Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Recommendations Part 4: Hair Care


Of course I recommend our shampoo!  Have hard water?  E-mail me for a super-secret solution!  (And it has nothing to do with baking soda.)

Instead of using conditioner with our shampoo, we recommend a vinegar rinse (instructions included with shampoo.)  There are other options, like lemon juice or citric acid that you can use as well if you don't like the smell of vinegar.  E-mail me for more details!  

Also, there's:
Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Hair Conditioner
I have tried this product so I can tell you a few things about it. It is pricey.  Once you pay for shipping it's a $40 bottle of conditioner (and only 6 oz of product.)  Because of the lack of quats and other chemicals, it doesn't spread like other conditioners, and you end up using a lot of product in order to feel fully conditioned.  It does have a strong smell that lingers in your hair afterwards.  Some love it, some hate it.  I didn't mind it, although it was somewhat earthy and masculine to me.  (However, we all experience scents differently.)  The upside: totally certified organic conditioner, and it worked pretty well if you're looking for a vinegar alternative.

Note: My recommending a product, does not mean that I endorse the entire brand.  I never recommend on brand alone, only individual ingredients lists of products.  

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm pretty low maintenance.  I don't use hair products very often and haven't tried these so I can't give you a full review of how they work.  But, ingredients-wise, these are my winners!

Hair Spray
Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Perfect Hold Hair Spray

Aubrey NuStyle Organic Hairspray

Hair Gel
Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Styling Gel

Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Pomade

Styling For Ethnic Hair
Kinky Curly Curl Custard actually isn't too bad! 

You've probably noticed by now that I recommend Intelligent Nutrients!  These products I've listed are on par with our standards.  However, do avoid their Harmonic line of products, as they contain quaternary ammonium compounds and other chemicals.  

In the picture on the left, I achieved this hair style with no styling aids whatsoever.  I simply dried after washing until my hair was just damp, then used a curl dryer to finish my hair.  You could also achieve the same result with a larger barrel curling iron (2"). Dry hair until just barely damp, and then using the curling iron.  

My hair, once it's dry, is pretty difficult to curl.  I have to use the highest heat settings possible, and then an hour later it's flat again.  But, if I curl it when it's damp, the curl holds.  I prefer the curl dryer to a curling iron, as the hold seems to last longer, and I love anything that simplifies my routine.  Curling and drying at the same time...I'll take it!

This photo is from when my hair was a bit shorter, but I styled it simply with a straightening iron.  I recommend a ceramic straightener, preferably a Chi.  It doesn't tug or rip at my hair, it heats up fast, and works great, even on slept-on-when-wet wavy hair. I had a Hot Tools for a number of years, but once it gave out, I got a new Hot Tools.  The new one tore up my hair because the plates didn't meet up smoothly.  So, I replaced it with my Chi and haven't looked back.

If you have naturally curly hair, using a quality straightener on a semi-regular basis can actually make it feel more "healthy" because it smooths and straightens the hair shaft.  We have a tendency to equate smooth hair with healthy hair, when that may not necessarily be the case.  Using a straightener does have its advantages, however, you can end up damaging your ends, so I try to use it sparingly.  

Most of the time, though, I just let my freak flag fly, and just go with my natural wave/curl.  Humid days are the best for that!  I'll maybe touch up some spots and make some spiral curls with a curling iron if I want a more polished look.  I'll achieve this look by brushing it a little when wet and letting it just air dry.


Rian said...

I have naturally curly hair, kinda spiral, and am not ethnic and I love Kinky Curly. I think if you have truly curly hair you would love the product, I recommend it to everyone.

Audrey said...

What about detangling? I don't want to (no, can't is more like it) spend $40 on a conditioner, but I can't not use one, my hair will be one giant knot. My little girl, who's only 15 mos is starting to get longer hair too and she already cries when I comb it... we use CA baby body wash but I'm not sure what to use when her hair starts to get even longer? Any suggestions? (and we do have hard water)

Stephanie Greenwood said...

When you use our shampoo, the vinegar acts as a natural detangler!

Anonymous said...

I love all of your posts, Stephanie!! What about a Frizz Serum? And a Heat Protectant? I would appreciate your professional advice. You rock! I follow pretty much everything you suggest! :)

Stephanie Greenwood said...

I haven't found a frizz serum that really has done anything to control my frizz, let alone one that was safe. One thing that you could try is just moistening the palms of your hands with some olive oil, then patting it on flyaways to control frizz. Otherwise, I would recommend a high quality straightener.

As far as a heat protectant, unfortunately in the natural world there isn't anything other than just using a simple oil. Commercial products coat the hair with quaternary ammonium compounds and silicones. There isn't a natural alternative that does this, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

As a hairdresser, I often recommend extra virgin coconut oil for taming frizz, it also work's great for dry scalp or awesome a hot oil treatment,just know if you have fine flat hair it will be even flatter:)

Katie said...

For frizz I just use a lotion stick, rub it on my hands, and then lightly spread it through my (dry) hair. I usually only have to put it on the top part, but it works throughout too, just like if you were putting on a cream.

Another one I've used is organic jojoba oil in a spritzer/spray bottle, but as my hair can look fairly greasy on a regular basis, I stopped using it.

Anonymous said...

I like that idea about a frizz-taming lotion stick, Katie-thanks! (I love when a product has more than one use. Less clutter in my cabinet.)

Hi Stephanie--I think I know the answer to this, but are there big toxic issues with most Giovanni haircare products? I read ingredient labels a lot at Whole Foods, and saw that Giovanni boasts of "no parabens, etc.", but it also looks like they have a lot of other un-pronounceable chemicals listed too...?


Jess said...

Hi Stephanie!
Just found your website and it is brilliant! I was researching 'sodium coco sulphate' as I have noticed a few companies are advertising 'organic hair care' and that is their replacement for SLS. Anyway, I am investing in a salon and have been looking for completely organic products to use as I want it to be as natural as possible.. Do you have any suggestions as to where/what brand I could look at? Everytime I think I have found an honest company that cares, turns out they use clever wording to trick you into thinking it is organic.

Can't wait to read more on your blog! I think I will be spending a lot of time on here =D

Thanks again!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Thanks for your question and kind words, Jess! We do offer wholesale accounts to salons! Just contact us at info [at] for our wholesale application! :)

Christina said...

Hello Stephanie,
I was wondering if the Max Green Alchemy products were safe. I am interested in their styling products. On their website the scalp rescue styling gel ingredients are: Herbal Infusion [Purified Water (Aqua), (Glycyrrhiza Glabra* (licorice) Root, Tussilago Farfara+ (coltsfoot) Leaf, Achillea Millefolium* (yarrow), Salix Alba+ (willow), Tabebuia Impetiginosa+ (pau díarco), Arctium Lappa* (burdock) Root, Berberis Aquifolium (mahonia), Calendula Officinalis* (calendula), Equisetum Arvense* (horsetail), Urtica Dioica* (nettle)], dehydroxanthan gum (plant derived styling agent), Hydrolysed Soy Protein, Aloe Barbadensis* (aloe vera) Leaf, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Anisate, Panthenol (pro vitamin B5), Leptospermum Petersonii (lemon tea tree), Melaleuca Alternifolia* (tea tree), Lavandula Angustifolia* (lavender), Pelargonium Graveolens* (geranium), Rosemarinus officinalis* (rosemary).
*Organic +Wildcrafted Could you please let me know if this is a good product. Thank you so much!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

I'm not crazy about Willow Bark Extract, due to the salicylic acid it contains. (Possible estrogen mimicker.)

I'm also not crazy about sodium benzoate. You can read the article here about it:

Christina said...

Thank you for answering my questions Stephanie. This is all so overwhelming!

Christina said...

Hello Stephanie,
First, I want to say I am so glad I found your website! I am looking for a safe styling gel, pomade or whatever and you recommended intelligent nutrients. I looked up the ingredients for the styling gel and this is what I found: Certified organic aloe barbadensis leaf juice, certified organic ethyl palmate, certified organic cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, certified organic acacia senegal gum, certified organic ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, certified organic alcohol denat., certified organic citrus medica limã³n (lemon) peel oil, certified organic cyamopsis tetragonoloba (guar) gum, certified organic ceratonia siliqua (locust bean) gum, certified organic nigella sativa (black cumin) seed oil, certified organic cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil, certified organic rubus idaeus (red raspberry) seed oil, certified organic vitis vinifera (red grape) seed oil, certified organic vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil, certified organic mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil, certified organic cinnamomum camphora (ravintsara) leaf oil, certified organic rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, certified organic menthol, certified organic elettaria cardamomum seed oil, certified organic cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon) bark oil, certified organic vanilla planifolia fruit (natural flavor), certified organic rubus idaeus (red raspberry natural flavor type), certified organic chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower oil, certified organic citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, certified organic citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, certified organic limonene, certified organic linalool, certified organic citric acid, tocopherol (vitamin e). Is the organic cinnamon bark oil ok in this? I was wondering because I read on your essential oils to avoid list that this was one to avoid. Is organic different? I am just wondering :-) Thank you!

Stephanie Greenwood said...

Oh thanks for pointing that out! It looks like its being used in a very small concentration so it shouldn't be a problem. However, you might try to get a sample size first to test for irritation. I would still choose this over other options that contain more harmful chemicals.

Anonymous said...

Looking for a hair spray. The Aubrey is a discontinued item and the intelligent nutrients is terribly expensive. What do you think about the Aubrey chia spray? Thanks for your help.

Stephanie Greenwood said...

The aubrey chia spray looks good to me!