse. I personally do not like this method as the baking soda was so harsh on my scalp. I later learned that it’s because it’s not in line with our scalp’s natural pH. That’s why I created my pH Balanced Shampoo recipe. Some people, however, LOVE the baking soda method… and I say, “If’ it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” If you still haven’t found the best method for you, stick with me. I have lots of ideas in the second part of this post.
2. Why does my hair feel so greasy?
This is probably the number one complaint I got from my pH Balanced Recipe. There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing super greasy hair using natural shampoos:
- Detox – If you are new to natural shampooing or no ‘poo then you have to be prepared for a detox phase. Commercial shampoos strip your hair and scalp of their natural oils, which is why most people feel the need to shampoo daily. As your hair is stripped of oils the body signals for the scalp to produce more. In other words: The harsher the shampoo the more oils your body produces. As you wean yourself from commercial shampoos it will take time for your body to re-balance itself and stop producing so much oil. In the meantime you can expect extra grease and general “gross” hair until your body balances back out. This can take anywhere from 2 – 9 weeks. (Yep… this is not for the faint of heart.) The good news is that once your body finds its balance you can expect more manageable hair with only “shampooing” every couple of days (or even only once or twice a week.)
- Hard Water – For some people the detox phase never seems to end, and it may be a water issue. Hard water can be especially hard on the scalp, and without the harsh detergents found in most commercial shampoos, your hair may never feel really great if you have hard water issues. I found that getting a filter for my shower made a HUGE difference in my hair. (Like this one)
- Condition – For my pH Balanced Shampoo recipe I find it really necessary to use an apple cider rinse. For me, using an ACV rinse has resolved any greasy issues I experienced in the beginning. We’ll talk more about this in a bit.
- Other factors – There can be other factors that I can’t necessarily account for. It could be a combination of detox, water, ingredients, and method…. but unless I can talk to you face to face, see you mix your ingredients together, check your water, and watch you shower… I won’t necessarily know why something isn’t working for you. (And let’s be honest, that would be really awkward.) Ultimately, if you are serious about natural hair care you have to be willing to experiment and keep trying until you find your sweet spot.
3. How do I condition?
I have shared my favorite all natural deep conditioner on the blog, and it’s really great for giving some love to your scalp. It’s not a daily conditioner, though. For daily conditioning I stick with a simple apple cider vinegar rinse (ACV). I use a cleansing bottle (like this) and put 1 – 2 TBS of apple cider vinegar and then fill the rest with filtered water. Since I have really short hair I don’t need a lot. I’ll just squirt some on my scalp, massage it in, and then let it sit for 20 – 30 seconds before rinsing out. It makes my hair feel really good!
4. How much shampoo do I use?
This really depends on your hair, length, water, and other factors. But for the most part I’d say LESS IS MORE. Start with a little and then experiment to find the right amount for you. I have pixie-length hair and will use about 1/2 tsp of my pH Balanced shampoo to wash.
5. I’ve tried everything and my hair is still gross! Why?
Unfortunately, there is no ONE recipe that’s perfect for everyone. Especially because we live in a very toxic world there are just so many reasons why it might not be the best shampoo for you. I’ve had a lot of people tell me how much they love using baking soda, or my original shampoo recipe, or my second pH Balanced recipe. And there are plenty of other people who can’t make it work. Give it some time, experiment, and then do what feels right for your hair.
To help, I’ve included some wonderful all natural hair care resources. Also, I do my best to respond to every question, so be sure to read through the comment sections for trouble shooting.
The Ultimate All Natural Hair Care Guide
Natural Shampoo Alternatives
If you haven’t seen my original natural shampoo recipe or my pH Balanced shampoo recipe, be sure to check them out. Also, take some time with the comments in both those posts as there are LOTS of great ideas from readers like you.
Our Heritage Health has researched several methods used during the Victorian Era to wash the hair naturally. Read all about it here.
There are still plenty of people who are loving the whole No ‘Poo thing, and the key (I believe) is a good Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse as it will help balance the scalp after the harsher baking soda wash. I personally love the “pumped up” from Reformation Acres. If you don’t want to go all out, you can always just use a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in about a cup of water to rinse.
Special Conditioning Treatments
These conditioners are not necessarily daily conditioners. These are some of my favorite “go to” approaches to deep conditioning:
All Natural Deep Conditioner with Coconut Cream
This is my favorite deep conditioner. It’s full of nourishing good fats that help heal damage hair and make it super soft. Get my recipe here.
Banana Hair Conditioner for Split Ends from LA Healthy Living
Banana hair conditioner is a perfect natural hair conditioner. Being rich in vitamins, natural oils, carbohydrates and vitamins, it soothes the cuticle and helps in softening the hair. Bananas improve the hair’s natural elasticity, thus preventing breakage and split ends. Bananas also help your hair shine and improve its growth. Click here to get the recipe.
Nourishing Avocado Hair Mask from The Sprouting Seed
This awesome “smoothie” for your hair heals split ends and leaves your locks silky smooth and soft! Click here to get the recipe.
Coconut Oil Treatment from Holistic Health Herbalist
Check out this great coconut oil hair treatment and find the perfect combination of coconut oil and essential oils for your hair type.
Brushing for Healthier Scalp and Hair
Don’t forget to brush! Did you know that brushing is one of the best things you can do your for your hair and scalp? It’s been shown to help with hair loss, shine, and dryness. Learn all about why brushing is the ultimate in natural hair care from Our Heritage of Health. (This is my favorite kind of brush to use.)
Detox Hair Mask
While some people have great success with the No ‘Poo method, others cannot seem to get their hair past the funk of detox. Check out this great Detox Hair Mask over at Homemade Mommy for a way to get your hair back to good.
Hair Spray: Need a little “hold” in your style? Check out my all natural homemade hair spray recipe. It’s so simple and really effective.
Natural Waves: Want beautiful, natural waves? Learn how you can use a simple braid to get the natural waves you want from Our Heritage Health.
Natural Hair Dye
Henna Dye: I stopped coloring my hair a few years ago. It just didn’t seem right to put such harsh chemicals on my scalp. Luckily there are natural alternatives to coloring your hair. The Paleo Mama gives a great tutorial on how to dye your hair naturally using henna. (And did you know that it has other benefits like curing dandruff and lice!) Find the tutorial here.
Coffee Dye: You can also try dying your hair with coffee (not for blondes!) Check out how over at Thrive Style.
LA Healthy Living shows you how to use coconut oil to deal with dry hair and dandruff.
Up to 60 percent of women may experience hair loss at some point or another. And while the causes may vary from person to person, Mary Vance, a holistic nutrition and wellness coach, has some great solutions to help you deal with hair loss naturally. By addressing hormones, diet and lifestyle, you can stop the shedding! Read her solutions here.
Essential Oils have also been used as a solution to hair loss. Check out the top three essential oils for hair loss over at Leon’s Beauty Tips and Secrets.
Plenty of individuals have gray hair, and it can be very beautiful… but if you’re not a fan of the gray then you may want to consider your shampoo and other factors. Read about the Real Time Mama’s experience with gray hair and her shampoo here.
There you go! What else would you like to see included? What questions do you have about natural hair care?