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Do you know what's in your haircare?

Washing your hair is such a normal part of our routine that you may not have thought about what is actually in your shampoo and conditioner. But it is worth becoming aware of what ingredients are being used in these products as they may be having an impact on your health, your hair and the environment!

Some of the ingredients we recommend steering clear of include;

  • Sulphates: these are detergents that give shampoos their foamy lather. They go by many names - sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate, ammonium laureth sulphate and ammonium lauryl sulphate. Sulfates may help your shampoo produce suds, but they can also strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it overly dry and prone to damage as well as potentially irritating the skin.

  • Isopropyl alcohol: this is sometimes included in shampoos because it cuts through oil effectively. The problem is that it does its job a little too well. Like sulfates, isopropyl alcohol's main concern is that it's extremely drying to your hair, stripping it of moisture. This leaves it prone to frizziness and vulnerable to damage.

  • Propylene glycol: this is added to hair care partly to help with their consistency and partly to help your hair and scalp better absorb other ingredients in the product formula. However, this compound is a well-known skin and eye irritant - not a great idea when you think about how often suds end up running down the front of your face during a typical shower.

  • Parabens and Phenoxyethanol: these are added to haircare to act as a preservative. Unfortunately, they are suspected endocrine disruptors, meaning that they may also play a role in certain cancers.

  • Synthetic Fragrances: these may last for a long time but they can also be a skin irritant and cause headaches, dizziness and rashes. You will find that once you go natural any synthetic scents will be very overwhelming to your senses.

As well as being rubbed into our scalps and absorbed through our skin, these nasties are also heading down the drain and into the environment!

We talk to a lot of people looking for natural alternatives as they are suffering from dry, itchy and irritated scalps after prolonged use of chemical hair are.

Is natural haircare different to use?

There are great alternatives available which will help to effectively cleanse and nourish your hair without stripping the natural oils or damaging your hair.

When you first change to natural haircare you may notice that the shampoo isn’t quite as ‘foamy’ or the conditioner doesn’t leave your hair quite so ‘slick’ feeling, this is perfectly normal as natural haircare doesn’t need big foam or a slippery finish to be working effectively.

Your hair may also take a bit of time to adjust to the new regime and revert to its normal healthy state, give it a few weeks and your hair will be healthy and shining with natural wellbeing.

The Herb Farm’s range of natural haircare

Calendula & Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner (all hair types including sensitive scalps)

  • A gentle formulation that is suitable for use on all the family (including small children).
  • Effectively cleanses the hair without stripping the natural oils, leaving it soft and nourished.
  • Proven to be gentle enough for sensitive or dry/irritated scalps.

Blackcurrant & Orange Shampoo & Conditioner (dry, damaged and coloured hair)

  • Contains rich New Zealand Blackcurrant oil to deeply hydrate your hair and help to protect against the sun and environmental stresses.
  • Effectively cleanses the hair without stripping the natural oils, leaving it replenished and soft.

All shampoos and conditioners are 250ml and have a RRP of $24.90 and are available on our here and at selected retailers.

Sarah Cowan (Managing Director, The Herb Farm)

January 2016

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