With all of the news about toxins in our hair care products, the same products that we lather onto our heads and spritz around us every day, there are more reasons than ever to ditch the silicones, sulfates, and parabens in hair care in favor of a natural alternative. Sounds easy enough, until it comes time to make the switch. Many natural hair care products lather less, condition more, and generally perform differently than their conventional counterparts, leaving us at major risk for bad hair days unless we know which products to trust.
To find out which products perform best, you could test every formula you can get your hands on, or to shop with a trusted friend who has natural know-how. But who has time for that?
We saved you the trouble and sought out the pros: the staff of Juju Salon & Organics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, whose job it is to make the curly, the fine, the thick and the wavy look perfectly-coiffed, naturally. Juju has converted hundreds of its most beauty-obsessed clients to natural products since opening in 2005, and Elle magazine recently named the all-natural space one of the Top 100 Salons in the US. If you’ve been holding out on switching to natural hair care products, this is the expert guide you need to make a change. Read on to find the hair care products that made the Juju staff gladly toss out their Pantene
All-Around Best Shampoo & Conditioner: For shampoo and conditioner that never fails, the Juju staff recommends John Masters Organics zinc & sage shampoo receives rave reviews at Juju’s shampoo bowl for its light, tropical scent, and shiny, manageable results on all hair types, says Juju Salon Owner Julie Ebner. And John Masters’ Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner is a favorite of new clients for its rich formula that delivers instant results, not to mention a lovely lavender scent. It’s light enough for fine hair, and super-conditioning for over-processed locks.
Family-Friendly Shampoo & Conditioner: Need hair care that the entire family can share? Juju Salon Manager Brooke Petry swears by the certified organic Nurture My Body Shampoo and Conditioner, the creation of a husband and wife team, which boasts an ingredient list that reads like a seed catalog. Petry uses the products to cleanse herself and her 18 month-old daughter and says that using the herbal-scented conditioner is honestly one of my favorite parts of the day. Spoken like a busy mom!
Color-Enhancing Shampoo: Petry says that color-treated clients love to amp up their color naturally with Logona Color Care Shampoos, a great plant-based, wallet-friendly way to make your hair color last. Henna is for redheads, Chamomile is for blondes, while Hazelnut works best on brunettes and raven-haired heads. Go ahead and lather up without worrying about synthetic dyes or fragrances!
Leave-In Conditioner: If you stopped into Juju, chances are you wouldn’t be able to buy Hamadi Shea Leave-in Conditioner, an obsession for both staff and clients. “This product sells out the minute we re-stock,” says Ebner. The shea butter formula is Juju’s secret to a lasting blowout, and a must for curly-haired clients who are looking for a lightweight product that’s also natural. Lucky for us, it’s available online. The entire line is delicious.
Styling Product, For The Guys: Ebner says that Simply Organic Soft Gel Moisturizing Creme-Gel gives Juju’s male clients “the perfect groomed look: not too done, too greasy or too crunchy” And Senior Stylist Camille D’Attilio adds that curly-haired girls love the aloe and honey-rich product too!
Texturizing Mist: Senior Stylist Erin Boyd and Stylist Amber Schlesmann can’t get enough of Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Texturizer to give themselves and their fine-haired clients beachy, textured hair. Spritz the mist on wet or dry hair for texture and shine. “Sevi products always work!” says Boyd.
Styling Pomade: Max Green Alchemy Styling Pomade is Juju’s go-to product for clients with coarse, curly or dry hair. Just a tiny dab on ends does the trick. “This product lasts forever,” Ebner says. The staff found that the ultra-hydrating formula, made with coconut, olive, jojoba and grapeseed oils also works in a pinch to moisturize dry lips and elbows.
Hair Spray: Is there really a natural hair spray that can hold your style all day? Yes, says Petry, it’s Simply Organic Control Hair Spray, which she calls “the best-smelling hairspray on planet Earth” Horsetail extract in the formula strengthens hair while it holds and honey seals in the shine, no stickiness or crunchy after-effect.
Scalp Oil: Ebner recommends Suki Hair/Scalp Conditioning Oil to rebalance natural scalp oil and sebum production, as well as banish itchy scalps and dry hair. Ever notice that you may have an oily scalp and roots, but the rest of your hair is dry? Try this treatment, “it works!” she says. Its botanical extracts of neem, calendula, chamomile, rosemary and lavender stimulate hair growth and circulation as well.
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