I think I've stumbled onto something by accident that I'd like to share with you!
My son's hair is very fine and curly. It gets dry and frizzy in this climate, and the curls are not very well defined. It also feels kind of crunchy - not soft. I use hemp oil in it, to smooth it out, which works well, but it feels like a "fix" to me, rather than a solution to the underlying problem.
I myself have been struggling with thin, straggly, dry, and messed up hair since my son was born. I've gone all organic and natural, and it's helped. BUT I'm always on the lookout for something that will give me more glamorous hair.
I decided to try an organic conditioner bar on my son's hair. Chagrin Valley offers a number of shampoo/conditioner bars. I bought the Carrot Milk and Honey bar.
Let me tell you, it works wonders on his hair AND mine!
What it doesI have found that it makes his hair and mine very soft and silky. It moisturizes our hair. It makes his curls stay defined. It also give both of our hair BODY and VOLUME! Crazy!!! I LIKE IT!
|Freshly washed. Seriously, look at those curls.|
|puppy dogs' tails.|
Why it works
From their page:
Natural carrot juice, carrot oil, goat milk and raw honey are packed into in this nutritious shampoo bar. Beta carotene in the carrot juice and oil drenches thirsty hair with vitamin A to help rejuvenate hair shafts. Goat milk and honey moisturize and revitalize. Carrot seed essential oil penetrates the hair shaft to strengthen and moisturize damaged hair.
Note: All of the oils are saponified and organic carrot-infused (I'll address the carrot juice separately)
Sunflower oilFrom Livestrong:
Sunflower oil contains gamma linolenic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid. Such fatty acids are essential to hair health, says Spencer David Kobren in his book, "The Truth About Women's Hair Loss: What Really Works for Treating and Preventing Thinning Hair." GLA also is effective in preventing hair loss from male and female pattern baldness as well as alopecia areata, which causes round patches of lost hair. Just 1 tsp. a day is all that's needed, Kobren says.
A study by Rele AS and Mohile RB suggests that coconut oil is very effective in preventing protein loss from hair. This means that hair does not weaken and break as much.
Previously published results showed that both in vitro and in vivo coconut oil (CNO) treatments prevented combing damage of various hair types... Among three oils (coconut, sunflower, mineral), coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product. Both sunflower and mineral oils do not help at all in reducing the protein loss from hair.
This difference in results could arise from the composition of each of these oils. Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft. Mineral oil, being a hydrocarbon, has no affinity for proteins and therefore is not able to penetrate and yield better results. In the case of sunflower oil, although it is a triglyceride of linoleic acid, because of its bulky structure due to the presence of double bonds, it does not penetrate the fiber, consequently resulting in no favorable impact on protein loss.
Palm oilContains Vitamins A, E, and beta-carotene. Anecdotal evidence promotes this oil as a good hair moisturizer and hair fall preventative. I've also seen stories negating those claims.
Unfortunately, according to Treehugger.com, palm oil harvesting causes enormous damage to wildlife habitat. The article quotes Glen Horowitz's article in the LA Times:
"Whether it's used as an additive in soap, cosmetics or food, or processed into a biofuel, palm oil is one of the worst culprits in the climate crisis. Most of it comes from the disappearing, ultra-carbon-rich rain forests of Indonesia and Malaysia, of which a whopping 25,000 square miles have been cleared and burned to make way for palm oil plantations.
That burning releases enough carbon dioxide into the air to rank Indonesia as the No. 3 such polluter in the world. It also destroys the last remaining habitat for orangutans, Sumatran rhinos, tigers and other endangered wildlife."
I'm editing this post to add the following note I received from Sam at Chagrin Valley:
I did want to mention about the Palm Oil we use, since you mention it in your post. Our palm is 100% organic, using organic harvesting practices and purely sustainable planting and harvesting practices. Our Palm is certified organic and sustainable and we participate in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Here is a link to the page we made on our site to help educate our customers: http://www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com/ingredients/faqpalm.aspx
This is good to hear! It definitely makes me feel more comfortable and raises Chagrin Valley up in higher in my heart!
Jojoba oilSupposed to work together with sebum, is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. According to the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, jojoba oil helps hydrate and remove gluey remnants from your hair.
The linoleic acid content is 5%, and the oleic acid content is 5-15 %. Oleic acid thickens the sebum, so I wouldn't put jojoba oil directly on my scalp.
Castor bean oilSupposed to help hair growth and texture, although no studies have been done to prove this. Antibacterial and antifungal properties. Contains ricinoleic acid, a type of fatty acid shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Virgin shea butterShe butter is very well trusted for hair and has been used in Africa for centuries to treat dry, curly hair. Contains Vitamins A and E, moisturizes scalp and hair, improves strength and elasticity of the hair shaft
Averages 6% linoleic acid and 46.4% oleic acid. Again, I wouldn't put this directly on my scalp as it could exacerbate my thick sebum issues.
I've seen studies on its efficacy as a skin-care product, but have not been able to find one on hair and scalp issues. The studies were all positive for collagen replacement, moisturizing benefits, and wound healing. Lots of positive anecdotal evidence, and almost no negative for hair care use.
|Nigerian Dwarf Kid From Foxfire Farms|
Goat milkSaid to moisturize and strengthen hair. Contains minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese and selenium.); high fat content (capric, caprylic and caprionic acids and medium-chain triglycerides); vitamins (esp. A and B6); and protein.
The fatty acids stabilize pH, calming any scalp issues. Lots of anecdotal evidence, again, but can't seem to find any studies. All positive reviews.
Organic carrot (Daucus carota) juicebeta-carotene, Vitamins A, C, and E, potassium, anti-oxidant. I'm finding lots of anecdotal evidence, but no studies proving the efficacy of topical applications of carrot juice to the scalp and hair. People say it reverses hair loss, moisturizes hair, and provides volume.
Aloe veraA great run-down from keepitsimplesista:
- Aloe Vera products have many benefits to the overall health of the hair. It helps heal any damage on the scalp, balance the pH level, cleans the pores, prevents excessive hair loss, relieves scaly or itchy scalp, oily hair, dandruff, renew cycle within the follicles. regulate sebaceous function, and maintain proper physiological balance in the scalp. And one of the biggest benefit of Aloe Vera is it helps reduce seborrhoea.
- Aloe Vera activate fresh growth and stimulate the growth of existing hair.
- Clinical studies show that Aloe Vera enhances cellular rejuvenation and provides the building blocks for hair proteins. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties protect against damage to the scalp and hair.
- Actually, Aloe Vera includes the enzyme which is beneficial in stimulating the new hair production.
- Therefore, Aloe Vera is beneficial for the production of hairs and provides softness and shine to the hair and prevents hair loss and other hair related conditions.
- Aloe's can help the scalp by healing it and balancing the pH level of the scalp while cleansing the pores.
- Some Indian tribes of Mexico attribute their thick, healthy hair to regular use of aloe vera gel which they rub into the scalp and hair each night.
- Aloe Vera gel is used on hair and entire portion of scalp to treat hair loss.
- Nourishes and moisturizes the hair and scalp.
- Increases blood circulation to the hair follicles.
Raw honeySupposed to be good for dry hair and scalp. Antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal. Contains sugars that act as a humectant for the hair shaft. This has been borne out by studies and lots of anecdotal evidence.
Essential oilsLavender: Clinical trials have shown that lavender EO improves hair growth and slows hair loss when massaged into scalp 3 or more times per week!
Carrot seed: Stimulates hair growth, moisturizes hair. Contains beta carotene and Vitamins A and E. Powerful antioxidant. I haven't seen any studies involving carrot seed oil in the hair, however. All anecdotal evidence is positive.
Rosemary: Good for dark hair, stimulates hair follicles and encourages hair growth. Studies support this claim.
Lemongrass: antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory. Balances oily hair, stimulates growth, and calms irritations of the scalp including dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis (I'll have to try this on Fthe boy's cradle cap!). Studies have been focused on skin care, but lemongrass has a long history of use on the hair in India, and is a well-trusted traditional product.
Lemon: Refreshes and stimulates the scalp. cleans the hair follicles, balances oily hair. This is borne out by studies.
Eucalyptus: stimulates scalp and hair follicles, increases elasticity and strength of hair shaft, helps dandruff by inhibiting the growth of yeasts Pityrosporum ovale and Malassezia furfur.