This article was published in partnership with Blu Atlas.
Over the past several years, the idea of a detox has grown increasingly popular. The word implies ditching unhealthy habits and behaviors in favor of sustainable ones. Diet-related, technological and even emotional detoxes have helped individuals improve their health and regain control over their lives. So, why not a hair detox?
After a lifetime of using hair products filled with harmful chemicals – sulfates, parabens and artificial fragrances – this might be the perfect moment to switch to an all-natural shampoo. All-natural shampoos are composed of essential oils and plant-based extracts rather than synthetic additives. As a result, they nourish and strengthen hair without stripping it of the natural oils it needs to thrive.
In spite of these obvious benefits, many users wonder if an all-natural shampoo is really as effective as a traditional one. But whether you need a volumizing formula, a rich moisturizer or a gentle cleanser, it is simply a matter of choosing the right product.
To help you on your shampoo-buying journey, we created this list of the 16 best natural shampoos for men right now. Read on to discover our top picks.
Looking for even more tips on improving your hair-care ritual? Read on for some of our most frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the proper way to use shampoo?
Although shampooing your hair may seem pretty self-explanatory, there are some ways to get the most out of your hair-washing experience.
To begin with, it is important to wet your hair completely before applying any product. Again, this may seem like an obvious suggestion, but not wetting your hair thoroughly often leads to a frustrating shampoo experience. It may be difficult to work up a proper lather on semi-dry hair, and you may end up using more product than you need. This is particularly true for men with dense or thick hair; it may take up to three minutes of steady water pressure until your hair is ready for shampoo. Before applying any product, run your fingers through your hair to make sure that all sections are equally soaked.
Most of us are using too much shampoo. In reality, you only need about a coin-sized amount for a thorough wash. The secret lies in working up a good lather, rather than dousing your hair with product. Besides, too much shampoo can strip hair of its natural oils and lead you to unnecessarily spend money on replacements. As a rule of thumb, use a nickel-sized amount for short hair, a quarter-sized amount for medium, and a half-dollar-sized amount for long hair. To ensure an even application, you can use a styling brush to disperse the product.
When you are applying shampoo, it is best to focus on the scalp first and the ends later. The scalp is usually the first place where buildup, dirt and oils start to gather. Giving the scalp a thorough scrub helps you target the areas where problems usually occur. For best results, concentrate on your scalp for the first few minutes and then run the product through the ends for the final 30 seconds. However, if you plan to apply conditioner, it is best to thoroughly condition the ends before reaching the crown of the head.
Finally, it is important to give your hair a good rinse after a shampoo. Experts note that shampoo residue is likely to cause buildup, making rinsing a top priority for a healthy head of hair. Before you leave the shower, run your fingers through your hair several times to check for any leftover product.
How often is it necessary to shampoo?
By now, most of us have probably heard the warnings against shampooing hair too often. Using shampoo too frequently tends to dry out the hair and strip it of its natural barriers. But how often you shampoo also depends on hair type, environmental factors and daily activities. Experts suggest that men with fine hair, men living in hot climates or men who perform intense physical activities should consider washing daily for optimal hair health. On the flip side, men with thick or texturized hair can get away with shampooing much less frequently. For the average person, shampooing once every two to three days should be enough to keep the hair in good condition. Just make sure that you shampoo before attempting to use any styling tools.
Is an all-natural product truly worth it? Will it make a difference?
Although a natural product is frequently more expensive than a chemically formulated one, its benefits are well worth the additional investment. The scalp is a porous and highly absorbent part of our skins, and the chemicals in hair products are quickly and easily absorbed into our bloodstreams. Many of the common ingredients found in shampoos and conditioners, including parabens, sulfates, phthalates and artificial fragrances, have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems.
In terms of your hair health, chemical products tend to strip away the hair’s ability to heal itself and protect its surface against the elements. At first, it may seem as though these chemical products are more effective. But with time, we find that we need more frequent washes and a greater volume of product to achieve the same results. Instead of cutting down on chemicals, we end up adding more and more of these items to our drugstore shopping list. Not only does this become expensive, but it takes away the hair’s natural properties, such as regulating oil production. Hair becomes thinner, more brittle and less shiny.
Another factor to consider is the environmental one. All-natural products do not contain ingredients that damage the planet. They are frequently packaged in more eco-friendly containers, such as those made with recycled plastic. Companies producing natural shampoos usually commit to a more sustainable business practice. Furthermore, natural products are less likely to be tested on animals than their chemical counterparts. These are all important factors to consider when purchasing something as simple as your daily hair wash.
All in all, people may have varying reasons for choosing an all-natural product. But even with the added expense, the health and environmental benefits make it worth your while to attempt a switch.
How does one switch to an all-natural shampoo?
Believe it or not, transitioning to an all-natural shampoo can be a rather lengthy process. While many people may try an all-natural shampoo and immediately decide that it does not work, your hair needs a four- to six-week transition period to make the switch.
Once you start using an all-natural shampoo, it is important to remain patient while your body grapples with the adjustment. In the first few weeks, you may notice that your scalp seems excessively oily, and that your hair feels heavier than normal. Your hair may even feel more brittle and more tangled. This is nothing to worry about! Your hair is most likely detoxing from chemical products and needs two to three weeks to find its new balance. Once you do make the switch, you will find yourself using less product, and will feel clean for longer periods of time.
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