#CleanBeauty : Organic Hair Care
We all know about Clean Eating, but now it's time to dish the dirt on the newest wellness obsession, Clean Beauty.
In the current wellness era, we are all about taking care of what goes into our bodies – checking labels, being environmentally friendly consumers, browsing for trusted products – yet then, we jump in the shower, lather up our hair and allow toxic chemicals to wash over our bodies when we can't fake cleanliness with dry shampoo any longer.
The skin (our largest organ) absorbs a huge proportion of what it is exposed to via dermal-absorption. Yet most us don't even realise the disruption to our endocrine systems, health and wellbeing that supermarket shopping for our hair care products is causing.
So no longer is organic just for your fruit and veg, it's time to embrace the Organic Hair Care movement.
The downlow on dirty hair products
I was that girl, who progressed from sickly sweet fruity supermarket-brand shampoos, to getting suckered in by my hairdresser – as she placed bleach foils into my mane – that I just HAD to have the latest 'big name' brand colour treatment shampoo to stop me from going brassy.
Not only was I loading my hair with chemical treatments when it was getting coloured, but I would then go home and drench myself with toxin laden products every time my hair was dirty, without even knowing what it was doing!
Fast forward 10 years and when I began losing my hair significantly – before I knew it was a as a symptom of PCOS – I instinctively turned to the products I was using. I switched up shampoos - looking around to find anything that seemed less harsh, but had no real clue what I was after.
Endocrine Disruption + PCOS trigger
Most generic personal care products contain an array of chemicals known as endocrine disrupters (such as phthalates) which can mimic hormones and ultimately can alter hormone synthesis, transportation, binding and breakdown. Since our hormonal systems are critical to body function, health and vitality, when they are affected by endocrine disrupters a huge variety of symptoms can be presented, including but not limited to; promotion of obesity, increase in inflammation, altered onset of puberty, disrupted immune function, fat cell signalling and disrupted cardiac function.
When I was first diagnosed with PCOS addressing what endocrine disrupters were in my environment was one of the initial steps to healing. The overload of these "fake" hormones and chemicals being processed by my body was directly influencing the levels of inflammation and hormonal imbalances I was experiencing.
By now, exceptionally keen to find some products I could trust and upon numerous personal recommendations, I ended up at Glasshouse Salon, [London Fields, London] where all the colour systems used to dye and colour hair are organic and they promote a range of organic, toxin-free products for treatment at home. The girls at Glasshouse are not only some of the best I've had cut and colour my hair, but they understand the importance of reducing the chemical overload. Not only was I able to walk out with freshly coloured locks and a bag full of organic goodies, but I wasn't drenched in toxic fumes during the process. WIN.
After using these products for over 9 months, my hair is returning to be healthy, thick, strong, plus - it is growing back in to all the points where before I was seeing thinning and baldness. Using these products is both a holistic and topical approach - by removing the endocrine disrupters (and making significant diet and lifestyle changes) and treating my hair at the source, I'm able to both feel and see the physical results which indicate the reversal of this PCOS symptom.
The Hero Products
Power Build Shampoo + Conditioner
These are the staples in my organic hair care regime. Not only do these products smell great – thanks to the natural extracts of lemon, apple and green tea – but they have made my hair super strong and healthy with the proven strength and repair system of the protein boosting effects of the sunflower seed extract and natural wheat protein – which helps reduce damaged hair and split ends.
As I try to only wash my hair when I absolutely must (because I'm too lazy tbh) I generally give it a double lather with shampoo to really get rid of all the sweat and dirt. As the products don't contain any nasty ingredients, the feel of the conditioner is a little different to your generic supermarket brands, in that it doesn't leave a coating on the hair afterwards. Generally, this means you need a little more conditioner (about double the amount of one lather of shampoo) and I like to leave it in for a while to really soak in, while I comb my hair through.
Qualifications: Soil Association Organic Standard, Natural & Organic Standard, 100% Natural Aromatics. Not tested on animals.
Organic Colour Systems
StatusQuo Silver Shampoo
Any blondes (fake or otherwise) out there will know that the secret to keeping brassiness and orange tones away is a great purple shampoo. But just taking one look at the vibrant colour coming out of those bottles and you are surely questioning what sort of nasty chemicals would be in there. This gentle shampoo, using only natural aromatics, helps maintain that clean, clear, salon-fresh colour and removes those pesky orange and yellow tones.
I opt for around once every 2 weeks, as I don’t wash my hair all that often, but it can be used weekly. After an initial shampoo, towel dry your hair, lather this through and leave for 10 minutes. Thoroughly wash out and then continue on with your conditioner.
Qualifications: : Soil Association Organic Standard, Natural & Organic Standard, 100% Natural Aromatics. Not tested on animals.
O&M is one of my favourite Australian haircare lines that acknowledges to secret to great, stress-free hair, is taking care of it and reducing the chemical overload.
I have two hairstyles – slicked back with sweat high bun or an attempt at tousled, messy beach waves. The first is achieved via laziness of not washing my hair everyday and working out too much. The second is via this killer product. This is the spray you need for that “oh, I just hit the beach and then rolled around in bed and now I’m here looking like a VS model” hairstyle that we all want, without all that chemically-laden crunch of most salt sprays. A few spritzes around the midsection and ends as you scrunch up your hair gives that effect you want. Plus, you’ll be walking around smelling like a tropical island holiday all day long!
Qualifications: Paraben, Sulfate, Phthalate free.
This has quickly become my absolute life savior in the humid, frizz inducing tropics! Made from native Australian ingredients, including the magical argon and macademia oils, just a small drop of this guy will keep the frizz explosion at bay. A little goes a long way here, so I focus on the ends and then sweep my hands through my hair to give a little bit of love to the midsection too.
Qualifications: Paraben, Sulfate, Phthalate free.