Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Going All Natural: New Product Search

And so the quest starts!


I’m diving right into the au naturale experiment and have been doing research into what natural products are out there to experiment with. Thankfully, I’m no complete stranger to using some natural stuff on my hair. I’ve included things like avocado oil and glycerin in my products quite early on. But it turns out there are even more deliciously useful and accessible items out there to try. How do I go about choosing them? I’m going to start at the beginning and assess what my current needs are.

My hair ‘problems’ at the moment are that it’s; dry, thinning, coarse, gets easily tangled and my scalp gets itchy. Of course I’ll also want to have some help in the growth department and for my hair to be strong. From this, I began to do some digging as well as some further reading into some of the natural products I currently have in my routine. There are so many products out there that are naturally great for our hair and some of them may or may not work on mine but I had to decide on a few. I based my following shopping list on what my problem hair areas are, accessibility to these products in South Africa as well as price. Some things were just too expensive or required a lot of effort on my part to get a hold of but there were always cheaper and more easily attained.

Here is my shopping list along with some of the known benefits relevant to my hair:
  • Cocoa butter – as part of my butter. Helps with detangling, thickening of hair, helps relieve dry and itchy scalp
  • Coconut Oil – as part of my butter. Helps to seal in moisture,strengthen hair and scalp.
  • Vanilla Essential Oil – to make my butter and spritz smell yummy!
  • Tea Tree Oil – as part of my daily spritz. Helps to combat dandruff, itchy scalp and as a mild preservative to keep my spritz fresher for a little longer.
  • Flax Seed – to produce gel. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids which are great for hair growth and scalp health. 
  • Coconut Cream – as part of my deep conditioner. Packed with protein, it’s thick and helps to strengthen damaged hair. 

Already in my cupboard: 
  • Avocado oil - a great liquid oil (as opposed to coconut oil which solidifies quickly). It's a light sealant that contains amino acids and is absorbed quickly by the skin. 
  • Castor oil – as part of my daily spritz. Stimulates hair growth and thickness. 
  • Glycerin – as part of my daily spritz. It's an affordable humectant that draws moisture to the hair.
  • Aloe Vera juice – as part of my daily spritz. Helps to condition hair, as well as reduce dandruff and promote growth.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – as part of my deep conditioner. 
  • Bicarbonate of soda – as my cleanser. Bicarb is a well known cleaning agent used for a variety of purposes. It lifts build up from hair and scalp.
  • Apple cider vinegar – as my post cleanser rinse to get my hair's PH level back to normal. It apparently has the closest level of PH to hair than any other vinegar.

So off I go on my quest to even more natural hair. Do any of you use all natural products? Do share your fave recipes! 


  1. This is a thought provoking piece! Will research more on the products listed and might go natural with my products too. Thanks Ayesha!

  2. Hey Ayesha! I'm a fan of natural products as far as you can manage/afford it - there's nothing like it! I'd recommend shea butter too... it has a ton of benefits for natural hair. Vitamin E oil is also great for your scalp health and works as a preservative in all the butters and spritzes I make :-)

    Just some advice... be wary of using bicarbonate of soda (strong alkali) immediately before/or apple cider vinegar (strong acid) as the pH swings may damage your hair further.

    All the best with your natural product journey :-)

  3. I'd also recommend shea butter, especially over cocoa butter. Shea butter has much softer texture and seems to penetrate and soften hair better than cocoa butter. Shea butter also doesn't clog the pores as cocoa butter is known to do.

    I have used bicarbonate of soda to cleanse my hair and scalp in the past and found it to be very harsh. If you're looking for a no-poo way to cleanse your hair, clays (such as bentonite and rhassoul) are much, much better. They cleanse without being drying and rinse out easily. They also don't shrink up the hair like shampoos.

    (In case you're wondering, I have fine 4b, kinky hair that is 14-18 inches long. My hair has always been natural but for a long time, I couldn't seem to get past 6 inches.)

  4. Hi there.

    Where can I find vanilla essential oil and coconut cream? It's really difficult to both these products.
    I think us naturals need to go on a protest march, not enough friggin products for natural hair... whhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyy :-(

  5. Hey, I've found success with my hair after over two years with being minimalist. I use only three products, and my hair loves it! I wash and condition weekly with DermOrganics Hydrating Shampoo and Intense Hair Masque (Vegan products). Then on wet hair, I twist with Avocado butter, from camdengrey.com. Nightly I spritz with water and retwist, and every few days I seal the water with Avocado butter. Shea butter is great too, but the Avo butter, has a nicer consistency. Less is more. Good luck!

  6. Bentonite Clay.
    Tried a homemade mud wash myself last Sunday and it was amazing. Only other ingredients necessary: oils, honey and Aloe Vera Juice.
    My hair loved it.

  7. You're right! You can base our journey from natural ingredients. Check on my blog, I do my DC with rhassoul and mango butter!

  8. Ooh, we are on the same journey. I'm trying to go au naturale (or as close as possible) in an effort to generally detox my body (I'm changing my diet too). So far I use natural oils, shampoo, and hair gel (flaxseed) but I'm having a hard time finding a natural conditioner that works well. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hello, loving your blog!!
    I've found that natural products make my hair feel much better. My favourite oil at the moment is jojoba oil, it is light, but locks in the moisture very well. I'm also documenting my journey, check out my blog =)


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