Hair. Let’s face it. It’s a big deal. I dropped my non-green products cold-turkey. No problem. Sure, I still spritz a Guerlain or Chanel perfume once in a while, but my everyday products that didn’t make the environmentally friendly cut? Gone. Except one thing. My hair products. I clung onto those silicones and heavy weight conditioners for dear life. I was afraid. Very afraid, to see what kind of frizz-ball mess I would be left with if I abandoned the coating of 30 weight oil on my hair.
Let me put my hair in context. It’s very thick, wavy, and frizz-prone around the hair-line. My sister can vouch for this. Any time we go to the salon, the stylist invariably exclaims to us, “my god you two have a lot of hair”! It’s not a complaint, just laying the ground work here to let you know that if I can wean myself off the hard stuff, anyone can.
Giovanni’s 50/50 Balanced Shampoo was my scary leap into the no sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) realm. SLS is a foaming agent that gives soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, etc a great lather, but also can be drying, as well as a skin and eye irritatant. I chose 50/50 Balanced because it got rave reviews on the hair care board at MakeupAlley and is reasonably priced. For a shampoo with no SLS, it foams nicely, which was my initial concern. It also smells pleasant, rinses well, and doesn’t leave my hair feeling like straw, which is a common complaint with natural shampoos. I now use Giovanni’s 50/50 routinely, but I like to mix it up a bit with John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo which lathers really well and smells amazing. The rosemary scent is fresh and invigorating. I also love Dr. Hauschka’s Macadamia Orange Shampoo, which has a bitter orange scent, and leaves my hair really soft. Both the John Masters and Dr. Hauschka shampoos would be my first choices, but they are more expensive than the 50/50 Balanced, so I use that more often. Costco used to carry 50/50 Balanced in large bottles, but from what I understand, it is harder to find there these days.
For my conditioner, I started with John Masters. His Citrus and Neroli Detangler got so many amazing reviews on MakeupAlley, I had to use it right off the bat when I was weaning myself off the silicone conditioners. I also used his Lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner to curb the shock of the withdrawal. Surprisingly, I found the Neroli Detangler to be so effective that I only needed the Intensive Conditioner a couple times a week, if that. Since my hair is so thick I also used, and still do, the Neroli Detangler as a leave-in conditioner. Again, this is not the cheapest product ever, so I did check out Giovanni’s 50/50 Balanced Conditioner, and I do like it, and use it regularly. But I always use the John Masters Neroli Detangler as a leave-in conditioner, no matter what.
I have to admit, it took me a lot longer to let go of the “out of the shower” routine. It was just one product, but I felt like it was the one thing that really kept the frizzies under control; Frederic Fekkai’s Glossing Cream. I was addicted to it and only found the courage to try something new about two or three months ago. Intelligent Nutrients Organic Styling Creme has made it easy to come off my Fekkai habit, which unfortunately contains petrochemicals, parabens, silicones, and possibly phthalates as “fragrance” is listed as an ingredient. Intelligent Nutrients Organic Styling Creme doesn’t have that creamy consistency, and it smells a bit like salad dressing, but it works and is 25% off here. And that slightly vinegary smell, it lasts for a mere two seconds and then it’s gone. I also have become a big fan of Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil. Just a few drops rubbed in my palms and then distributed throughout the ends of my hair gives defined wavy curls and helps it last that way for a couple of days. The Neem Hair Oil is the only product I have mentioned thus far that might not be appropriate for those with fine or thin hair. It would most likely be too heavy as a little goes a long way.
So if you’ve been curious about switching to a greener shampoo and/or conditioner, my recommendation is to start with Giovanni 50/50 Balanced Shampoo and John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler. They are both widely available and a great introduction into hair care that’s better for you and the planet.
posted by ~Trish