Where to begin? For the past three years, I’ve been changing my hair color from one spectrum to another. By this I mean I would have very dark hair, bleach it to light, encounter orange, green, and fried hair, cut it very short, dye it dark, then repeat the process yearly.
This happened three times. -_________-
I know…you would think I would learn. The first time was the worst, as I had black hair. I spent many hours undergoing the change only to be left with orange-toned, hay-stack-textured hair. To be fair, I was told it will not be easy, but it is very incorrect to spend 6-7 hours to bleach someone’s hair in one session. This was repeated in the other instances as well. At least in the second two attempts I had dark brown hair rather than black. It was a process that repeated because I was just very, very impatient and quick to change my mind, and I also kept going to the wrong hair stylists. Fast forward and now I’m recovering from last year’s platinum, fried, and broken apart strands. and have short hair once again (which I actually love hah).
So now let’s talk about my relationship with natural hair care through all this!
I started my shift into non-toxic beauty with skincare, then makeup, and hair was last of all. I assumed that it was just a quick rinse in water- why would a few chemicals bother me? Until I started taking a closer look, which was one year ago, I decided to detox my hair products as well.
I started my hair detox with Josh Rosebrook’s Balance line. The scent on this product, first of all, is wonderful. I had both the shampoo and conditioner, and later branched out to try the Lift spray, Styling Cream, and Enrich mask. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the shampoo and conditioner from the Balance line actually did a fantastic job with my hair and proved to be better than the conventional products I was using- my hair was so soft and shiny. The Styling Cream unfortunately did not work for my hair, as it felt sticky and weighed my hair down a bit. I passed it onto my mom and she shared the same opinion as me. The Lift Spray, however, I must say I really, really enjoyed using to add volume texture to my hair, and still use it time and time again now. It accomplishes those two things with the crunchy feeling you get from salt sprays, so I have never even bothered to purchase one. It’s definitely one of my favorites. Now the Enrich Mask is my absolute favorite product OF THEM ALL, because it truly helped my hair out after all the disasters that left it so, so damaged. I had to use it as my conditioner rather than a weekly treatment because of how bad things got, but this really truly was my savior to hydrate my hair. I could almost fake having normal hair when I used this product, and when I didn’t, let’s just say it was obvious the state of quality my hair was in. The Nourish line did not work for my damaged hair, as I have always leaned more towards an oily scalp, and the Enrich mask was just superior for the hydration I needed. I wouldn’t even bother with using leave-in products on my hair afterwords when I used this mask. It is a pricey line, however- and I do not doubt that the price reflects upon the quality and ingredients of the product- so I’ll repurchase these products once in a while rather than repeatedly replace them once they run out. My most common repurchase from this line is hands down the Enrich Mask.
Unfortunately, as I switched to natural products and continued to put my hair through turmoil at the salons, I did start to get very sticky, oily hair during different periods of time, and using these products didn’t help very well in that phase. I reverted to other brands such as Rahua and Innersense, whose Volumizing and Color Awakening shampoos, respectively, were once again great products. I enjoyed them both and considered them again to be wonderful replacements for the conventional shampoos I was once using, but either the oily/sticky issue with my hair would not go away, or it would cease for a little and then end up returning again as time passed and I incorporated the products with others from my usual routine.
Now if you take the time to look into it, you’ll learn that this is actually your hair’s way of detoxing from all the chemicals you’ve lathered onto it over the years, and when I was bleaching and visiting the salon at more frequent intervals, I was continuing to deposit more of these chemicals even though I was still using natural products at home.
Thus came in Google and my experimentations to the rescue! Well- “rescue.” I tried Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water as a rinse for my hair, and I even bought a vinegar shampoo rinse that was formulated with different herbs. Surprisingly, the smell was not too atrocious in these experimentations, and I found that even if it was very pungent after immediate use, when I showered again the smell would eventually subside. It would help the oily/sticky situation slightly and would definitely add shine to my hair, but the issue would still remain.
I’m not one to give up however, and at one point last year spent 1-2 months straight in this “sticky” situation. I did not want to return to conventional hair care and decided I would rather put my hair in a bun than shift backwards to toxic products. It’s also really hard to properly care about these things when you’re working, commuting, and going to school all at the same time, mind you.
So, back to today, short hair, recovering…and once again going lighter (yes, I know). However, this time, with a very talented, responsible stylist in charge. I’m being very patient and my hair is in good hands. There are some things that have not changed- I still rely on some of the same products, such as Josh Rosebrook’s Balance line and Enrich Mask. I also now rely on new products: my oily/sticky hair situation has changed for the better, and it is thanks to BrioGeo and Christophe Robin. No more apple cider vinegar experiments and pungent smells! I have been using Briogeo’s Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo, in which “vegetable-derived micro-exfoliators remove dead skin cells and product build-up from the scalp to support a clean, balanced, and healthy scalp.” It foams SO well and I really take my time to massage it into my scalp. Another product I have recently been using is Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt, which is another detoxifying product that lathers very well. I find both these products excellent for detoxing and cleaning my hair, particularly after a color session at the salon. You also only need about a tablespoon when rinsing your hair, so they last quite a long time. Although Christophe’s product is not 100% natural, I’ve decided that I will use it regardless and finish the product since I enjoy it so much. I definitely am not a fan of the added fragrance, however, and that is also another reason I am torn between Briogeo products. I noticed a very strong fragrance from Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask when I was first trying the product, and although I used my sample size until it finished and found it to work nicely in hydrating my hair, the scent was simply too strong. I am sensitive to fragrance and thus this presents an issue for me (I will write more about this topic in the future). However, as from the Safe & Chic site, you can see the following information pertaining to the fragrances they use under the ingredients list:
Thus, if you are also sensitive to non-natural fragrance but are comforted from this excerpt, it may be worth a shot to try the product, since it does work well. I am pleased they do not use toxic additives, but the scent is still simply a little too strong for me. So it comes down to preference, some may love it! For me, however, I will stick with using my favorite Enrich Mask when it comes to deep repair needs. The Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo, thankfully, does not bother me in terms of frangrance. I have also tried Briogeo’s Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa: 4 in 1 co -wash for when I’m lazy and don’t want to use separate products for a shampoo and conditioner, and find that not only am I not as bothered with the added fragrance in this product, but it cleanses and hydrates my hair well! This was a pleasant surprise from my first co-wash purchase.
It’s been a long journey and I’m sure I will continue to try different products, but I do know I have some favorites that will always be part of my Holy Grails for my hair- Enrich Mask & Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo- and I accredit to helping solve different issues I’ve encountered in my hair journey! As I continue trying new products, I will definitely be looking towards ones that have purely natural fragrances or none at all, and that are cost-friendly. Hopefully if you have experienced very damaged or sticky/oily hair, this article will lend you a hand!