So we all know the no ‘poo method doesn’t work. In fact, it basically ruined my hair when I used it. I thought no ‘poo was the only way to have a natural hair care routine, so I kept at it.
My scalp got super dry, my hair fell out in clumps and it looked so dull and limp. I have learned my lesson, and I’m busy getting my hair healthy again.
But I won’t put anything synthetic on my hair ever again. So then how can I still have a natural hair care routine, you ask? I’m going to tell you exactly how to have a natural hair care routine without going no ‘poo.
Of course, we all have different hair types, textures, lengths and thickness so what works for me might not be practical for you.
I have very fine and straight hair. Nevertheless, I do follow some care practices that I think everyone can use.
It’s not really that much about a specific routine, it’s more about what you do for your hair when it needs it.
I’m going to tell you what I do for my hair and share my full routine. Hopefully, it will help you figure out what kind of routine works for you.
On the left is where I was using the no ‘poo method, my hair was damaged and unhealthy. On the right is where I use natural shampoo, my hair grew so fast and now looks healthy.
These pictures were taken only 5 months apart.
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All of the products I mention in this post are from an online shop that specializes in natural, clean beauty and lifestyle products that use responsibly sourced and organic ingredients.
I absolutely love them and only buy my products through them. They’re called FaithfulToNature. You can check out their website by clicking the button below if you’re interested.
What I do
Since, I guess, it’s not really an everyday routine and more of a cycle, I should probably start by saying that I don’t wash my hair every day.
I leave it until it’s pretty oily and all the natural hair oils have coated my scalp and half of my strands. That normally happens about three days after my last wash.
Sometimes I hold out for four days and if I’m feeling some strong willpower and my week is really quiet, I leave it for the whole week. It just depends on how quickly my hair gets oily.
This is something that I think everyone should do because if you wash your hair every day your scalp can become dry and your hair can break more easily.
It happens because you keep stripping the hair and scalp from the natural oils that are there to protect it and keep it nourished. So not washing it that often keeps it healthy and strong.
Before I wash my hair, I take 5 minutes and do the inversion method. Basically what that is, is just putting your head upside down and massaging your scalp.
That way you get some blood flow and circulation to your scalp while making sure the natural oils spread evenly. It really stimulates the hair follicles so the hair can grow better and (hopefully) become a little thicker.
When my scalp gets dry and itchy, which it does often, I first rinse my hair with a teaspoon of lemon juice diluted in a cup of water.
It helps with the pH balance of my scalp. If you need more acidity or don’t want to risk lightening your hair, you can use apple cider vinegar too.
Extra scalp care
If my hair feels dry or looks like it could use some extra love, I use hair oil on my scalp and massage it in using the inversion method.
I do it before I wash my hair because that’s when it can really penetrate the hair shaft and lift the dirt off the scalp. Also, then I don’t have to wash my hair again unnecessarily to get the hair oil out.
This happens typically once in two weeks or once a month, depending on what my hair needs. I leave it on for about 30 minutes because it pretty much takes that long to soak in.
Leaving it longer, maybe overnight, is a waste of time for me.
The hair oil I like to use is a local, South African made oil by Suki Suki Naturals.
It contains 12 hair oils, including sweet almond, macadamia nut, avocado, grapeseed, argan, kalahari melon, marula, baobab, jojoba and neroli oil.
There’s extra virgin olive and coconut oil in there too, which I’m pretty sure are carrier oils because their molecules might be too large to penetrate the hair shaft.
This is also something I think everyone can do, especially if you get an itchy scalp sometimes. It’s very effective at giving you that shine and helping your hair get good nourishment.
Oils also attach to other oils so it helps clean your hair.
There are plenty of hair oils out there. I think using one made in your home country is better because it’s better suited to the climate and environment your hair is in.
My natural hair wash
And now, for the part we’ve all been waiting for: what the heck do I wash my hair with? Well, drumroll please…
I use shampoo. I know, right?. But it’s not just any shampoo, don’t you worry.
It contains naturally derived ingredients that feed my hair while cleaning off the excess oil and dirt on my hair.
The cleaning part is done by something called SLSA. For me, it’s the only way I have found to have a natural hair care routine.
But wait, isn’t SLS so bad for your hair? Yes, it’s the big bad, don’t use it. But SLSA is not SLS. Far from it.
SLSA is plant-derived. Lots of plants have a foaming agent that has cleaning properties, so that’s really all it is. It’s gentle on your scalp and it cleans away dirt and excess oil without completely stripping it.
When I buy shampoo, I look for simplicity. I want the cleaning agent and I want a nourishing agent, nothing more. It needs to be all-natural too. If the ingredient list gets too long, I put it back.
Because my scalp gets irritated if I overload it. For you, it might be different so getting the right shampoo for your hair is going to take some trial and error.
At the moment I’m using a strawberry crush shampoo by Hey Gorgeous. It’s also locally made. It contains distilled water, coconut milk, coconut oil, SLSA, botanical infusions and essential oils.
The essential oils are the strawberry, I’m guessing.
If you live in the United States and you would like to switch to all-natural shampoo, I recommend Plaine Products.
They use saponified oils, organic green tea and other natural ingredients in their formula instead of SLSA.
What I love about Plaine Products is that they have a zero-waste and plastic-free system, taking care of both you and the planet.
You can click the button below to find out more about their hair care and how their system works.
Washing my hair
I find that only shampooing once with natural shampoo works fine for me because I don’t have a lot of hair. If I have the hair oil on I might shampoo twice just to get all the oils off.
How many times you shampoo is going to depend on your hair thickness and how much oil is in your hair.
With natural shampoos, it’s OK to shampoo more than once because it won’t dry out your hair.
If you have really thick hair and you’re struggling to get the shampoo spread through your scalp, you can always use a shampoo brush. They’re great because they won’t break your hair.
You get silicone ones, they’re made from plastic which isn’t good, but you can use it for years so it’s not wasteful. I’m not sure if there are bamboo ones but if you can find one then that would also work great.
For a long time, I didn’t use conditioner because I used to use a coconut oil mask. It left my hair dry and hard to manage because most oils, especially coconut oil, have molecules that are too big to penetrate the hair shaft.
So I started using natural conditioner to see if it made a difference. For me it definitely has. Because the oils from my scalp don’t reach all the way down to my ends, the conditioner helps with nourishing my ends.
To go with my shampoo, I use strawberry crush conditioner. It contains strawberry essential oil, coconut oil, jojoba and other essential oils.
The coconut oil serves as a carrier oil because it’s not good to use essential oils on their own.
Plaine Products also has conditioners to match with their shampoos.
It contains almost the same ingredients, much like my strawberry crush shampoo and conditioner, but it has more moisturizing ingredients too and no saponified oils.
I put the conditioner on after I shampoo and just leave it on while I wash the rest of me. I rinse it off with cold water to really get the moisture into my hair shaft because cold water closes the pores.
My hair mask
If my hair looks dry and has a bad texture I use the hair oil again. But this time I mix it in with my conditioner and leave it on for 15 minutes under a shower cap.
Using heat and a carrying agent helps the oils penetrate the hair shaft. It’s a little harder to get out so I don’t do it too often.
If you feel a hair oil won’t work for you, you can always try a nourishing mask. This works especially well if you have really thick and dry hair.
You can mash up an avocado and banana and just leave it in your hair for 15-30 minutes to really nourish your hair.
Drying my hair
When I’m all done, I wrap an old t-shirt around my head and leave it there while I get dressed. This way my hair doesn’t get caught in the fibers and won’t break.
It’s not enough to dry it properly so I just put a towel over my head and pat on it to dry it some more. I then leave it to air dry.
I rarely blow dry my hair. And when I do, I use cold air. Heat makes all my baby hairs stand up so it looks really frizzy. It’s also damaging to the hair.
When it’s a little drier, I comb my hair with a wide-tooth bamboo comb. It feels safer to me because it won’t break my hair. Hair is at it’s weakest when it’s wet.
When it’s completely dry, I comb it properly with a bamboo brush. The bristles are further apart than a normal brush.
Why comb it?
Bamboo is really good because it doesn’t cause static electricity in my hair. And it’s better for the planet so a win-win for me. I comb it throughout the drying process so I don’t get weird kinks and patterns in my hair.
I see lots of people with curly hair combing out their hair when it’s wet too. So I think combing it helps prevent you from having to use heat to style it.
I never sleep with my hair loose. I always put it in a wrapped up bun secured with bobby pins, if that makes sense. If I’m going to wash it the next day, I french-braid it.
I don’t like braiding it when it’s clean because when I wake up it has a weird texture and on my hair, it looks unhealthy.
These are called protective styles. I use them because sleeping on your hair loose gets it all tangled when you move throughout the night.
It causes a lot of friction which can break your hair. Using protective styles ensures I have a good hair day.
I also wear my hair down most of the time because manipulative styles, like space buns, can damage your hair.
I’m starting to wear more scrunchies and softer materials when I do tie my hair into a ponytail or a bun because those materials don’t cause a lot of friction or snag your hair.
This natural hair care routine of mine has really saved my hair. It’s so soft and flowy now and it has that natural shine. But it doesn’t just happen overnight.
It took me a year or two to figure out what my hair needs and likes and it’s really paid off. It also takes some time for your hair to really show you how it’s coping.
As well as making sure your hair is well taken care of and nourished on the outside, it also needs help from the inside.
In order for your hair cells to function properly, you need to make sure you’re feeding them the right stuff.
Eating a balanced diet and making sure you get enough protein, healthy fats and vitamins will boost your hair health and make sure your hair looks its best.
I really hope that this was helpful for you and that you can go find the routine that works amazingly for your hair.
Remember to check out Plaine Products if you’re looking for some all-natural products that are plastic-free and zero-waste. And if you’re from South Africa remember to check out Faithful To Nature, the shop I get all my natural products from.
Let me know in the comments what you use to care for your hair and if you have started your natural hair care routine yet.
Cheers for now,
Pin for later:
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- 11 Steps to a perfect pampering spa day