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Did you know that by switching to a natural hair care routine, you can avoid exposing yourself and your family to harmful synthetic chemicals, as well as reduce the amount of pollution that is poisoning the oceans?

Yep, definitely seems like a no-brainer when you put it like that, right? We are in the midst of an organic revolution that is moving away from synthetic chemicals and towards products that have been naturally derived–and that goes for health and beauty products as well! You may have already heard a few of the chemical buzzwords associated with hair care products: sulfates, parabens, triclosan, polyethylene glycol, and more. The gist–you’re better off with em’. Opening up the floor to discuss all of the products that we use which can contain harmful chemicals would take more space than you’ve got time for in this blog post. Instead, let’s start with a conversation about natural shampoo and conditioner.

Why choose natural shampoos and conditioners?

The most obvious advantage is that you are avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals that may be contributing to dandruff, hair loss, eye irritation, and linked to more serious diseases like cancer. Natural products replace synthetic chemicals with essential oils and natural cleansing agents, which are much gentler on our skin.

You’ll also be one fewer person or family who is releasing toxic chemicals into the water system. That’s right, think about it. How many times per week do you wash your hair? Now multiply that by how many people you’ve got living in your home. Now think about everyone on your block, your neighbourhood, city, country–that’s a lot of chemicals being washed down the drain.

Many natural hair care companies are also listening keenly to their consumer’s values, like purchasing natural products that are also cruelty free, and environmentally friendly. Many major players in the cosmetic industry have been under fire at some point for testing on animals, and some still do. Check the labels; businesses that don’t participate in animal testing are with good reason proud of this, and so will typically mention this on their bottles. Many natural products will also opt for environmentally conscious features, and will not only create biodegradable formulas, but also create packaging made from recycled or plant-based materials.

Some things to expect when making the switch:

Many people report that when switching to a natural formula, that their hair went through a ‘detox’ of sorts, resulting in an overproduction of oil and an awkward period of greasy hair. This happened to me while I was making the switch, and I will admit that it was uncomfortable. I actually hadn’t heard that this was normal and assumed that the brand I had chosen did not agree with my hair type, which was disappointing because I had splurged on two massive bottles of shampoo and conditioner, thinking of the large bottles as investments.

But a simple Google search revealed that it is in fact normal, and I can assure you from first-hand experience that it is only temporary. The extent of your detox period will depend on how heavily your hair depended on the chemicals in your old products–as your hair is literally detoxing the accumulation of chemical build up from your old products. Your hair may feel heavy, tangled, overly oily, or dry and brittle. But, when this detox period is over (lasting anywhere between 1 week – 1 month) your hair will be ready for the natural nourishment provided in natural cleansers, and will be much healthier in the long run.

I know the feeling of falling into a routine of ritually picking up the same cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, dishwashing liquid, or restocking my favourite hair and beauty products. However, simple changes, like switching to a natural brand, often don’t take more than a second thought. If you were looking for a simple way to reduce the amount of chemicals you and your family are exposed to, opt for a natural shampoo and conditioner. Decreasing our dependence on toxic chemicals benefits both our health and the environment, and it is these mindful changes that allow us to lead healthier lives.

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