5-Step Vegan Guide to Wonderful, Healthy HairLeolin Bowen
Samson received all of his strength from it. Willow Smith whipped it back and forth. Solange said not to touch hers. What am I talking about? Hair, of course! Our hair has the power to change our mood or make us look completely different. We can braid it, straighten it, curl, dye it, cut it, add length to it, put waves in it, put it up in a bun, or let it flow down our backs. But we can’t expect to do all of these things if we don’t start by taking great care of it!
The following is a 5-step vegan guide to having wonderful, healthy hair!
Step 1: Co-Washing
Co-washing is the process of using only conditioner to “wash” your hair. Using shampoo too often can strip your hair, due to the harsh chemicals in it, while co-washing allows the natural oils on your scalp to cleanse and condition your hair and scalp. When co-washing your hair, you want to make sure to really use your fingers to massage your scalp (see tip #5) which will assist in loosening dirt and product buildup. You do not need a special conditioner to do this, so feel free to use one that you have and already gives you great results.
Dr. Bronner’s Lavender & Coconut Hair Conditioner & Styling Creme (6 fl. oz.)
- Provides light styling hold while making hair silky-soft without any synthetic ingredients.
- Organic coconut oil makes hair shiny and luxurious, while organic jojoba oil imparts excellent manageability and feel.
- Certified organic by the USDA National Organic Program and certified Vegan by Vegan Action.
Step 2: Low Manipulation
Have you ever looked at someone with dreadlocks and wondered how their hair got to be so long? One of the main reasons is because of their low-manipulation hairstyle. All of the tugging, pulling, braiding, blow-drying, and brushing that most people do causes the hair to break, resulting in uneven hair or hair that seems not to grow as fast or as thick. Style your hair and then leave it alone! If you can style your hair in a way that doesn’t require daily upkeep, even better.
Step 3: Castor Oil
I started using castor oil on my hair about two years ago and I honestly don’t know how I survived without it all of my life! Castor oil is vegetable oil obtained by pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant. It has been primarily known as a mild laxative and massage oil, but this amazing product also aids hair growth and helps to enhance your natural hair color! This oil is thick in nature, so a little goes a long way and it absorbs really well into the hair/scalp. It is also a humectant, meaning it aids in locking in moisture.
Pour a little bit of oil into your hands and rub it on towel-dried hair to lock in the water and leave your hair soft and moisturized. You can also use it as a nourishing hair mask: use a more generous amount and leave it on for 3-4 hours before you shampoo your hair in the shower.
Vegan Castor Oils
Capella Beauty Castor Oil for Skin, Hair and Scalp Care (1 fl. oz. / 4 fl. oz.)$8.79 – $12.13
100% Pure, Cold Pressed oil
Castor oil is rich in Fatty Acids, Omega 3 (moisturizer, fade scars and blemishes, reduces pigmentation) and Ricinoleic Acid (fights Acne), antifungal and antibacterial.
Long shelf life.
Vegan friendly and cruelty-free.
Can be safely mixed with serums, creams, shampoos, conditioners, other hair products or skin care products.
This oil is from the thick oils family, but it absorbs fast and penetrates deep into skin cells.
Molivera Organics 100% Pure Castor Oil, Cold Pressed (16 oz.)$12.84
- Highest premium grade available. Our 100% pure castor oil is grade A. Made in small batches to guarantee 100% freshness.
- Molivera Organics Castor Oil is cold pressed, fragrance-free, hexane-free, preservative-free, chemical-free, and 100% Vegan.
- Incredible results – extremely high in anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamins. Increases blood flow to scalp to encourage thick hair growth and re-growth.
- Anti-Aging for soft, supple, elastic skin. Diminishes appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Deep moisturizing for glowing, youthful skin. Restructuring and revitalizing for luscious, soft, touchable, lustrous, and visibly healthy and happy hair.
Namskara Organic Castor Oil with Applicator Kit (1 oz.)
- GROW LUSH, LONG EYELASHES: Used by famous TV stars, this 100% pure, USDA Organic Castor Oil is the secret to voluminous, thick eyelashes and naturally beautiful eyebrows. Includes 2 applicator brushes for simple application to lashes, browlines and detailed areas
- BOOSTS HAIR GROWTH: Extracted from raw castor seeds with the highest quality standards, this cold pressed castor oil for hair provides vitamins and nutrition for strong, long and thick hair. This premium hair growth treatment also helps regrow hair and prevent hair loss.
- PROMOTES GORGEOUS, GLOWING SKIN: Achieve supple, smooth skin with this unrefined castor oil treatment – rich in all-natural vitamins and fatty acids, it can be used as a castor oil moisturizer to hydrate skin and deliver anti-aging benefits instantly!
- #1 ALL-NATURAL BEAUTY SOLUTION: This organic extra-virgin castor oil is a real beauty remedy! It works as a natural eyelash growth serum (eyelash growth enhancer), conditioner, hot oil treatment, moisturizer, and mask to boost beautiful hair, eyelashes, brows and skin naturally – without the harsh chemicals!
- VEGAN & CRUELTY-FREE: This professional-grade vegan castor oil is cruelty-free and free of hexane (castor oil hexane free) to support your health and protect the environment (can also be used in castor oil packs)
Naissance Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oil (3.4 fl. oz./100ml)$6.89
- This amazingly versatile oil is an exceptional all-round treatment for eyelashes, eyebrows, nails, cuticles and skin, helping to nourish, revitalize and revive.
- Beautiful hair, shiny, nourished and replenished. Helps encourage growth of the eyebrows and eyelashes, helps prevent eyebrow loss, gives strength and shine.
- Has been known to help restore keratin, improve hair strength and promote hair growth. Make the most of your natural beauty by applying this luxurious oil and be amazed by the power of nature.
- No nasty chemicals, just pure 100% Castor which is kind to you and the environment. Packaged using sustainable paper and cardboard. No testing on animals and suitable for vegans.
Step 4: Hair-Loving Nutrients
Human hair is made up of nutrients such as protein, iron, biotin, and omega-3s, so it’s important that your diet is rich in these nutrients to maintain healthy hair. I am a big proponent of foods over pills, so I would suggest that you seek out food sources that are rich in these nutrients, instead of just popping a multivitamin. For example, chia seeds are loaded with omega-3, omega-6, calcium, fiber, and magnesium. These little seeds can be put into smoothies, made into puddings, and sprinkled over a salad!
There are plenty of hair-loving, nutrient-rich, natural foods out there. Find your favorites and make a point of adding them to your daily menu.
Navitas Organics Chia Seeds (16 oz. Bag)$10.08
- Named after the Mayan word for “strength,” these tiny seeds are a substantial source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants!
- An excellent source of essential fatty acids, chia contains 8 times more omega-3s than salmon. Chia has superior hydrating capabilities, 2 grams of protein and 11% DRV of fiber in one serving.
- The ultimate versatile superfood: add it to salads, porridge, toast, dips, smoothies, or baked goods.
- USDA Organic, Kosher, Non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free
- Contains 1 – 16oz. Pouch of Chia Seeds
Step 5: Scalp Massage
Don’t you just love sitting down in front of the shampooer at your favorite salon, leaning your head back into the sink, feeling that warm water on your scalp and having them massage all of the stress (and dirt) away? The benefits of a body massage have been long known. It can reduce stress, help with recovery after an injury, and darn it, it just feels good!
Well, those same benefits extend to a scalp massage as well. There is a long list of the benefits of scalp massages, including helping to strengthen hair roots and nourishing the hair shaft, promoting new hair growth and strengthening current hair. Whether you massage your scalp yourself or get your partner or hairdresser to do it for you, this needs to become part of your weekly hair regime.
I love how in every movie when a woman is about to change her life, she first has to change her hairstyle. Hair is that powerful, but it doesn’t take tons of products, time or money to care for it. Leave a comment below and tell me about your favorite products, tips, or hair care routines.
She is a mother of a grade school son and enjoys taking him to farm sanctuaries, museums, and planes to anywhere!
For more of Leolin's articles and writings, visit her website Leolin Bowen.
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