I’ve fought a hard, frustrating battle with all-natural hair care this past week.
I’ve discovered that most completely natural hair product DIY recipes are for black girl hair, and that makes a HUGE difference in how my hair reacts to their methods.
I’ve had hair that’s dry like straw, tangled like vines in the jungle, and greasy up like an oil wrestler.
Here’s the tally of experiments I’ve put my hair through (so far):
- Castile Soap – by itself, this dried my hair out like straw
- Vinegar Rinse – since my hair was already dry, I tried just using a vinegar rinse the next morning, only to have greasy hair at work all day
- Herbal Shampoo – made with herbal tea and some castile soap, this had no washing effect on the grease in my hair
- Coconut Oil Conditioning – unlike instructions, this took two rounds of straight castile soap to rinse out and degrease my stringy hair
- Castile Soap, Black Tea Rinse – the soap did its drying thing, and the tea did nothing (other than making my hair even more tangled than the previous attempts)
- Castile Soap, Just on My Bangs – avoiding further damage to the length of my hair, I just washed the greasy bang area around my face (and it was all still very dry)
- Aloe – hair became very soft and manageable
- Aloe, Round 2 – same method, bangs were a bit “heavy” (greasy looking and acting, but didn’t feel greasy at all)
- Aloe, Round 3 – same method, hair acted greasy enough to spike without hair gel (aloe as shampoo alone clearly doesn’t strip any oils, and it adds its own moisture)
- Castile Soap – by itself, after three days of aloe it didn’t dry me out like before
- 50/50 Castile/Aloe – used this morning, awaiting dry hair for results
As you can see, I haven’t cheated. My normal shampoo and conditioner are packed away in the cupboard, out of reach. I’ve put up with this process, and I have one really good reason.
I live with horrible, daily dandruff. I use dandruff shampoo (and conditioner) 99% of the time. I’ve tried various treatments for dandruff, from moisturizing methods for the skin itself to detox for your scalp via vinegar rinses. Regardless, I constantly deal with some level of dandruff.
Even with all these failures, my scalp has stopped producing constant flakes. I can guess why. As someone allergic to many chemical cleaners and some skin care products, it should be no surprise that my scalp reacted to the dozens of chemicals found in normal shampoo and conditioner. I probably had a constant allergic reaction going, albeit a small one.
I’m determined to find a shampoo mix that works, or to find a balance between using castile soap and aloe conditioner (if that works… it’s on the “try it” list). Forget being eco-friendly or saving the environment; I legitimately can claim selfishness as the core reason for continuing on this path toward hippy hair care. The fact it all helps limit or prevent pollution is just an awesome side benefit.