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Natural Hair Care

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A model fingering her mop of dull lifeless hair appeared on screen, interrupting our TV movie. When she used an amazing shampoo, her hair changed instantly into a sensual crowning glory.

A model fingering her mop of dull lifeless hair appeared on screen, interrupting our TV movie. When she used an amazing shampoo, her hair changed instantly into a sensual crowning glory. My sister turned to me and asked, "Why do we watch this hype?"

I replied, "Because we want to believe that by using that product our hair will look like hers. You have to ignore the fact that she has waist-length, auburn, naturally wavy hair and you and I have short, blond, baby-fine hair. Reality is our hair will never look like that."

My constant quest for quality hair care products has been enlightening. Natural based products come out tops every time. Avoiding chemicals in hair care does take label reading and checking out websites, but a bit of research will help you find products that not only don't damage your hair, they actually protect it, as well as improve the way it looks.

Check labels for natural ingredients, such as aloe vera gel, a natural moisturizer. Used by native tribes in Africa, aloe vera gel coats the hair with a fine protective layer. This is a big bonus for hair exposed to the sun or chemicals such as chlorine or salt water. Thyme, an antiseptic, helps prevent scalp irritations; henna brings natural sheen to medium to dark brown hair; camomile enhances blond highlights but will not damage the hair shaft the way chemical lighteners do; and rosemary strengthens and encourages hair growth.

Next time you visit your health food store, look for quality natural products with these ingredients. Don't waste your money or your hair on product hype.

Hair Care Basics

  • Avoid strongly perfumed products and brightly coloured shampoos. They contain chemicals you don't need on your hair.
  • Your diet and stress influences the growth and quality of your hair. During times of stress, take extra vitamins A and E and silica.
  • Shampooing every day strips protective oils from the surface of the hair. Twice - or at most three times - a week is plenty, unless you have been in salt or chlorinated water, or need to wash perspiration out of your hair.
  • When you shower, wear a shower cap or let the water give your hair a clean, clear rinse.
  • If you have fine hair, be wary of rinse-in conditioners. The coating left on your hair will make it flat and lifeless. Instead, use a light styling mousse to give body and lift.
  • Use only a minimum amount of styling gel. You can always add a touch more, but you can't take it off without washing your hair.
  • Don't overdo hair brushing as it can cause split ends. A round-tooth comb is gentler on the hair shaft.
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