Although the sale of animal-tested beauty products is now been banned in the UK thanks to the world of Cruelty Free International, this does not mean that the companies sold are ethical: many continue to test elsewhere and although China is no longer to demand that all imported goods are tested on animals, many of the big names (like L’Oreal) have been happy to make profits.
If your hair is over-processed, chop it off. It grows back. A good haircut is better than any good hair product. Also see The Best Natural Hair Dyes.
Hair is a living substance, so eat plant-based protein foods foods (beans, peas, lentils!) and drink plenty of water. Inverted poses in yoga are good to stimulate the hair follicles (as is head massage with oils), but avoid inversions during menstruation, pregnancy or if you have neck/head injuries, high blood pressure or glaucoma.
Conventional shampoos have foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulphate which can cause scalp irritation and slow hair growth. Use a natural shampoo for a few weeks, and after the initial detox, you should your hair is way better. You don’t need clarifying shampoos (Head & Shoulders is packed with dodgy chemicals). Choose real oils over fragrance oils (these wash down drains and cause algae bloom in our oceans, harming marine wildlife).
The Best Natural Haircare Brands
If you are pregnant or nursing, avoid brands with essential oils, unless formulated by aromatherapists. Avoid strong essential oils if you have epilepsy or asthma, and avoid shea butter (in conditioners) for latex allergies.
- Purechimp makes good zero-waste shampoo bars, and 5% of profits go to Save the Chimps, a charity that rescues apes from zoos, circuses and vivisection labs. Made with coconut, olive and avocado oil – bananas and beer!
- Friendly Soap sells zero-waste vegan shampoo bars, in cardboard packaging. Sold in different scents, this company also make matching conditioner bars, although you only need them if you have very dry hair.
- Primal Suds is a cool little company for zero waste shampoo bars. While they work to remove residue from your hair, dilute a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (like squash) in hard water areas to rinse. Also make dry shampoo in paper bags.