Friday, January 25, 2013

clean shampoo and haircare

haircare is probably the hardest thing to switch over when trying to go natural with products. we're addicted to super saturated fragrances in our shampoos as well as the "clean" feel we get after a wash. buuut it turns out that the "clean" feeling we get is part of the problem. pretty much all shampoos that you have heard of and used [regardless of price. i'm talking drugstore quality to high-end salon quality] are made with nasty chemicals that seep into our scalps [your scalp is basically a sponge]. not only do these chemicals strip our hair of its needed, natural oils but they also act as hormone disruptors and skin irritants. these same chemicals can be linked to some cancers and reproductive/developmental toxicity. scary stuff, right?

so. what natural shampoos are the best? i have tried about four different kinds, but there are SO many more than that. it seems like, as the natural thing catches on, there is a new brand out there every day. [all of my shampoo recommendations listed at bottom]

of the natural shampoos that i have tried so far, my favorite is Acure Organics. i have tried all three shampoos+conditioners from their line, and i have enjoyed every single one. i think the green one is my favorite though. here are the things that i love about it:
  • it has a strong and delightful scent. it's different, but it's good.
  • IT LATHERS. this is particularly hard to find because the lathering agent in regular shampoos is actually one of those not so great chemicals. so finding a natural one that has even the slightest bit of lather is a rarity.

  • it's only about $10 depending on where you get it. less expensive than salon brands and only slightly more expensive than drugstore shampoos.
  • it gives more of a "clean" feeling than some other natural brands do.

some of the biggest complaints i've heard about making the switch to natural shampoos are 1) the lack of lather issue and 2) the feeling of not having clean hair. i think this shampoo conquers both of these pretty well. it's true that natural shampoos leave a little oil in your hair, but that's because your hair needs it. all you girls who say "i have such greasy hair that i have to wash it everyday, sometimes even twice a day" - the washing of your hair is causing the problem [and probably the kind of shampoo you are using as well]. when you are constantly stripping your hair of its natural oils, it goes into over-time, producing more and more oil to make up for what you have just washed out. it's a vicious cycle that can't be stopped until you back off a little and let your hair calm down. so, whether you are cutting back on washing as often, or switching to natural shampoos altogether, there is a little bit of time where your hair will feel weird or dirty before it readjusts to the change. PRO TIP: wash your hair backwards! meaning, use conditioner first and shampoo second. this is especially good for us fine-haired ladies who get weighed down and greasy from conditioner.

natural shampoos won't feel exactly like your herbal essence, and you'll have to get used to it for sure. but i think we can all move past that for the sake of health, right? right.

also, if you guys aren't using a dry shampoo, you're doing it wrong. dry shampoo is a great way to deal with having a little more oil, whether from less washing or from changing to a natural shampoo. it's also a fantastic way to gain volume and to cut down on getting ready time if you don't want to wash your hair [all my dry shampoo recommendations listed at the bottom].

so what is my personal hair routine? right now i wash my hair about once a week. [and for all of you thinking that i can get away with that because i have short hair, you're wrong. when my hair was long, i was only washing it twice a week. and i know plenty of ladies with longer hair than i ever had that only wash it once a week.] anyways, i wash it once a week and then, twice each week, i use conditioner only. the rest of the time i just use dry shampoo along with a little texture cream for style. and honestly, that's about the same thing i did with long hair as well.

have you all ventured into natural haircare? have you had trouble switching over? have a favorite brand? think everything i am saying is bull****?

<3 jojy

natural shampoos i have tried and liked:

the one that i have not liked:

brands that i want to try that have gotten great reviews:

dry shampoos:

  • Lulu organics [you can also find it in travel size for cheaper]
  • The All-Nighter [comes in different colors to suit your hair color so as not to leave a white residue. GREAT for  some serious volume]
  • Acure Organics [haven't tried this one but i'm sure its great.]
  • or just use regular ol' organic corn starch. i have the lulu and the all-nighter but i typically just reach for a little corn starch and rub it in real good on my roots.

all of the links lead to where you can buy each product. if you don't do online shopping, i reccomend checking your local whole foods and vitamin shoppe. 

[images from]


  1. I use Lulu organics and love it! It smells so so good! I am running out of my cheap low (but not no) sulfate and was struggling with finding a cheaper natural brand. Perfect timing on this post!

  2. I love the orange Acure! Its perfect for my slightly thicker hair and the almondy smell is wonderful. I've been meaning to get a new dry shampoo so I'll definitely check out one of your picks!

  3. Very excited about your dry shampoo choices. I'll have to order one today. I have been using the 'No-poo" regimen of a baking soda and lavender oil scrub and then rinsing with apple vinegar mixed (1 part AV, 3 parts water). I was nervous about starting, but it has worked wonderfully. My hair feels soft and full of body. You do have to get used to the very different feel of the routine (since there's no lathering). Every so often I'll use a little conditioner from whole foods (lavender blend) pre-scrub when I think my hair may need a little more moisture.

    Some people say their hair gets more oily when they first switch to no-poo because the natural oils have been overproducing for so long. But, I didn't have that experience probably because I'd been using more natural shampoo for awhile so I think it was a good adjustment. I've really like the whole thing thus far because it's very cheap and I feel really good about what it's done for my hair.

  4. I've also been No-poo-ing- sort of- since Christmas. For shampoo I'm using a bar of castile soap and it lathers BEAUTIFULLY! Better than any shampoo ever did. Tim has also made the switch to using Castile soap and likes it a lot. Like Nia, I'm using the ACV rinse post soaping- my mix is 1 TBS per 8oz water with a squeeze of lemon juice in there cause i like the smell. Speaking of smell, after my hair dries I can't smell the vinegar at all. Also, like JB, I didn't really have a transition period when i switched over prob b/c I had been using natural shampoos. Anyway, I love it, my hair styles much better, feels great, and I can go way longer between washes than before the switch. I haven't tried the dry shampoo yet, but i think that might be next to see if i can stretch the washes even more. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  5. Per your post, my friend Laura and I ventured to Whole Foods today to grab some Acure. Right now it's on sale for $7.49 (normally 9.99) until the end of Feb, I think. She got the orange shampoo and dry shampoo and I got the green shampoo and conditioner. We're both excited to try it- thanks for the recommendation!