Skincare may be my main business but Olive & Joyce is all about self-care and all-natural beauty and the only thing I know that’s as beautiful as your skin is your hair.
Now, I might sound like a parent when I say this but the best thing you can do to keep your hair healthy is to leave it alone (mostly). Don’t dye it (oops), definitely don’t bleach it (oh dear). Don’t use heat on it, don’t straighten it with heat, don’t curl it with heat. Don’t put your hair up in tight up-dos or put products on it that contain chemicals. But - I know you won’t take all of this advice. I know because I haven’t always and still sometimes don’t. We may have the best intentions but not all of us can learn to love the grey (me personally i am just not ready) and hair straighteners are an easy fix for bed hair that needs a quick rescue. The point is, we’re not always going to do right by our hair but we can try to make up for it by giving it the basic care it needs.
Too many of us are also looking after our hair as we’ve been raised to, without questioning whether the methods our mothers used were the best. Or, we’re listening to the beauty industry, taking in all their tips and advice and overlooking that their goal is to sell us more products.
So, I’m going to let you in on a few things you may or may not know about your hair and I’m going to share my top all-natural hair care tips:
Wash Only Hair Roots And Condition Only Hair Ends
One thing you do need to do with your hair regularly is to wash it. How often will depend on your hair type but generally you’ll be able to tell when your hair needs washing because it will start to feel greasy or begin to smell. There are some theories that the natural oils in our hair make it self-cleaning if we’d just allow it the time but let’s face it, we live in a dirty world. One where the air is full of car fumes and cigarette smoke and all sorts of other pollutants. So shampooing is a sensible choice.
I love an all-natural shampoo but whatever you use, whether liquid or a shampoo bar, you should only apply it to the scalp and roots. This is not to say you don’t clean your hair’s middle part and ends, but you don’t need to apply product to them as the shampoo will clean them as it’s rinsed out of your hair. It is the scalp and roots where the product is most needed but by applying it everywhere we’re using too much product. This can overstimulate our hair and ultimately wastes product and money. However, you should use your conditioner in the opposite way and condition only hair ends.
Apply conditioner only to the ends of your hair, where it’s actually needed. The ends of our hair need extra moisture because they’re furthest from the natural oils produced at the scalp and are also the most likely part of our hair to get damaged. Since the roots benefit the most from the body's natural oils, conditioner is not only not needed here. In fact, it can coat our hair unnecessarily and weigh it down making volume harder to achieve.
Plait Your Hair For Natural Curls Without Heat
Many people with straight hair, long for curls. It’s not just that they add texture, they also provide volume. Yet, using heated irons to add ringlets or curls is one of the easiest and most common ways to damage your hair. You wouldn’t apply direct heat to any other part of your body, so why your hair?
A great way to get flowing curls without damaging your locks is to plait your hair and leave it overnight. This works best when hair is damp but beware, wet hair is fragile and more likely to break when brushed, so use your fingers and keep it loose. Remember, your plaits don’t need to look perfect. Use French plaiting if you want your waves to start from the roots or plait from the nape of the neck for softer waves through the ends.
Admittedly, this doesn’t work as well for all hair types but can be one of those game-changing all-natural hair care tips for those with fine or lank locks. Apart from the very natural-looking finished look it’s immensely satisfying to unplait your hair in the morning and unleash those waves. It also looks more natural than anything you can achieve with tongs, so it's a great way to hold the heat and still bring the fire.
Handle Wet Hair With Care
We might think of our hair as strong when it’s wet. After all, it’s probably just been washed and conditioned, it’s clean and it’s nourished with all the lovely water. However, this is actually when it's most vulnerable. There is an elastic quality to our hair strands when wet and that makes them highly susceptible to snapping. This is why you should neither brush nor put up wet hair. Forcing your damp strands with any tools or pulling or stretching them at all is likely to cause breakage. Instead, try to allow your hair to remain loose and to dry naturally. If you
absolutely must brush it, use a wide-length comb.
Heat is something you also want to avoid applying to your hair at all times. Straighteners and tongs are known to cause the worst harm but hairdryers aren’t ideal either. The healthiest way to dry your hair is naturally and by avoiding using a brush until it has dried. This may mean you start washing your hair in the evenings as opposed to the mornings but changing your routine may be worth it, especially if you already have dry or damaged hair or if you’re looking after particularly long or thick hair.
Oiling Your Hair With Hair Oil
If you’re lucky then your hair will contain lots of natural oil to keep it shiny and lustrous. However, those of us with thicker hair, curly hair and those of us who damaged our hair in our youth often struggle to produce the oils we need to compensate for this. Or for the environmental factors that attribute to drying our hair out, including central heating, pollution and air conditioning.
In the past, we’ve reached for very unnatural products to compensate for this. But did you know you can get the natural oils our hair needs, in a bottle? When I realised this I started making my own all-natural vegan hair oil and when it restored my thick dry-disposed hair to full shine I introduced it into my collection.
The tradition of oiling hair is an ancient one used to restore, hydrate, protect and feed the hair with the nutrients it needs. Doing this will add a gorgeous sheen to your hair and the great news is you need very little for it to have a big effect on your hair's appearance, making it a very economical product and perfect to carry around in your handbag when your hair needs a boost. For some hair types, oiling doesn't have the desired effect but for others, it is transformational, especially in its ability to naturally smooth out frizzy hair.
Try my vegan hair oil, The Bloom. It's full of gorgeous natural plant-based oils including Argania Spinosa, Rosa Canina fruit oil, Simmondsia Chinensis, Lavandula Angustifolia and much more. It also smells sensational.
Protect Your Hair With Silk Pillowcases
Your hair contains lots of lovely natural oils to help it retain moisture and shine. You’re going to want to keep those locked in. Yet cotton absorbs moisture and what kind of pillowcases do most of us rest our locks on at night? Cotton!
To help your hair retain its natural oils, replace your cotton pillowcases with silk. Not only will this stop your hair from drying out overnight but silk will also be gentler on curls.
Eat Well For Healthy Hair
It’s true - beauty comes from within. Therefore, a lot of it depends on what we put into our bodies too. Our bodies are most beautiful when nourished and healthy. For this, we need to be eating well. Junk food and saturated fats contain very little of what your body needs so you need to ensure you’re getting full on a mostly whole foods diet. Don’t focus on what not to eat, only on what you need to eat. Your hair loves protein, natural fats, omega-3s, vitamins, zinc and iron.
If you’re plant-based then hopefully you are eating lots of dark green leafy vegetables, which are great for your hair, but you also need to ensure you’re getting enough protein because a protein deficiency can result in hair thinning. Beans are an excellent source of protein, as are soya, lentils, nuts and seeds.
Remember that your body can only work with the fuel you give it. So if you want beautiful skin, nails and hair then no product in the world can make up for a bad diet or for not drinking enough water. By all means, get the Friday night takeaway and enjoy some ice cream on occasion, just make sure you’re also getting those nutrient-packed whole foods in your everyday diet.
Top All Natural Hair Care Tips
Do you have any great all-natural hair care tips? We’re big sharers here so keep the discussion going and let us know what hair care tips and tricks work for you. Join the chat on instagram or comment below.
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