Growing up, I loved that my long and thick hair was so easy to handle. Wash and go, with no products needed to keep it straight and shiny. But as I hit my mid-twenties, things started to change. My hair felt dry and looked dull. And let’s not even talk about the frizz (my fellow South Asian ladies know what I’m talking about!).
I thought it was just a phase and decided to wait it out, hoping that all would be normal again soon. Nope, no such luck. This was here to stay and I was not happy.
Needing to find a “cure,” I started researching and stumbled onto something called sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Sulfates are chemical fillers which are used to create lather and can strip our hair of its essential oils, causing frizziness and damage. I made the switch to sulfate-free hair care and my hair felt so much healthier (though it never returned to its luster of my teenage years - that’s just age, I guess.)
That was how my journey to natural beauty began.
Through my research, I came to realize that most beauty products are chock full of chemicals. And every time we use those products, the chemicals are absorbed straight into our skin. The thought of all those chemicals coursing through my body did not sit well with me, so I decided to transition to clean, all-natural beauty products.
If you are looking to make the same switch, my first tip is to take it slow. Start with a few items at a time and take your time testing them out. The ultimate goal is to find the right products for you that make you feel and look your best, and this takes some trial and error. I started with hair care and then moved to skincare. And now I’m currently working on cleaning up my makeup. It’s been a five year journey, but one that has been totally worth it.
My second tip is to educate yourself about the chemicals you are willing to put up with and those you feel are absolute no-no’s. When I first started my journey, all-natural brands were harder to come by than they are now, so I first just eliminated sulfates and parabens. Now, with more all-natural brands and information on harmful chemicals available, I’ve made the leap to eliminating all harmful and toxic chemicals from my routine.*
My final and most important tip is to make sure to always read the ingredient label of a product before you buy! Ingredients are listed by order of predominance, with those used in the greatest amounts listed first. Even if you aren’t ready to make the transition to clean and all-natural products right now (or ever), start taking the look at the ingredients of various beauty products as you shop. I guarantee it will be an interesting read.
Over my next few blog posts in this series, I’ll be revealing the natural beauty products I’ve tried, those I love and those I'm looking forward to trying - stay tuned for our next post on natural hair products!
Neelima is a Contributor at Sona.