Let’s talk about one thing we all care about even though it *might* feel a tad silly at times…. HAIR. And how to care for it in a way that’s not time intensive and that aligns with how we care for the rest of our bodies & health:
With intention and clean ingredients when it’s possible. With ease. With care. And with the ultimate goal that it FEELS good (& makes us feel good in turn).
Let me first say that this isn’t just about the products you put ON your hair– though those are important.
It’s an internal game, just like so much of our health. It starts with how you nourish yourself, because the nutrients you’re getting in have a direct influence our skin, gut, cellular health, hormones, etc…. and they also affect our HAIR health. Because our scalp and hair are a living, breathing thing.
My best advice? Think about hair health starting from the inside out. Your skin is an organ so scalp health is just as important as hair health– and what you eat matters and affects all of it!
Starting by eating rich, whole foods from the earth & a variety of veggies every day. Aka, EATING REAL FOOD is the best thing you can do to get great hair (and to feel good in every other way too).
Omega 3s are so helpful (wild salmon, walnuts, chia and flax seeds, fish oil, etc) for hair and skin health specifically, as well as nutrient-dense foods all around (i.e., veggies at every meal, eating mineral rich foods like chlorophyll drops in your water and spirulina in your smoothies, and getting in enough high quality protein in whatever way that works for you).
Might as well build these things into your daily foundation, so you don’t have to spend a ton of excess time/money/salon hours trying to bandaid and fix funky hair.
Now when it comes to the actual products and methods I personally use, it comes down to a few really simple guidelines.
It’s a topic I’ve learned A LOT about in more recent years (true: my shampoo and conditioner were one of the last things I transitioned to natural brands….because I couldn’t find a brand I liked as much). But since I’ve done it, my hair has changed and gotten so much healthier.
So it’s been a journey to say the least.
1. Get the chemicals and toxins OUT of your hair care products.
Just like your skincare and beauty products. The natural oils of your scalp actually have an important job– to moisturize and nurture your skin and hair naturally. When we lather in chemical-laced products it strips those precious natural oils, causing the oil glands to overproduce……. and create oily hair that needs to be washed MORE often. (It’s the same with most face cleaners too– they strip everything down when what we really need is to let our skin do it’s natural thing. Our bodies are wise and always know what’s best. It’s why I’m a such a crazy fan of a natural cleaning oil instead (this one to be specific)).
It’s almost like those big-name products know you’ll have to use MORE product or something…. and buy more of it as a result or something. Hmmm.
Our bodies are smart and self-reliant… we just have to get out of the way. Before all the shampoos and conditioners and leave-in treatments and masks, they kinda just self-regulated and worked their own magic, without all the extra stuff.
2. How to “train” your hair to be able to wash it less:
This is a question I get asked all the time in my DM’s, after sharing this:
No joke, I wash my hair once a week these days. I know it sounds CRAZY– or like I’m a greaseball half of the week– but it’s honestly so normal now and my hair hardly feels dirty by day 5 or 6.
I know that everyone’s hair and skin are a little bit different, but for the most part I DO think that most people can get to this place too. Unless you’re a daily cycling instructor, or training for massive athletic events, I think it’s totally doable. And so worth it.
Once you get over the cultural conditioning we grow up with that “squeaky clean” is a good thing, that everyday hairwashing is healthy and needed, etc. So much of it (like food, skincare, etc) is all marketing. So it’s re-training your brain a bit here too, focusing on what’s true, what’s real, and how the body actually works. And where you want to spend your time.
Health aside, think of how much TIME YOU SAVE, OMG. It was motivating enough for me 🙂 Now as a mom I’m sooo glad I made the transition over.
Another benefit? All of these products last FOREVER because you’re using them once a week.
Truly, our hair has more of an opportunity to do its thing when we let it breathe/don’t weigh it down with all the products and over-styling every week.
Mine’s never felt healthier and I can really attribute it to 1. washing it less and 2. using natural, simple, less-is-more products. and 3) getting micro-trims and really digging into thinking about my hair more holistically overall. (I’ve talked about this process more before, taking you to my hair appointment here with a live Q + A).
Here’s how I trained my hair to only wash 1x a week:
- Switch to natural products as you run out of your current ones…. Shampoo & conditioner to start, then things like masks, treatments, styling. Give yourself a few weeks for your hair to adjust and “detox” from the chemicals, fragrances, binders, lathering agents, etc.
- Use a natural dry shampoo to help you stretch out your wash days. Start with every other day or every third day with a clean dry shampoo when needed.
- Get some cute headbands, a cute hat, or learn a braid style you love to help in those end days.
- Each week, see if you can space out one more day, using dry shampoo only as needed. Eventually you won’t even need that as your oil production slows down to a regular and healthy speed.
- Work your way up to a cadence that feels good to you– you can of course wet your hair if you prefer on in between days or want to do a slicked back style, etc.
Plus I do a hair mask 1x per week or scalp treatment 1x per week. Or both– I actually like to do a mask on the ends of my hair in the morning of my hair wash night (I wrap it up in a high bun for the day) and scalp treatment then too….or do the scalp treatment 20-30 mins before I wash at night.
Here is how I do the scalp treatment:
Fav natural hair care products:
Shampoo and conditioner:
- Innersense hydrating shampoo
- Innersense hydrating conditioner
- OR Rahua hydrating shampoo & conditioner
- Act + Acre scalp treatment (this what I’m using above, and have been using since July to test out— I really like it so far. Just don’t put the oil on the ends of your hair– scalp only!)
- Living Libations scalp oil treatment
- Rahua scalp treatment
- Innersense Hair Mask (use the code “welcome10” for 10% off your 1st order)
- Lenor Greyl Jasmine Hair Mask (what I’ve been using lately, and I get this at my local natural hair salon, Sarah Kahn Hair, and she ships too if you want to support a local female business as you upgrade your products over time. She carries the above Rahua shampoo and conditioner, and all LG products too. Use the code “simplyrealhealth” in the notes section on checkout for some special little additions in your order, or if you book an appointment. She’s taught me so much!). They also carry this at Nordstrom now too.
- Lenor Greyl Sublimator styling hair serum ( i love this on the ends of my hair on the days I don’t wash and it feels dry)
- This dry shampoo for dark hair & for light hair (you can get 10% off your order with code ‘simplyrealhealth’ at checkout!)
How it all goes together?
Check out my daily (ok, most days) 3 minute natural beauty & hair routine here. It’s truly that simple.
What other questions do you have? Send me a message on instagram here, or leave a comment below!