We are always searching for the more natural, safer, effective alternative to store-bought hair products and treatments. The following all-natural cleansing ingredients are known to clarify pores in the scalp, alleviate dryness and dandruff, and promote healthy hair growth. For those on a DIY kick since becoming natural, these ingredients should be considered while finding a homemade replacement for shampoo. If you would rather buy a shampoo than make one yourself, below is a list of products that contain these effective natural cleansing agents.
Tea Tree Oil
Curl Chemist Tonya says "Tea tree oil is an effective solvent for sebum and other dirt or oily buildup on the scalp and hair, so it can be used to help provide a clear, clean surface that can absorb moisture and conditioning products more readily." Much like benzoyl peroxide but with less harsh side effects, tea tree is recommended for usage only if dissolved and diluted with a carrier oil first. Read the 411 on Tea Tree Oil here.
Apple Cider Vinegar
When used as a hair rinse, apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be used to gently cleanse the hair and remove product buildup. It balances the pH of your hair and scalp. It has a pH of about 3. If you add an acidic rinse like apple cider vinegar to the hair, it will further reduce the pH of your hair strands. Making your hair slightly more acidic will close the cuticles of the hair, making the layers lay down flat. Read about 4 other popular hair rinse ingredients.
Known as a natural exfoliator for dead skin cells, sugar is often used as part of facial masks. It's helpful for dirty scalps, too. Sugar helps to remove dead cells, relieves an itchy scalp, and can prevent premature hair loss by allowing blood flow to circulate to the scalp, which promotes growth. Read more easy DIY sugar recipes here.
Rosemary essential oil works well for skin and scalp conditions. There are many clarifying shampoo recipes made with Rosemary oil for this reason. It helps balance natural oils in your scalp. The antioxidant powers of vitamin, iron, and calcium in Rosemary essential oil support collagen levels help promote shinier hair, a fresh-feeling scalp, and hair growth. Read 8 other effective ways to use Rosemary.
Rapeseed oil comes from the black seeds of the rapeseed plant, Brassica napus, which is part of the Brassica family just like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Dry hair doesn't stand a chance against this oil's unsaturated fatty acids that coat the hair shaft. Rapeseed oil is light, penetrates the scalp, and has an excellent ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, for anti-inflammatory effects. Read more about this amazing oil here.
According to DNA India, black pepper is rich in Vitamins A and C, flavonoids, carotenoids and other anti-oxidants that help remove harmful free radicals and protect the body from cancers and diseases. For us, this means black pepper has exceptional growth stimulating and dandruff fighting abilities. Here is an easy to follow DIY root stimulating recipe using black pepper.
When added to shampoo, bamboo extract works hard at removing buildup. Some products with bamboo extract deliver nutrients to the hair follicle to further improve the vitality of your strands as it is being produced. 70% of this grassy wonder is comprised of silica and can also be taken in powder or pill form.
A natural, gentle dandruff, psoriasis, and dry scalp reliever, neem oil also is effective in removing head lice from your young one's scalp. There are plenty of natural hair products made with Azadirachta indica, the scientific name for this evergreen. Read more about Neem oil here.
This famous tree oil is popular in the hair industry for being antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal. It not only cleans the scalp but will help in alleviate scalp irritations like dandruff. A quick fix for all hair problems can be whisked away with a few drops of moringa oil blended with coconut oil. Read Sabrina's full article on Moringa Oil and a list of product recommendations here.
Willow Bark Extract
White willow bark is an excellent inclusion in a hair care product for someone with really oily hair or a dandruff prone scalp. Cosmetic Scientician enthusiast and author Susan Barclay-Nichols says it makes for a great addition to a DIY clarifier for those with oily hair. Willow bark contains the highest concentrated form of salicylic acid found in nature. This acts as an exfoliator for skin and scalp, and the tannins are astringent.