Once you start stripping the chemicals out of your food it makes perfect sense to start stripping them out of your cleaning products and the logic then easily extends to stripping them out of your hair products too.
But perhaps I took matters too far when I decided that not only was I going to strip the chemicals out of my hair products but I was going to strip them out to such an extent that they would be edible. What better embodiment of wholesome plant based living could there be? The ultimate litmus test of my dedication to clean living – hair products that I can eat.
|A disclaimer: I’m simply aiming for edible with these recipes, not delicious, not even necessarily pleasant and so I’d further qualify that I’m aiming for theoretically edible because some of these mixtures I’m sure are nowhere near the borders of palatable.|
So I’ll start where any wash day would start for me.
Step 1 – Detangler/Pre-Shampoo – Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is a natural edible alternative to any bottled conditioner, even if you probably couldn’t get through more than a teaspoon of it. It’s easier to use on the hair in Summer than Winter because of its relative high melting point [24 °C (76 °F)] but it does just melt those tangles away.
Step 2 – Shampoo – Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV (mixed with water in a 3:1 ratio) is a well-known staple in the afro hair care regimen. Provided you don’t have any non-water soluble silicones in your hair this mixture will be strong enough to cleanse the dirt away. Cleansing will also be assisted by using warm water.
Step 3 – Conditioner – Blend the following items
I over ripe avocado
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup shea butter
2-3 tablespoons ACV
Step 3 – Deep Conditioner – Hair Mayonnaise
The Finished Product
I wouldn’t eat this because of the eggs but it is technically edible and I can vouch for its efficacy as I have used this before. Effectively it’s a protein treatment so you will need to follow this up with a conditioner. But hey afro hair care is not for the time deprived.
Alternately this version below, which I’ve also used, doesn’t use animal products.
1-2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut milk
Scale up the ratios if you have a lot of hair.
Step 4 – Leave-in – Gel – Flaxseed Gel
This gel produces a light to medium soft hold. It has 2 ingredients and it’s easy to make (1/4 cup of flaxseed and 2 cups of water heated until it starts to simmer vigorously and then strain). It also gives a useful amount of slip.
Step 5 – Sealant – Hair Butter
I use a hair butter after cleansing, conditioning and using a leave-in to seal in the moisture. I use any combination of some fairly heavy butters such as shea, avocado, or mango.
That’s my edible hair care menu.
And it’s time for another disclaimer:
I have never completed a full wash day regimen with homemade edible products. I have kinky curly coily afro hair and my wash routine is already a few hours long, I estimate using these products exclusively would add at least another 1-2 hours on top of that. So I do supplement with a few shop bought products here and there. But I like the idea that I could be completely self-sufficient without the need for shop bought products should I choose and I could also entirely eliminate the use of any chemicals or preservatives if I wanted to.