I get a lot of questions of how and why to switch up your haircare routine to one that is free of certain ingredients such as sulphates and silicones. Maintaining your hairs condition naturally shouldn’t be a chore and in fact is easier than you think. First of all you need to know what ingredients actually do for your hair and then you can make a plan of action to switch up your routine.
Silicones – Silicones are polymers that are used to add shine and smooth the hair, there are lots of different kinds and the best way to find out whether your products contain silicones is check your ingredients lists – some different kinds of silicones include; dimethicone, cyclomethicone or dimethiconol. One of the problems with silicones is that they can build up on the hair and are difficult to wash out, which then means you end up needing to add clarifying products in to your routine.
SLS (Sodium Lauryl sulphate) – SLS is often used in shampoos, because it is excellent for removing ingredients like silicones. The downside of SLS is that it can be incredibly drying, both on hair and skin. Using harsh foaming shampoos then means that you often need to use more smoothing products, many of which have silicones and then you are stuck in a cycle of having to wash out and apply products.
If you have curly hair, or very fine hair making the switch to silicone and sulphate free haircare can be particularly helpful for you, but taking a more natural approach to your haircare can benefit everyone. Here are some of my top tips:
Check the ingredients lists – Make sure you check your current routine including any styling products to find out which ones include silicones and what kinds. You want to remove any silicone styling products first from your routine and then look at your shampoo and conditioner ingredients.
Be prepared for a transition period – Don’t forget that if you have been coating your hair in silicones for some it will take a little bit of time to remove that residue from your hair and for you to repair it naturally. It can take a few weeks for this to happen, but afterwards your hair will be healthier and stronger.
Take your time – When you first switch to a silicone and SLS free shampoo, it really pays off to spend a little more time than you usually would shampooing and making sure you reach all those hard to reach areas such as behind the ears. Lower foaming shampoo can clean the hair equally as well as their highly foaming counterparts but as they produce less bubbles, it is really helpful to make sure you massage the shampoo well to make sure no spots are missed.
Nourish and repair – Now that you have stopped coating your hair in silicones, you might be wondering what to use to battle frizz. The good news is that there are lots of brands who create natural products that help condition and repair the hair without coating it. Make sure you use a nourishing conditioner as a hair mask once a week and leave on a little longer to allow the ingredients to penetrate and help repair.
Kind Natured have four different haircare ranges to choose from, all completely silicone and SLS free. What I really like about these products is that they are great value for money, readily available on the high street at Boots and an ideal product to help you transition smoothly to a more natural haircare routine. The shampoos and conditioners are 97% natural, cruelty free and the products are also vegan friendly with the exception of the lip balms.
My personal pick from Kind Natured is the Nourishing range with Ylang Ylang and sage, it leaves my hair really clean and soft. The shampoo lathers well and is easy to use and the conditioner deeply nourishes and calms frizz thanks to the addition of coconut oil in the formula. At just £4.99 each they are great value for money. You can shop the Kind Natured range on their website kindnatured.com.
Have you switched to an SLS and silicone free haircare routine yet?
Check out more from Ana on her blog ‘Ana Goes Green’