In this blog, we'll explain why your natural hair loves products with natural ingredients.
Since the Industrial Revolution, most of the ingredients in afro hair products and treatments have been synthetic, unhealthy and terrible for the environment.
Why do we use natural ingredients in our afro hair products?
They have been passed around from industry to industry because of their versatile properties and low cost.
Silicones are a strong example of this - they are used widely in the electronics, automotive, glass industries and many more.
Seen mineral oil on your ingredient list? Minerals are good for you! But mineral oil is actually a by-product of petroleum, the type you use to fuel your car!
Both materials are used widely in industries for their lubricating properties.
For humans, synthetic ingredients are known to cause irritation and have been reported to lead to a range of illnesses. In one analysis, “about 1 in 12 black hair care personal care products marketed to black women was ranked highly hazardous”.
We believe your hair and health deserve more than that!
What is a natural ingredient?
Strict EU regulation defines a natural ingredient as a “naturally occurring substance as such, unprocessed or processed only by:
- manual, mechanical or gravitational means;
- dissolution in water;
- extraction with water;
- steam distillation or heating solely to remove water;
Figuring out which ingredients are natural in a product can be tricky.
Don’t be afraid of the names that you can't pronounce! If you want to learn more about how to read ingredients - check out our blog on it.
Below are some of the ingredients we use in Swish our shampoo. See how some complex looking names are actually natural, recognisable materials?
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut based cleanser)
- Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate(Coconut based cleanser)
- Benzoic acid and Sorbic acid (Environmentally Friendly Preservative)
- D Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5)
- Cetearyl Alcohol (Emulsifying Wax)
Why do natural ingredients work wonders for afro hair?
If you've had a look at our ingredients list you would notice that we love natural ingredients - all our products are 97% - 100% natural!
This is because they are highly effective and gentler on skin and hair than synthetic ones that are cheaply produced.
Let us take you through some of the natural ingredients we use and explain why they work so well on afro hair.
Aloe Vera Juice
We're huge fans of aloe vera juice and use it in our water-based products such as Swish, Sheen and Smooth.
It's made up of 99.5% water, while the 0.05-1% is made of water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, enzymes, organic salts and more.
These components promote skin hydration, have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antioxidant and wound healing effects.
Not bad for a little plant right!?
Aloe vera juice also helps other ingredients effectively do their job - talk about a team player!
Natural carrier oils
Our 100% natural products, like Seal and Soothe, contain a mixture of oils that have similar compositions of fatty acid content, water and fat-soluble vitamins which afro hair absolutely loves!
Almond oil, Grapeseed oil and Wheatgerm oil all have a high percentage of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
“What does that mean?”
Simply put they are very compatible with the content of fatty acid content found in hair. This means using them will help your afro hair feel softer and helps to keep your kinks and coils moisturised.
Fun fact: We also utilise olive oil’s saturated fatty acid as a stabiliser. This helps to make our oils stay perfectly blended for each use!
Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid, which is known for its anti-inflammatory effects. This makes it stay on the surface to act as a barrier to water loss. At the same time, it acts as a gatekeeper, allowing vitamins in to help strengthen the hair shaft.
The structure of coconut oil makes it easier for products to get into the hair shaft and helps to maintain the moisture balance of your afro hair which is essential for hair growth.
The special blend of oils that we use creates a layer on the surface of your afro hair, making it conditioned, soft and smooth. They also lubricate the surface and prevent water and other good ingredients from evaporating out of your kinks and coils where they work their magic.
These natural ingredients decrease the friction between the hair strands and reduce the tangles and frizz usually associated with afro hair.
Apart from their fabulous aroma, lemongrass oil, lavender oil and eucalyptus oil, have antimicrobial and antifungal properties that help prevent infection which is likely to occur with skin or scalp damage.
The properties of natural oils can alleviate the effects of dry/damaged hair and scalp, itchiness and inflammation.
They are proven to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and keep your hair and scalp moisturised.
Natural ingredients such as the ones mentioned above help maintain a healthy environment for both our skin and hair.
The table below shows specifically the functions of the oils used in Seal, our 100% hair oil.
What this means for your hair care
All hair has naturally occurring oils (sebum) and fatty acids (18-MEA) which bind to the underlying proteins in it.
18-MEA is unique to hair, it covers the cuticle, making it look luxuriously smooth and shiny, giving you defined curls.
It also lubricates your hair strands so that detangling and styling are made more easily. This special fatty acid basically makes your afro hair feel softer and less frizzy.
By using natural materials, we mimic what sebum and 18-MEA are already doing within your hair and skin.
By embracing what nature gives us, we make it easier to assist the healthy growth and maintenance of your afro hair.
This means easier hair care, healthier hair and a healthier body for you!
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