Over the years, effective marketing by cosmetic brands has made us believe that the only way to repair damaged hair is with the use of carefully crafted, chemical-based products, but after speaking with our friends at natural haircare brand V&M Spa, we’ve learned that isn’t the case. Looking after your hair shouldn’t come at a cost to the environment or your health, and there are simple steps we can take to repair our hair without damaging you or the planet in the process. Before we lay out those steps, we thought we’d take a moment to address why chemical hair products are best avoided.
To help extend the shelf life of hair products, many brands add Dimethyl Imidazoldinedione to their hair care formulas: an antimicrobial agent with preserving properties. As with many preserving agents, this chemical doesn’t come risk free, and the formaldehyde it releases can cause lung, eye and skin irritation. The fact that this chemical agent is banned in Japan should also be a source of concern: alerting us to the fact that its potentially toxic properties should not be overlooked.
Another product to avoid is Keratin Straightening: a formaldehyde-infused treatment which involves heated straighteners pushing the product (and associated chemicals) into the hair. It is during this process the formaldehyde becomes a vapour, which is the most toxic form in which to be exposed to this carcinogenic ingredient.
With these risks in mind, it’s only right to share information about how you can care for your hair the natural way.
We spoke to Victoria, founder of natural hair and body brand V&M SPA, and a font of knowledge with over 20 years of experience specialising in creating low maintenance, naturally healthy hair. Victoria’s philosophy is to wash the hair less, using specific naturally derived products. This allows hair to rebalance which results in healthier, shinier hair that does not split.
The V&M Spa philosophy is simple, start with the V&M Spa Balancing Shampoo to remove impurities from the hair, always washing the hair a second time with either the V&M Spa Balancing or Hydrating Shampoo, depending on the hair type. Then follow with the V&M Spa Treatment conditioner, which must be combed through the hair and rinsed well.
“In 2007 when I started developing the V&M Spa Treatment Conditioner, I realised that my clients just didn’t have the time to use 20 minutes plus treatments – wasting water and wasting their precious time. So I developed the V&M Spa Treatment Conditioner to be an instant treatment that works to restore the cuticle.” Victoria explains.
Victoria found that one mistake her clients were making was not effectively rinsing out the products, which meant that hair became greasy or dirty more quickly, and required more frequent washes. Be careful not to over-do it with the products you’re using, and make sure you’re rinsing your hair well. By washing your hair effectively but less frequently, you’re able to allow the hair’s oils to balance naturally.
While all hair brushes are designed to remove knots, some synthetic hair brushes and combs can cause lasting damage to hair by snapping the hair strands and damaging the cuticle. Choosing a natural hairbrush, and being careful to start at the ends of the hair working your way up towards the roots as you remove tangles, will reduce the possible damage caused by careless brushing. V&M Spa have just launched a guasha style hairbrush, designed to encourage blood circulation around the follicle which encourages healthy, stronger hair.
To get your hands on V&M’s range of natural products (which come in beautifully designed, refillable bottles) visit vandmspa.com, and keep an eye on their Instagram for product updates. You can also read Victoria’s in-depth advice on natural hair care via the V&M Spa Blog
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