An important step on the road to natural, sustainable beauty is how you use your products correctly. At Use Me we are not only concerned with providing the best, healthiest products, but also with education people and often changing their perception of cleanliness. I must say corporate marketing teams have done a great job convincing consumers what it means to be “clean”. If you watch any shampoo commercial online, you will undoubtedly see copious amounts of foam and suds, followed by a swish of the head and voila – beautiful shine from root to end. Little do you know, all that lather is really doing is stripping away your natural oils. These oils are a necessity and help nourish our hair while protecting our scalp. If you follow the ads, then once your hair is “clean”, you lather on moisturizer while your body rushes to produce extra oils because SOMEHOW they just got stripped away. What you are left with is an unnatural cycle that is slowly taking you down the road of premature aging hair. I would now like to outline the correct way to wash your hair to start you on the path towards natural hair.
First Rule: Cleanser is for the scalp, moisturizer is for the hair.
When shampooing your hair, all you should be doing is cleansing your scalp. The cleanser (shampoo) is meant to remove excess oils and any dirt or grime that has accumulated on your scalp. Do not worry about lathering cleanser all throughout your hair. This will only lead you to use too much product and it will dry out your hair. If you are thinking “well my hair is dirty too so how do I get it clean”, do not worry. When you rinse, the cleanser will move down through your hair, removing any lingering dirt or grime. This process is more than enough to clean your scalp and hair, and it will leave your natural oils atop your head.
Now its time for moisturizer, to strengthen your hair and protect from the elements. Remember, you already have natural oils on your scalp that do the same thing. So, when applying moisturizer, focus on the hair and ends. This way, you will help repair your hair, reduce frizz, and enhance your natural shine without getting unnecessary buildup on your scalp that could clog pores and may even stress your body.
Second Rule: Wash once a day or every two days.
By washing your hair too many times, you run the risk of stripping away your natural oils. These oils make up a protective layer on your scalp called your sebum. Your sebum has many roles on your head and I recommend looking it up. Three important functions are protecting and moisturizing the skin, assisting your immune system, and nourishing your hair follicle. When the sebum is diminished or depleted, your skin is exposed and your body becomes stressed trying to replace it. Often times your body produce excess oils to repair the damage and prevent this from happening again. This will lead to an oily scalp, clogged pores, and cause you to wash more frequently, hence the unnatural, downwards spiral.
Final Rule: A little goes a long way.
Everyone is different and it will take some experimentation to find the right amount of product, but trust me when I say “more is not better”. Not only are you running the risk of stripping away more good oils and drying out your hair, but you are wasting product, and product is money! All you really need is a teaspoon sized amount (usually even less) to get the job done. Remember, your hair is not a kitchen floor, it should not be “squeaky clean”. There are natural process that control your hair and you need to synchronize with and enhance them, not replace them, in order to achieve natural, sustainable beauty.
Refill, Reuse, Repeat