Haircare - What To Use & Avoid

I spend more free time trying to maintain my hair than I would like to admit. As a model you come to terms with the fact you will never have really healthy hair, at least not without a lot of work. I cherish every moment someone is not pulling my follicles, gluing extensions into my scalp, or teasing the hell out of my hair.

You don't have to be a fashion model in order for your hair to suffer–in fact, I know many people who style their hair (in their everyday life) way more than I do. Many of us benefit from some love of our hair, but what products are good for us? It's difficult to orient oneself in the jungle of today's haircare market, with throngs of products and unpronounceable ingredients on almost every bottle.

I have used many luxurious hair care products, such as Kerastase and Redken, with extra nourishing and moisturizing hair treatments to repair the damage from my former bleached hair style. I would switch from brand to brand, looking for "the ultimate" hair saver.

I started paying more attention to the ingredient lists in my hair care products, because I don't want to tox myself only to have to detox later. I did some research on what is good/bad for your hair, and I learned to avoid the following ingredients that are most detrimental:

  • SLS - Sodium Lauryl Sulfates (and other synthetic sulfates) - Surfactants/Detergent Cleansing Agents , Irritants , Thickeners/Emulsifiers - function primarily as a surfactant (detergent) but can also be used as a skin–conditioning agent, emulsifier, and solvent. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is one of the most irritating cleansing agents used in skin (and hair) care products, as described by Paula's Choice. SLS's are the harshest ingredients in commercial shampoos, and should be the main ingredient to avoid.
  • Non-Water Soluble Silicones - if you see "methicone" "methiconol" in the ingredient list, you should either (1) avoid the product–those are non-water soluble and therefore build up, or (2) you need to use a cleansing shampoo in between uses. Silicones are not necessarily bad, but you have to account for them in your routine.

I recently tried Wen cleansing conditioner after a friend hair stylist recommended it to me. Wen is not really a shampoo- it cleanses your hair without harsh chemicals. it contains natural ingredients that gently dissolve excess oils, remove products and other buildup, without unnecessarily striping hair which makes your hair healthier, shinier, and less frizzy. I LOVE using Wen. It smells delicious like the fruitiest nectar; I even began to wonder if it tasted good (I used the fig version–DO NOT TASTE).

It's worth noting I had to massage my scalp with it for quite some time, which is peaceful and relaxing (but not so good when you are pressed for time). I had a really good time tending my scalp with Wen, thinking of all the goodness happening to my hair, and enjoying a heavenly aromatherapy and a self-love massage. Wen made my hair super manageable, and combatted frizziness. The only problem I have with Wen is it contains amodimethicone, which is a non-water soluble silicone, and causes buildup over time if not properly treated.

Nowadays I like use Wen once or twice in a row, and then use non-SLS shampoo and conditioner such as Renpure Organics, which is a gentle haircare line containing the amazing argan oil, which is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree.  Sometimes I use only Renpure conditioner without shampoo (for example, after a gym session when I don't really need to wash my hair yet, but want to refresh it). Surprisingly, if you do this your hair won't end up greasy and limp.