Natural Hair Care: How to Look After Your Hair Naturally

Switching from non-natural to organic, natural hair care products could be the best thing you do for your hair and scalp.

Natural hair care products are gentle and nourishing on your skin and hair, and also kind to the environment. Using them helps to reduce pollution, waste, and carbon emissions. Most are vegan, cruelty-free, ethically made, and sustainable.

And once you’ve made the switch, we’re confident there will be no going back.

Looking after your hair naturally is about using only safe and nourishing ingredients on your hair and skin, avoiding chemicals and unnatural products and processes. The emphasis is on caring for skin and hair from the inside out by nourishing your body and keeping it healthy, rather than masking problems using synthetic ingredients.

Ready to start embracing natural hair care? Here are our top tips and advice to help get you started.                                                                                          

How to take care of your hair naturally

Taking care of your hair naturally means treating it gently and using the right ingredients to care for it.

Here are our top tips for achieving beautiful, healthy, glossy hair naturally:

  • Use natural hair care products only

    This is the bread and butter for achieving naturally healthy hair. Non-natural products that contain chemicals can dry hair out over time, causing it to become dull and brittle as well as being bad for both your skin and body.
  • Regularly treat your hair to a natural intensive treatment

Get into the habit of using an intensive natural treatment on your hair regularly, once or twice a week, for optimum results. This could be a store-bought product, or a simple DIY treatment made from store cupboard ingredients (more about those later).

  • Minimise bleaching or dying your hair

Bleaching and dying is very damaging for hair and should be kept to a minimum.

  • Minimise drying or styling using heat

Drying or styling hair using heat should be reserved for special occasions only, as repeated use of hairdryers, straighteners, and curlers can damage and dry out hair. Air dry your hair where possible and avoid rubbing it too vigorously with a towel. There are plenty of tutorials online for achieving effortlessly stylish waves and curls without using heat on your hair.

  • Nourish your whole body

Taking care of yourself by eating a healthy and balanced diet can do wonders for your hair. Make sure you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need to nourish your hair and body from the inside out.

  • Take cool or cold showers

Hot water opens your hair’s cuticles, whilst cold water closes them, helping to lock in moisture, reduce hair loss, and make your hair appear shinier. If you can’t face cold showers first thing in the morning, try finishing your hair wash with a cold blast.

  • Don’t brush wet hair

Did you know that your hair is three times weaker when it’s wet than when it’s dry? Leave your hair to air dry and resist the temptation to brush until it is almost completely dry. It will be easier to remove knots at this point.

  • Trim hair regularly

Having your hair trimmed regularly, every six to eight weeks or so, will help remove split ends that can cause further damage if left untreated.

Where to buy natural hair care products

When shopping for natural hair care products, it’s important to do your research to ensure the product you’re buying is natural and not simply packaged to look like it is.

Many of those you'll find in-store at big chain supermarkets are packed full of chemicals, even when the label on the front looks ‘green’ and markets the product as being natural.

The best way to ensure you’re buying genuinely natural products is to be diligent and commit to investing in trusted brands.

You can shop directly with eco-friendly businesses in-store, or on their website. There are also many stores and websites that specialise in selling natural, eco-friendly beauty products. For example, you can check out our range of Eco-Friendly gift sets here.

What are the best natural hair care products?

Finding natural hair care products that are truly non-toxic, organic, and contain 100 per cent natural active ingredients can be challenging.

However, if know where to look, you will find that there is a high performance, natural alternative for all your favourite non-natural products, including:

  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Serums
  • Dry shampoos
  • Intensive leave-in conditioners
  • Hair masks
  • Detangler
  • Styling cream
  • Solid shampoo and conditioner bars
  • Hairspray

Natural shampoos and conditioners are often available as solid bars, but don’t fall into the trap of assuming that all solid shampoo and conditioner bars are automatically natural because some still contain sulphates and other harsh or synthetic ingredients.

Chemicals to avoid in hair care products

When browsing a list of ingredients on the labels of hair care products, it can be difficult to identify what is natural and what isn’t.

If you know what you’re looking for, you will find some repeat offenders often appear in non-natural products that can be particularly harsh on your hair and scalp.

If it’s natural hair care products you’re after, steer clear of any products that list the following in their ingredients:

Sulphates

Sulphates are strong detergents that are often added to shampoos to help them to lather and cleanse. They can be harsh on the hair, stripping it of its natural oils and leaving it feeling dry and brittle. If you suffer from dry or sensitive skin, sulphates may also irritate your scalp or cause skin to flake.

Look out for:

  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)

Alcohols

This one can be a little complicated, because there are two different types of alcohol used in hair products; the good ones, and the bad.

Over time, ‘bad’ alcohol will dry out your hair, leaving it feeling brittle, frizzy, and weak. The majority of high street hair products contain these in varying quantities.

'Bad' alcohols look like:

  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Ethanol alcohol
  • Propanol alcohol
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Propyl alcohol

On the other hand, you may also find ‘good’ alcohols in some hair care products. These are generally fatty alcohols that are naturally derived from plants and oils. This type is usually added to hair products to thicken them, but also benefits the hair by smoothing, moisturising, and detangling it.

Good alcohols look like:

  • Lauryl alcohol
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Myristyl alcohol
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Behenyl alcohol
  • Oleyl alcohol

Parabens

Parabens are sometimes added to hair care products to preserve them and prevent bacteria from growing. The problem with parabens is that they also absorb through the skin and into our bodies. It is thought that parabens can negatively affect the body because they mimic the hormone oestrogen. Some studies have even linked parabens to cancer, but the strength of these claims is so far unclear. Nevertheless, its’ something we’d rather avoid putting on our hair or skin.

Parabens look like:

  • Propylparaben
  • Benzylparaben
  • Methyl-paraben
  • Butylparaben

Silicone

Silicone is a type of man-made plastic that is often added to non-natural hair care products to coat hair and make it appear shiny. However, all this does is  mask any problems with the hair rather than nourishing and repairing it.

The issue with silicone is that it can build up on the hair, eventually weighing it down and making it appear greasy, dull, and flat. Silicone creates a barrier around the hair, which can prevent more nourishing ingredients from reaching it and even interrupt cell renewal.

Having layers of plastic coating the hair doesn’t sound appealing, particularly if you’re environmentally conscious.

If you want to avoid products that contain silicone, look out for ingredients that end in ‘cone’ and ‘conol’, some of the most common include:

  • Dimethicone
  • Amodimethicone
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Pheryl trimethicone
  • Dimethiconol

Natural hair care product ingredients

Natural hair care products use natural ingredients, often derived from plants, in the place of synthetic ones.

Natural ingredients are gentler, and more nourishing, than synthetic ones. They make your hair healthy and beautiful from the inside out, rather than masking problems with the hair.

It can sometimes be difficult to identify natural ingredients from synthetic ones when faced with a long list of terms.

There are, however, some common natural alternatives that often appear in natural hair care products. Looking out for these can help you to identify products that are using natural alternatives.

Cleanser

For cleaning, instead of sulphates, natural products use natural surfactants like soapwort, ginseng (ginsenosides), and Castille soap.

Moisturiser

To moisturise the hair, natural products may replace synthetic alcohols and silicones with natural oils and butters including coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, argan oil, castor oil, mango butter, and shea butter.

Hydration

To keep hair hydrated, natural hair care products may use honey, vegetable glycerin, panthenol (vitamin b-5), or lecithin (a natural fat).

Emulsifier

Natural emulsifiers include plant waxes, lecithin, and xanthan  gum.

Preservative

Instead of potentially harmful parabens, natural hair care products are often preserved and protected from bacteria by using essential oils or antioxidants.

Protein

Proteins are added to hair care products to strengthen the hair. Instead of synthetic proteins like collagen, casein, and keratin, natural hair care products use plant-based proteins derived from sources like quinoa, silk, or algae.

Here at Nereus London, our hair care products contain active ingredients and fragrances which are 100 per cent natural. We use guar gum, pomegranate enzymes, witch hazel water, and plant extract to safely nourish, exfoliate, and moisturise your scalp while smoothing, cleansing, and strengthening your hair.

What is the best natural hair care treatment?

As well as regular cleaning with a high-quality natural hair care product, treating your hair to a more intensive natural treatment once a week can help to keep it beautifully healthy and glossy.

While there are some excellent natural intensive treatments available to buy, it can be just as effective to whip up your own natural treatment at home using common natural beauty ingredients. you can find in your  cupboards at home.

Here are some of the top ingredients for intensive and natural hair care treatments.

Oil treatment

There are many different types of natural oil that can be beneficial to hair and scalp health, including both essential oils and carrier oils.

Oil treatments can either be applied hot or cold, on just the ends of the hair or all over including the scalp. The type of treatment you choose and how you apply it should depend on your hair type and the results you would like to achieve.

Popular carrier oils for hair include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Almond oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Sweet almond oil

Essential oils that are popularly used in natural hair treatments include:

  • Cedarwood
  • Lavender
  • Clary sage
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary

Egg treatment

Egg is one of the most popular natural hair treatments, with many people swearing by  egg masks for nourishing their hair and scalp, as well as encouraging natural hair growth.

Honey

Make a honey hair treatment by combining honey with an oil, like olive oil or coconut oil, to naturally nourish and moisturise your hair and scalp for smoother, shinier, healthier hair.

Apple cider vinegar

Rinsing hair with apple cider vinegar can help to fight scalp infections, reduce dandruff, remove product build-up from hair, and restore hair to its natural PH level to achieve stronger and smoother locks.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera gel can be used to stimulate hair growth, give hair a natural shine, and restore hair’s natural PH.

Ready to start your journey to naturally luscious locks?

At Nereus London, we offer a natural hair care range containing luxurious, spa-quality products without all the chemical nasties.

We use plastic-free, eco-friendly packaging and have partnered with Plastic Bank to help clean up plastic pollution with every bottle we sell.

Investing in our natural hair care range is an investment in our planet’s future.