Natural Hair Care Products by jamesdweaver

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Tips, Advice and How-To's on hair care, hair loss, and reviews of hair care products.

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Natural Products for Hair Care


What exactly are 'natural' products for hair care?



What does the word 'natural' really mean in a shampoo or hair care product?



In my opinion, no word is abused more than 'natural' in the beauty industry (a close second
would be 'low fat', abused widely by the food industry). Label after label mention this word
proudly, preferably in bright, green letters. It, of course, helps to fool the buyer into believing
that the product is more natural than it really is, that everything was manufactured and bottled
in some quaint meadow by hand rather than some dark and grey warehouse by machines.



In the purest sense of the word, a product would be truly natural if it contained no chemicals at
all. If the ingredients list of a product has no vague, chemical sounding names, then you can
safely say that it is natural.



But to be perfectly honest, no product can be completely 'natural'. If it were that way, it probably
wouldn't last on your shelf for more than a few days. So every shampoo, conditioner, tonic, etc.
has to have certain chemicals to act as preservatives if nothing else.



A lot of Ayurveda products claim to be 'natural'. Ayurveda, which is an ancient Indian medical
science that utilizes herbs, spices, fruits and other ingredients for formulating cures, is largely
chemical free. You can create Ayurveda cures at home yourself, though a lot of companies are
selling them online and at health stores these days. One Ayurveda hair tonic, for instance, makes


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use of a mixture of coconut and jasmine oil, along with extract of amla (Indian gooseberry),
'shikakai' and henna. This mixture can be made at home and is absolutely fabulous for the hair.



Ayurveda, however, is still at the fringes of the hair care industry. Few people know about it
and a larger proportion still doubt its efficacy. In the mainstream hair care and beauty industry,
it is impossible to find completely natural products for hair care. One of the most respected
companies in the business - Aveda - which I recommend highly, freely admits that its products
are largely derived from plants but refrain from using the word 'natural'. Nevertheless, the
company strives to use only the bare minimum amount of chemicals, and uses only those that it
deems necessary to prolong the shelf life of its products, or produce suds (consumers scarcely
trust a shampoo that doesn't produce suds) and other aesthetically pleasing effects (color, smell,
etc.).



What you should look out for are synthetic substances in the ingredients list. An ingredient
should either be derived from natural sources, or should explicitly be a chemical. Aloe Vera and
jojoba oil - two common ingredients in many hair care products - are often derived from
synthetic sources but aren't credited as such in the ingredients list. So be very careful of
products that promise these two ingredients.



I would also like to point out the fetishism that has come to be associated with the word
'natural'. Just because something is natural doesn't mean that it is actually good for you.
Petrochemicals are completely natural, but clog up pores and are very harmful to your hair. So
instead of looking explicitly for natural products for hair care, take a more holistic overview of
the product. If it tries to minimize the use of chemicals, and shies away from using synthetic
versions of ingredients, then you can be sure that it is a good bet.




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