Stepping away from heavily formulated hair care products

Hair care was the last holdout in my personal evolution away from heavily formulated products.

For years, I struggled to find the right products for fine, curly hair and after I found them I did not want to let them go. I even found myself hesitant to read labels because I knew I’d find ingredients that would cause me to pause – maybe you can relate!

So, I began playing around with synthetic-free products while easing off formulated ones. Then I began to incorporate the ingredients themselves into my routines. I used argan oil to condition my scalp and ends, shea butter or coconut oil to deep condition my hair, and vegetable glycerin to tame frizz. I also used essential oils to support my scalp and hair while adding their delicious aromas to my simple recipes. My mind was blown. What I realized was that I had the power in my very own hands to take care of my hair beautifully – it was very much in tune with the world and it was easy to do.

Hair today...

With this approach, my hair care routines are simple. I do not shampoo much as my hair does not need it. I do condition a lot but I no longer have to pay a lot of money for fancy, high-end conditioners. I treat my hair and scalp to nourishing treatments with nutrient-rich fatty oils and butters. And I have just one remaining styling product that I use… if I need it (sometimes I do not). The results have exceeded my expectations – when I recently colored my hair a new, vibrant color for the very first time, I was able to hang on to the vibrancy for months rather than weeks.

We are the controllers of our own bodies. We have the ability to take care of our needs whenever we stop and pay attention to what works and what does not. It can be a bit intimidating at first, but really all it takes is being willing to try something better to get going. For a few tips on synthetic-free ingredients to try, consider some of these:


Charlynn Avery
Contributor & Founding Member

An avid aroma enthusiast, I have devoted my career to understanding the connection between mind, body and spirit. I come from a diverse background in education, health and wellness and have practiced and taught in the arenas of bodywork, holistic therapies, yoga and plant medicine. I've been teaching about essential oil usage for 14 years with the last six years at Frontier Co-op educating about essential oils on behalf of the Aura Cacia brand. My passions are my family, reading, writing, gardening, natural healing, yoga, hiking, & travel. I believe the world is made a better place by small acts of kindness.

Share Your Thoughts

Elicia S

April 24, 2019 - 12:42pm

Cool got to try.


July 11, 2018 - 10:36pm

Great article! You’ve inspired me to start down the path of natural hair care.

Kristy, LifenReflection

July 10, 2018 - 7:30pm


You are right the transition to clean beauty is no easy task. But, the results are incredible! I use rosemary essential oil in my DIY curl setting spray and vegetable oil my detangler to tame “fly-a-ways” too!

Miranda L 1702286935

February 23, 2018 - 2:09pm

Are there specific recipes you use?

Constance K 1486423829

February 19, 2018 - 7:36am

What is effective for fine hair. I have trouble with conditioners weighing my hair down.

Charlynn Avery

February 19, 2018 - 12:50pm

Hi Constance - great question.  As this post was pretty general, know that different ingredients can work for different hair types and sometimes it’s a trial and error process.  Sometimes oils like argan or avocado can be too heavy for fine hair, while minimal applications of other natural ingredients can be really helpful.  Aloe can be great for fine hair along with vegetable glycerin as a natural humectant or for some fine hair types, using coconut oil in very small amounts can offer conditioning and can tame fly-aways that are common with fine hair.  Share with us what you try and find - we’d love to hear about it!


February 18, 2018 - 1:37pm

By questionable i mean they felt their hair was too oily for a while. But it does adjust!

Charlynn Avery

February 18, 2018 - 1:45pm

Great addition, KT!  You are absolutely right.  Each head of hair is different and we do take time to adjust.  It is a labor of love and self-love to make more conscious choices where our bodies are concerned, and it isn’t always without it’s frustrations.  But it’s totally worth a few weeks or months of hair that is adjusting to come out on the other end with happier, healthier hair.


February 18, 2018 - 1:35pm

Just a note to everyone! When switching to natural haircare it can take your hair up to a month to adjust fully to the life of no chemicals! Now this does vary person to person but i know a few friends who were very discouraged by this and gave up amd went back to regualr shampoo! Whats a month of questionable hair when after your hair will feel more amazing than ever!!! Love to you all!!!

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