WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BASES ARE “NATURAL?”
definition of natural means that the cleansing agents used in the formulation of our bases are gentle on the hair, scalp, and skin. Conventional synthetic shampoos are more likely to expose the hair and the skin to harsh chemical ingredients that can potentially have harmful long-term effects, including skin irritation, dryness, a reduction in the size or deterioration of the hair follicles, premature graying, and even hair loss. Natural shampoos can be used without the concern of these potential side effects.
While many shampoos and conditioners that claim to be natural may still contain botanical materials that can potentially have harsh effects on some skin types.
- Aqua = Water
- Sodium Cocoamphoacetate = a mild surfactant, foam booster/stabilizer, and conditioner derived from Coconut Oil
- Glycerine = a transparent, colorless, and unscented viscous liquid derived from the oils of plants such as Coconut, Palm, or Soy. This ingredient cleanses, moisturizes, and soothes the skin.
- Lauryl Glucoside = a surfactant composed of Coconut/Palm Oil and Corn Glucose. This ingredient promotes easy cleaning and rinsing.
- Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate = an Amino Acid surfactant, cleansing agent, and foaming agent obtained from Coconut Oil and fermented sugar.
- Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate = derived from sugar. This surfactant functions as a stabilizing and emulsifying agent.
- Coco Glucoside = a foaming, cleansing, conditioning, and thickening agent designed for sensitive skin
- Glyceryl Oleate = a result of the esterification of Glycerin and Oleic Acid; Oleic Acid occurs naturally in oils such as Olive Oil. This ingredient functions as an emulsifier and a conditioning agent.
- Propanediol = naturally derived from corn. This hydrating ingredient helps to improve the skin’s absorption of ingredients while leaving a smoothing effect on the skin and promoting a dewy look.
- Dicaprylyl Ether = derived from a fatty acid that occurs naturally in Coconut and Palm Kernel oils. This emollient functions as a skin conditioner.
- Decyl glucoside = a gentle surfactant derived from plants. This environmentally-friendly ingredient functions as a cleansing agent that is suitable for sensitive skin types, including baby skin.
- Sodium Levulinate = a plant-derived sodium salt that is obtained from Levulinic Acid found in GMO-free corn. This ingredient functions as a skin conditioning agent as well as a preservative.
- Potassium Sorbate = a gentle preservative that serves as a substitute for parabens. This ingredient helps to inhibit or slow the growth of harmful bacteria that can spoil the quality and effectiveness of a product.
- Citric Acid = an organic acid that is naturally occurring in Citrus fruits. This ingredient helps to reduce the pH level of a product. It may also help to improve the function of a preservative.
- Cetearyl Glucoside = a surfactant and emulsifier that is obtained from Coconut as well as GMO-free corn. It helps to prevent moisture loss from the skin and hair, and it contributes a velvety, non-greasy sensation.
- Cetearyl Alcohol = a combination of vegetable-based Cetyl and Stearyl alcohols. This ingredient is an emulsifier, thickener, and foam-enhancing agent that also has smoothing and stabilizing effects on a formulation.
- Glyceryl Stearate = a wax-like fatty acid that is derived from vegetable oil, Soy Oil, or Palm Kernel Oil and that is also naturally occurring in the human body. This ingredient is used in formulations for its emulsifying properties.
- Butyrospermum Parkii Butter = also known as Shea Butter, this creamy vegetable fat is derived from the kernels of the Shea tree’s fruits. This ingredient has exceptional moisturizing and softening properties.
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride = an oily liquid derived from Coconut Oil and Glycerin. This ingredient is a solvent, an emollient, and it helps to promote the even dispersal of non-soluble liquids and powders in a formulation. It also helps prolong a product’s shelf life and contributes a silky texture.
- Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil = also called Argan Oil, this hydrating, conditioning, soothing, and softening agent is derived from the kernels of the Argan Tree.
- Xanthan Gum = a polysaccharide derived from fermented sugar. This ingredient functions as a thickener and stabilizer.
THE TOP 10 BENEFITS OF NATURAL SHAMPOOS & CONDITIONERS
1. THEY IMPROVE THE LOOK AND FEEL OF THE HAIR AND SCALP
Although conventional shampoos undeniably clean the hair, they are known to cleanse sometimes to the point of eliminating the hair’s and the scalp’s vital natural oils, causing them to dry out, leading to itchiness. Also, those with skin sensitivities or easily irritated skin may find that synthetic shampoos aggravate these conditions. When hair is introduced to the chemical-free ingredients in natural shampoos, although it may feel, unlike the way conventional shampoos cause it to feel as the hair continues to hold onto its natural oils, with regular use natural shampoos can help the hair to feel softer and smoother while enhancing its natural luster.
2. THERE IS A NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE WHEN SWITCHING TO A NATURAL SHAMPOO
The most noticeable difference one can see when beginning to use a natural shampoo is that it will not produce as much lather as a conventional shampoo, due to the absence of synthetic foaming agents. This is not an indication that the hair is not being thoroughly cleansed, rather it indicates that the hair’s natural oils are not being washed out. It is recommended that hair be washed twice when using a natural shampoo, as the second wash will produce slightly more lather. This is because there is less buildup – dirt, oil, dry skin – to eliminate in the second wash. Furthermore, when the strands hold more water in the second wash, it increases the shampoo’s ability to produce more lather.
3. NATURAL SHAMPOOS HAVE A PH-BALANCED FORMULA
Both highly acidic and highly alkaline products can be extremely damaging to the hair cuticle. For this reason, it is important to use a pH-balanced shampoo that is neither too alkaline nor too acidic. NDA’s natural shampoo base is formulated with a pH range of 4.5-5.5.
4. NDA’s NATURAL SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BASES ARE READY TO USE
NDA’s natural shampoo and natural conditioner bases are fully formulated and can be used unscented. Alternatively, Fragrance Oils or Essential Oils can be added to suit individual preferences.
5. THEY ARE NATURALLY SOOTHING AND STIMULATING
Natural ingredients in hair products can gently yet effectively help to impart vitamins, minerals, oils, and botanical extracts to the scalp and the hair follicles. They can also gently stimulate the growth of new hair, help hair retain its natural moisture, and enhance the overall texture and appearance of the hair. The most common natural hair care oils that are known to be rich in Vitamin content include Almond, Ginseng, Jojoba, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Prickly Pear oils. These ingredients are also known to emit pleasant natural scents.
6. THEY ARE NATURALLY MOISTURIZING
Natural shampoos and conditioners are often enriched with pure and nourishing moisturizers, including gels, oils, and butters that may be obtained from leaves, nuts, seeds, or kernels. Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, and butters such as Cocoa are among the popular moisturizers that are found in natural shampoos and conditioners.
7. THEY BENEFIT THE ENVIRONMENT
The hair benefits of using natural shampoos and conditioners also extend to the health of the environment, as ecologically-friendly ingredients replace the harsh synthetic chemicals, which pollute sewer systems and rivers, poison aquatic species and micro-organisms, and ultimately harm or destroy the ecosystem. Natural, biodegradable shampoos and conditioners simply disintegrate into non-toxic constituents that do not pollute or cause damage to ecosystems.
8. THEY ARE NON-ALLERGENIC
The pure ingredients in natural shampoos and conditioners contribute to the hypo-allergenic compositions and make these products suitable for all skin types, including sensitive or allergy-prone types. Their softer natural fragrances also make natural shampoos and conditioners gentler on the senses, benefitting those with smell sensitivities.
9. THEY CAN PREVENT THE LOSS OF DYED HAIR COLOR
Natural shampoos and conditioners are suitable for all hair types and are ideal options for those with dyed or permed hair, as they clean without stripping hair color and texture, thus helping to extend the freshness of the color and the style.
10. THERE ARE NATURAL SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS THAT ARE SUITED TO SPECIFIC NEEDS
There is a wide variety of natural hair care products that are tailored to individual skin and hair needs, offering a range of benefits that target particular areas of concern for unique hair qualities. Natural shampoos and conditioners are available for those who struggle with conditions such as dandruff and dryness as well as hair types ranging from normal to oily hair.
HOW TO USE NATURAL SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS
Natural shampoos and conditioners are applied in the same manner as conventional varieties. While conventional products offer the option of repeating the cleansing process, this step is highly recommended for natural products. This is because the first wash removes the surface buildup of synthetic ingredients and impurities such as pollution, excess natural oil, and styling products, while the second wash cleans, brings out the shine, and enhances the texture.
WHAT RESULTS CAN YOU EXPECT WITH NATURAL SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS?
When beginning to use natural shampoos and conditioners, the hair’s transition period of adjustment from synthetic to natural can take a few days, a couple of weeks or a couple of months before the hair no longer feels more greasy, waxy, tacky, or weighty than it did when using conventional shampoos. This is the body’s over-production of natural oils as it aims to compensate for the natural oils that were stripped when previously using conventional synthetic shampoos, which often leave behind residue. This period of adjustment varies for each individual user. To reduce this discomfort, it helps to rinse the hair thoroughly to prevent natural shampoo residue from causing the hair to feel weighed down. This feeling is likely to go away once the scalp is purged of all synthetic ingredient buildup and after it adjusts to the new natural product, which will leave the hair with balanced moisture as well as a healthier, shinier, more voluminous appearance. With continued use of natural shampoos, the scalp is reputed to produce less oil, as the absence of synthetic cleaning agents prevents the scalp from drying out. When the scalp no longer produces excess oil to compensate for the dryness, this is when natural shampoo users can begin to go longer periods without washing the hair. For some, this can range from days to weeks.
During the adjustment period, it can be tempting to return to conventional shampoos; however, there are natural methods that can help to not only suppress this urge but to also promote and preserve the hair’s nourishment, natural luster, and overall health:
- Diluting Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle of water creates a natural hairspray that can be sprayed onto cleaned hair then rinsed out with cool water; afterward, the hair can be left to air dry
- Brushing the hair thoroughly from root to tip will help to evenly distribute the hair’s natural oils
- If it is necessary to use a conditioner, use a natural conditioner; avoid mixing natural products with synthetic ones
ESSENTIAL OIL SIDE EFFECTS
If Essential Oils are used to customize a natural shampoo or conditioner, it is important to note that, Essential Oils are for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using these oils for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Essential Oils without the medical advice of a physician, as they may have effects on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. These oils should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.
Those with the following health conditions are especially recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders or allergies, hormone-related ailments, or epilepsy. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.
Prior to using any Essential Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the Essential Oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Essential Oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Essential Oils include redness, rash, hives, burning, bleeding disorders, decreased speed of healing, low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, convulsions, and rapid heartbeat. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the products and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.