Healthy, healthy hair

We think healthy hair is not greasy hair, right? Well that’s what I thought. As long as my hair is not straw like, doesn’t looks dull and or flat – I’m happy. We like the glossy silky feel, and the aesthetic of the foamy foamy goodness, making our hair and scalp blind everyone with its shine and luminescence. Marketing departments have fooled us into thinking we’re clean in every sense of the word if we’re showering under a waterfall with blue skies, our wet locks gripping our toned, broze body, birds flying by, butterflies peering on in approval and foam covering all the places Adam and Eve never hid.

…Shall we rethink this one then?

Shampoos and conditioners. These poor products have endured a fair amount of rejection. The devout non-washees (who, fair enough, might be onto something), homemade concoctions with castor oil and you-name-it-whatever-else. The good news is that there are a fair number of companies bubbling up (excuse the pun) who know what they’re doing with these products and have our health in mind as they create.

One product in particular that has caught my eye is Africa Organics. Besides their pretty slick packaging (which I appreciate) they are EcoCert Certified, a Phyto-Trade Accredited Partner, they are Africa Friendly, Vegan, and accredited with Beauty Without Cruelty (so do not test any products on animals). Clearly, they’re winning.

They have a comprehensive yet simple body care range – including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shower gel, body lotion, clay wash and a hair treatment. The shampoos and conditioners are great. The shampoo foams a little (thanks to biodegradable foaming agents) and they smell earthy, grounded and natural. I must admit when using the Kalahari Melon Body Wash, I expected myself to leave the shower smelling like a sweet watermelon, but I didn’t. And I had to remind myself that if I had, something would be wrong. Chemical perfumes and scents don’t feature here. They use ‘wild’ natural products – baobab, kalahari melon, marula and mongongo.

(And now for the health lesson…)

Another thing that doesn’t feature in Africa Organics products is parabens. Parabens are a (controversial) class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. They are controversial little buggers. In a recent study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, parabens were found in breast tissue at levels up to 1 million times higher than the natural oestrogen levels. The fact that the parabens were in the ester form indicated that they had come from dermal exposure: so (in other words) from personal care products.

Breast tumours generally need oestrogen to grow. Maybe you know someone that has had breast cancer? My mom has. So did my gran. 1 in 8 women will get it. In 1960 it was 1 in 20.

With breast cancer now in our family line in two generations above mine, and while the cancer above might have nothing to do with parabens, I have two gorgeous little boys in my house who need a mom, and I’d like to be around for a while. If I can make one small difference in what I use to wash my hair and body that could make a long term difference, why wouldn’t I? Its a simple question to answer.

Also, who doesn’t love the idea of having a massive pump bottle of body wash in their shower? What family doesn’t like health, in bulk? The Marula Shower Gel (and Body Lotion) are now available in 1L bottles with a pump spout. Win.

If you’re keen to give it a go, you can grab your Africa Organics (and other natural hair care products) here.



If you would like to read a little bit more about natural shampoos, silicons and quads – here’s some great food for thought… Africa Organics Natural Alternative to Silicones and Quats.

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