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It’s no secret that I love making my own hair and beauty products.

For one, I think it happens to be a really fun hobby since I can pretty much try to recreate anything I see at the stores.  It’s kind of an activity for me to go the store, look for things I’d like to have, and to read labels in order to figure out how I can best replicate it at home.  Experimenting can get a little frustrating…but the sense of accomplishment when I’m successful is incredibly fulfilling.

It also happens to be much more economical than buying stuff from the store.  I used to love trying out products…but that meant that I had stacks of failed and unused bottles underneath my sink.  From either a budget or environmental standpoint, I didn’t feel great about that.  It’s true that making things at home requires a little more investment up front.  But the savings overall are unequivocal.

Lastly, modern culture constantly and consistently exposes us to environmental toxins.  This includes things like pollution, chemicals from furniture/carpets, heavy metals in water, and chemicals in food.

Now, I’m generally not a fan of the tin-foil-hat, freak-folks-out kind of thinking…and I don’t think we all need to move out to the country, bathe in streams, and dig tubers out of the forest floor.  But I think it’s quite reasonable to consider what your greatest toxin exposures may be and take appropriate actions to minimize them.

The actions don’t even have to be that lifechanging.  Things like investing in an air filter, attachable shower filter, and choosing clean beauty products don’t take much effort…and can equal big changes in the long run.

So as fun and important as I think detoxifying your beauty regiment is, I don’t think it’s always possible to make your own stuff all the time.  I have a range of products I can keep on hand, from the Homemade Coconut Shampoo (that Work In Hard Water) that I have ready to in my fridge to the Protein Packed Strengthening Shampoo that I have to make before each shower.  But between time constraints, financial considerations…or anything else, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

And in those cases, it’s nice to have a store-bought product that has a fairly clean ingredient profile but is just as easy to use as conventional hair products.

My favorite when it comes to hair care, after a bit of searching, has become the Alaffia Hair Care line.

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#1.  Alaffia Shea & Virgin Coconut Enriching Shampoo and Alaffia Shea Butter & Honey Nourishing Conditioner

This set is my go-to combination.   It’s super hydrating and controls the frizz on my curly, has-a-mind-of-its-own hair.  A lot of store-bought shampoos end up being very drying for me…but I’ve never found that to be the case.  I’ve even on occasion skipped the conditioner and followed up with a Apple Cider Vinegar rinse instead…but I do love the conditioner as well!  And the smell of both…oh my goodness.  It’s absolutely delicious.  I feel like I’m in an old Herbal Essence commercial. (By the way, any Arrested Development fans around here?? I never knew Buster was in those commercials!)

#2. Neem & Shea Butter Scalp Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner

I love, love, love neem oil.  Well, except for the smell…but I deal with it for all the amazing qualities neem oil possesses.  I’ve used Neem oil in my Super Smooth Face Serum and I’ll occasionally add it into my Homemade Antibacterial and Antifungal Salve.  So when I have scalp issues that I’m battling with but I want to use a conventional product, I reach for this neem based shampoo and conditioner.  While other hair products tend to throw off my natural scalp environment even more, and herald in a whole new set of problems, this product helps keep my scalp happy until I can figure out what’s going on and deal with it appropriately (see below).

(Sidebar: normally, my scalp gets irritated when I have other skin/gut issues going on (yes, they are absolutely related!) or when I’ve used products that my skin isn’t used to.  I usually treat these scalp problems with aloe vera packs, the tea-tree oil based Protein Packed Strengthening Shampoo, and apple cider vinegar rinses.  And of course, a great, nutrient rich diet.)