Switching to natural, non-toxic shampoo and conditioner is not only better for the environment; it can also be better for the appearance of your hair. One of the benefits of natural shampoo and conditioner, if the most obvious, is you know exactly what you’re exposing yourself and your family too. In addition to the eco-friendly ingredients, switching to a natural shampoo and conditioner can potentially help your scalp and hair look and feel healthier. Once you make the change, however, you may wish you had tried it sooner.
Why use a Natural Shampoo and Conditioner?
Many commercial shampoos contain chemicals designed to help get rid of the dirt in your hair, but they can also do a world of damage not only to your scalp but your body and the environment. Ingredients such as triclosan (an antimicrobial agent that can be absorbed through the skin and has been detected in human urine, serum, and breast milk), sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (which are foam boosting agents that can strip hair of its natural oils and contribute to dandruff, dryness and irritated skin or scalp and can cause skin irritation), synthetic fragrances (which are poorly regulated and are a common cause of contact dermatitis), and petroleum by-products such as propylene glycol. .
Learning to read which ingredients to avoid on your labels is an important step when switching to a natural shampoo and conditioner. Look for products that are made from natural ingredients. But one thing’s for sure — sulfates in shampoos and other hygiene products are very irritating to the skin. Simply look at the conventional shampoo — if it gets into your eyes, it will really sting. In addition, sulfates can dry out your hair and skin. For people who colour their hair, you can notice that your hair colour fades faster when using hair products with sulfates. Because sulfates are effective in cleaning and breaking down particles, they can strip off everything – the pigment on your hair colour, as well as the natural oils of your scalp.
It takes time and effort to investigate man-made ingredients, so as a simple general rule of thumb, look for ingredients that are naturally derived. In other words, they’re made from things found in nature, such as fragrances derived from plants and fruits. Look for products that are free of parabens and phthalates, especially as innovations in natural preservatives and fragrances eliminate the need for these ingredients.
The Adjustment Period
Transitioning to natural shampoos and conditioners can be a lengthy process. From experimenting with your washing routine, it can take a while to figure out what’s best for your hair. Sometimes you go through an adjustment period when you are using a shampoo without synthetic ingredients. Normal commercial shampoos and conditioners contain ingredients like synthetic silicones and silica that coat your hair (they leave a residue), and many hairdressers will tell you that it is a good idea to change commercial shampoo brands regularly, as your hair ‘gets used to it’ and needs a change. This may be only for a week or so, initially, your scalp might produce extra oil as your scalp adjusts. But here are some helpful tips to get you through this period:
- RESIDUE: You need to give the shampoo about a week to rid your hair of the old residues from your commercial shampoo. Because natural shampoos do not strip hair in the same way as detergent based shampoos, you may notice your wet hair feeling different after washing than you may be accustomed. This is perfectly normal, you’ll love how your hair feels after it dries. One important trick is to make sure you rinse your hair well, or even twice, as any residual shampoo can make your hair feel heavier.
- DETOX: Normal commercial shampoos strip away your natural protective oils from your scalp and hair. Your dry scalp now produces more oil to compensate. As you transition to a natural shampoo, your scalp needs time to detox, to re-balance scalp oil production. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and for some even longer. During this transition period, your hair may feel extra greasy or heavy.
- HARD WATER: Hard water can make it more difficult to rinse all of the shampoo from your hair, which can be a problem for people with long hair. Studies have also shown that hard water can be an eczema trigger. The calcium and magnesium in hard water seem to cause the skin to become drier which may lead to irritation. You can either invest in a water softener attachment for the shower (we did this, so much better for skin and hair) or you can use our Award Winning Conditioner. If your hair is still looking a little lacklustre then you need to restore your scalps natural ph balance. This can be done easily using an apple cider vinegar hair rinse to give you back renewed and revitalized beautiful hair. Take ½ cup apple cider vinegar + 2 tablespoons lemon juice and mix into 2 cups water. Use this mixture to pour all over your head and make sure to massage into your scalp. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until it gets tingly. Rinse with cold water.
Once you make the transition away from the nasty, toxins like silicone and sulfate products, you may need a completely different hair care routine. You will find that if your haircare routine involved using frizz control serum, moose, hairspray, and a tub full of products that they will not work all that well on your natural hair anymore. You will likely need to reevaluate your products and routine every few weeks during the transition phase.
Manuka Biotic Shampoo and Conditioner Natural Alternatives
Finding a product that works to help keep the scalp healthy can be difficult for those with skin sensitivities, or with pre-existing conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Manuka Biotic® have formulated a natural shampoo and conditioner; free from additives, parabens, and perfumes, that is ideal for keeping your scalp healthy.
Our Shampoo and award winning Conditioner contain Moroccan Argan Oil, which is one of the richest sources of a unique composition of botanical oils. This revitalising oil improves hair flexibility and softness, while also offering anti-oxidant protection and nourishment for the skin, helping to keep the scalp balanced and healthy as part of a daily skincare regime.
Our Shampoo is formulated to leave hair beautifully clean, while being gentle to sensitive and irritated scalps. An ideal everyday shampoo, the all-natural ingredients include Manuka Oil, which has powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and helps to calm irritated skin and scalps prone to mild forms of eczema. Ingredients also include Pro-vitamin B5, Moroccan Oil, Kanuka Oil and Chamomile to help further soothe the scalp and leave hair smooth, soft and shiny.
Our Award Winning Conditioner is formulated to be gentle enough for use on even sensitive and dry scalps, and helps to nourish and soothe the skin as it adds hydration and softness to hair. It is an ideal choice for those with mild forms of eczema. Along with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial Manuka Oil, this mild, calming conditioner is loaded with skin- and hair-loving ingredients, including rich Moroccan Oil, Olive Oil, Vitamin E, Pro-vitamin B5, and Avocado Oil, and Balm Mint: a gentle extract that helps with overactive sebaceous (oil-producing) glands on the scalp, a common cause of dandruff and other scalp conditions. Our hair care products are designed to leave hair shiny and manageable.
Our Hair care range is perfect for relieving a sensitive scalp. The natural, toxin-free formula is designed to leave their scalp grease free, and hair soft and manageable.
Why Manuka Biotic®?
- We use the worlds only certified organic Manuka oil.
- All our products contain potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe and repair the skin.
- Our products are 100% New Zealand made.
- Our products are made using natural ingredients and are FREE from:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & SLES
- PEGs, PABA, EDTA
- Added fragrances & colouring
- Mineral Oils
- Propylene Glycol
- Animal testing or animal derivatives
- Bio Gro Certified, USDA, IFOAM
Do You Know Someone Suffering an Itchy Scalp?
Like all itchy, flaky skin conditions, the trigger or cause of an itchy scalp might be one of many things. These include chronic conditions such as: dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema, all of which can be aggravated by the use of harsh artificial additives, found in many of today’s hair shampoos and conditioners. Add to that all the chemicals in hair dyes, hair gels and styling sprays, and it’s no wonder we are all scratching our heads! Itchiness can also be caused, or aggravated, by fungal infections or parasites such as: nits, dust mites or other airborne allergens. You can find out more here: