As women, hair conditioning is an important part of our hair health. Not only does it make our hair smell amazing, but also helps with tangled hair, feeds it with essential oils, and gives it a wonderful shine after shampooing. But when you switch to natural hair conditioner, you get a lot more benefits than that.
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The true question is: why not? Because conventional hair conditioner uses chemicals and fragrances, you will never be able to replicate their smell by making or choosing a natural product, but there are plenty of essential oils that will help you get close. Everyone should you the best natural shampoo and conditioner, but let’s learn more about why.
The first benefit of natural hair conditioner is that you get rid of the chemicals inside the product. No more parabens, no perfumes, no shady toxins. And speaking of toxins, not only will be getting rid of them on your locks, but you’ll also save the planet in the process.
Where do those chemicals end up when you rinse your mane of conventional conditioner? In your country’s waters. Switching to natural conditioners is a way to preserve the planet. Even more, since you’re using conditioner with natural ingredients, you are more sustainable.
For those who are crafty, there are tons of great natural hair conditioner recipes available. But even if you don’t make your own conditioner and choose to purchase a natural one from the store, the ingredients are obtained through ethical practices. What’s more, they’re also likely to be sold in recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
And while we’re talking about ethical practices, remember that one of the major issues of the beauty industry is animal testing. When you’re using natural conditioning products, you can rest assured that it’s cruelty-free.
Also, when you buy conventional conditioning products, it’s likely to contain silicone as one of its ingredients. This means that it seals the hair cuticles, to make your hair look shiny and smooth. However, what your cuticles really need is hydration, so natural ingredients are better at providing healthy nutrients for your locks instead of using ingredients like silicone to mask the problem.
Active Ingredients in Natural Hair Conditioner
There are three main categories of ingredients found in a chemical free conditioner: the base, the active ingredients, and the functional ingredients. Conditioners are usually made with an oil-in-water emulsion, which basically means that drops of oil are dispersed in a water base.
Traditional conditioners require rinsing the hair, so the water is most likely distilled, or switched for a water-base botanical ingredient.
Natural conditioning products have active ingredients, which belong to different categories, depending on the part they play in the mixture:
- Proteins are an important part of having healthy hair. When it comes to hair conditioners, these proteins break down in components (such as amino acids), which are intended to smooth the cuticles of your hair. This makes your hair stronger, but also repairs any potential damage.
- You can also expect to find moisturizing ingredients in natural hair conditioners, such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin. The purpose of these ingredients is (obviously) to moisturize your hair. However, these ingredients need to stay on the hair strand long enough to actually have an effect, so they are not very efficient when used in rinse-off conditioners.
- With or without scientific evidence, botanical extracts have used for hair health for a very long time now. Their purpose is to keep hair healthy and growing through ingredients such as guarana, which helps hair grow faster.
Functional Ingredients in Natural Hair Conditioner
Functional ingredients are what make natural conditioning product ingredients blend together in a substance that’s easy to apply on your strands. They are also meant to smell nice and gives your hair a smooth texture. No natural conditioner can be complete without functional ingredients. Some examples are:
- Scents – Natural conditioning products do not use perfume; instead, they rely on the fragrances provided by the natural ingredients of the product to provide delicious scents. The perfume of these products comes from the blend of essential oils, which should never be higher in proportion than one percent.
- Thickening substances – Without these, the conditioner would have a watery texture, and therefore be very difficult to apply. Thickeners help the conditioner obtain the proper texture for you to measure it with the palm of your hand, and will be consistent enough for you to spread in on your hair strands.
- If you buy natural conditioning products from a store, these will most likely contain stabilizing agents, because the product needs to have a long-enough shelf-life as not to expire within a week. Because of that, these conditioners have preservatives, chelating agents, or pH modifiers. The alternative is to make your own natural hair conditioner at home.
In conventional conditioners, you will most likely find colorants, because manufacturers want the final product to be visually appealing to customers. Natural hair conditioners to not abide by these rules, so their colors are greatly influenced by the color of the ingredients used.
The best part about using a natural hair conditioner is that you can make one by yourself. This way, you can have a product in the fragrance of your choice, without having to spend money on it. A lot of the ingredients used are most likely in your pantry already.
You can create mixtures such as:
- Yogurt, egg white, and mayonnaise.
- Rose water, curd, lemon juice, coconut oil, and honey.
- Apple cider vinegar, honey, and water.
- Aloe vera gel, and lemon juice.
- Avocado, lemon juice, coconut oil, honey.
There are plenty of natural hair conditioner recipes online, so it’s just a matter of experiment to find a formula that yields the best results for your type of locks.
Switching from conventional to natural conditioning products brings plenty of perks into the equation. You aren’t just protecting your hair from toxins and harmful ingredients, but you’re also supporting the ecosystem by using a product with naturally-sources and sustainable ingredients.
Even more, you can make natural conditioner at home, and even create your new recipes, once you understand what role each type of ingredient plays in the mixture that is conditioner.