When talking high-quality haircare – you know, the type of products that have you praising hair gods on the daily – the ingredients that are left out are just as important as those that are put in.
Nutrient-dense goodness in pure and concentrated form should be a haircare given. Hair is a natural structure and many ingredients in nature share similar components to hair . As well, these natural wonders are rich in essential nutrients for healthy hair growth, like proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Modern life is busy enough. Throw in general dehydration and environmental stressors, like UV rays and air pollution, and achieving silky, well-behaved locks can feel like a never-ending quest. That’s why it’s important that your haircare works harder than you do to replenish moisture and nutrition.
How your hair and health respond to synthetic toxins
The last thing tense tresses need is anything that will sap their vital oils and nutrients or prevent them from drinking up beneficial ingredients, which is exactly how bad hair bandits behave. Some synthetic haircare additives can steal your hair’s natural shine, when claimed to enhance it.
Some of these bandits are derived from petrochemicals and have documented effects on human health and the environment. Among the worst offenders are polyethylene glycols (PEGS) and the paraben family.
PEGs are linked to gene toxicity and, if not properly processed during manufacturing stage, may be contaminated with cancer-causing ethylene oxide.
And parabens? They’re linked to hormone and gene disruption. A British study found parabens in the breast tissue of 19 out of 20 women, provoking concerns about the cumulative effects of paraben use. There is also evidence that parabens can harm marine life when washed down the drain, and into delicate ocean ecosystems.
Unfortunately, regulators aren’t quick to catch up with research on the probable harms posed by these chemicals and they’re allowed to slink into our personal care products, unchecked.
Hair and skin are porous and very capable of absorbing what we put on them. This is great news if we’re using plenty of lush, plant-based deliciousness, but not so hot if this comes with a side of nasties that strip the hair and scalp of moisture and disrupt the innate synergy within our clever bods.
This is why you’ll find zero synthetic toxins in George’s line-up of hair heroes – we only put the good stuff in, so that you can stress less about your hair and health!
Beware, the nature impostors!
There’s been a lot of buzz around natural ingredients over the years and with that buzz comes corporate greed, in the form of green-washing . It’s common to turn over an earthy-looking shampoo bottle and see a laundry list of toxins that would make a hipster blush.
The 4-1-1 on greenwashing: if you’re not yet acquainted with the term, greenwashing is a marketing practice which deceives consumers into thinking that a product or brand is more natural or eco-friendly than it truly is. One key greenwashing tactic is ‘the hidden trade-off’, where one or two environmental claims are played up (like ‘contains organic ingredients!’), when a product is far from clean and green.
An Environmental Working Group (EWG) study found that women are exposed to an average of 168 chemicals through their personal care routines, every day. But consumers are become more astute about the ingredients they’re willing to cosy up to, and we are here for it!
A great first step to avoid nature -washing in your haircare is to get friendly with labels. Don’t take package claims of “organic ingredients” at face value, as these often mask chemical constituents. If an ingredient on the label looks suss, search it on the EWG’s Skin Deep database and check its safety scorecard.
Can natural haircare truly revamp damaged hair?
Hair health relies on two essential pillars:
Inner health, which promotes healthy hair growth at the root; and the care you show your hair cells as they grow from your scalp.
The quality of the strands that sprout from your hair follicles is largely determined by the nutrition and hydration your body receives. You can cinch this part by drinking plenty of water, eating a wide variety of whole foods, including plenty of healthy fats and oils, and taking a high-quality supplement if you’re deficient in hair-lovin’ nutrients, like zinc, protein, iron, and B-vitamins, like biotin.
You can give your roots an extra helping hand by applying nutrients to the scalp in the form of a deep-conditioning hair mask, like Better Hair Days, which contains all the essential nutrients for gorgeous hair in one nifty formula.
Once hair leaves the root, it can no longer receive nutrients or moisture from inside your body, which means that you’ll need to preserve the integrity of your hair with regular trims and some occasional respite from hot tools and chemical exposure.
If you scoff at the idea of the odd timeout from your colourist and GHD, a nourishing haircare routine is an absolute must, to replenish moisture and nutrients that escape through over processing.
Truly natural haircare products use an abundance of pure plant ingredients. Because this plant magic contains nutrients in their natural form – the same form as the nutrients inside our bodies – they are more bioavailable. This means that they’re better able to be absorbed by the hair and scalp and used by the body to grow healthy hair.
Some of the oils and proteins in natural formulations are proven moisturisers and essentially fill in damaged areas of the hair strand – creating a smooth, glossy seal in place of frayed cuticles.
Conventional haircare might use one or two natural ingredients, but the formulas are often rounded out with silicone and synthetic vitamins and minerals, making your hair and scalp work harder to absorb the good stuff.
Hair glows different when you skip the nasties and feed it with all good things. Natural haircare is a no-brainer if you want to nourish your scalp, roots and hair strands with ideal moisture and nutrition, minus exposure to the potential harms posed by synthetics.