There has been SO much buzz about natural products and there are so many new options for products out there that promise they contain natural ingredients, maybe even vegan ingredients. I have discovered that though they may contain natural ingredients, they are very rarely completely comprised of ONLY natural ingredients. For some people, that is okay but for me, my body is highly reactive to chemicals especially artificial fragrances which are almost always present in store bought natural hair and skin products. I am eager to share my hair and skin journey with you because I have been asked so many times about the thickness, shininess, or health of my hair and about what kinds of products I use. I thought that dedicating a portion of the blog to ways that I have routinized and simplified my hair and skin care would be really helpful for people.
I’ve always had eczema but, in my teen years, my eczema got progressively worse. I had hyper-pigmentation and rough, itchy patches of skin everywhere on my body including my face, legs, arms, and neck. I used medicated creams, soothing remedies, and nothing worked. My doctor suggested that I use fragrance-free skin care products and I was hooked. My eczema cleared when I started regularly using fragrance free, hypoallergenic deodorant, detergent, and lotions. For the next 6 years, my skin had improved so much and I was happy that I finally got rid of the eczema. However, in my early 20’s, small rough patches started to re-emerge. I was super annoyed because I was already using fragrance free products. I was spraying perfumes and body sprays on my clothing and not my skin. I thought that should definitely be enough to stop the irritation. Like, what more could my body possibly want from me?
Soooooo let’s rewind a bit: When I moved to Houston, I changed my hair regimen. I started using conditioner to cowash several times a week and wearing wash and gos more frequently. Houston is so hot and I love wash and gos, so it just worked for me. But I discovered that scented conditioners, even the ones that claimed to be natural or “made from natural ingredients” were wreaking havoc on my skin when I used them in the shower.
SO you guessed it! I started using fragrance free shampoo and conditioner, specifically the store brand from whole foods and of course I saw some improvement. However, I took issue with the fact that I didn’t recognize most of the chemical ingredients in those products and really in many of the products I was using on my hair and skin. After using those products, I smelled like NOTHING and my hair and body felt stripped of their natural oils, shine, and silkiness.
As I finished using those products, I phased them out of my routine completely and started researching natural oils that would give me the results I wanted. I also began to suffer from severe acne and so I needed products that improved acne and added health to my skin and hair. I infused small amounts of essential oils for aromatherapy and for the scent that I missed by using fragrance free products.
It is just really empowering for me to know exactly what I am putting on my body and hair and what my body will be absorbing. These are really important decisions that we constantly make everyday. I have routinized these decisions so that I am intentionally making them with very little daily effort.
So, what do I use?
Black Soap Shampoo: African Black Soap, Water, Essential oil of my choice
Shea Butter Conditioner: Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Peppermint Oil
Scalp/Take-Down oil: Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Tea Tree Oil
Face Wash: African Black Soap
Weekly Mask: Calcium Bentonite Clay & Water
Toner: Water, Tea Tree Oil OR Water, Apple Cider Vinegar
Moisturizer: Shea Butter, Red Raspberry Seed Oil
In future posts, I want to talk about the benefits of the ingredients I use very intentionally on my body for desired results. I also want to talk about actual items that I use to get the most out of these products during application and dietary changes that I’ve implemented to see desired results. Like this if you would be interested in seeing these kinds of things on the blog.