Back in college, I had a girlfriend who had to-die-for long, thick, wavy hair. She wasn’t shy about sharing her secret. Every week, on Sunday evenings to be exact, she poured an entire cup of warm olive oil over her head, turbaned up with a warm towel and went about her business for a few hours (at home, of course) before washing it out. A little strange, I thought, but easy enough. I decided to give it a try.
While I’d love to brag that my thin, sort of short, split-end riddled hair was instantly transformed to a glossy, glorious mane—well, I can’t. It took about 10 washes to get the stuff out, and I was left with limp, greasy-looking locks for days.
The thing about hair treatments, or even just normal, everyday care, is that you’ve got to know your hair type and use products suited specifically for you. While it’s fun to play around with refrigerator remedies, what you really need is a good, natural shampoo formulated to clean, soften and strengthen the hair you were blessed (or cursed, as some of us see it) with.
Here are some of the best specialized shampoos I know—give them a try and let me know what you think!
Fine, thin hair
If your hair is wispy, fragile, thin or thinning, try Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo. It’s 100% natural and organic, fortified with B vitamins, wheat protein and saw palmetto to strengthen hair strands, build body and stimulate the scalp to encourage hair growth. Jason Thin to Thick Extra Volume Shampoo is another biotin- and protein-enriched, volumizing option. Bonus point or being paraban, SLS and phthalate free!
Bring out bounce and tame frizz with Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Enhancing Shampoo. This sulfate-free, vegan blend of shea butter and plant extracts cleans and calms curly hair, making it soft and manageable. You’ll look great, but feel even better because the ingredients are fair trade certified, with 10% of sales going toward the Alaffia Women’s Shea Butter Cooperative in Togo, South Africa.
Thick, coarse hair
Thick hair tends to be naturally dry and frizzes when moisture is missing. Use a shampoo such as Alba Botanica Drink It Up Coconut Natural Hawaiian Shampoo. A treat for thirsty tresses, it’s made with coconut milk to seal in moisture, with fatty acids and protein to strengthen and prevent breakage. Plus, it’s free of drying formaldehyde and damaging sulfates found in many shampoos.
Dry, damaged hair
Highlights. Dye jobs. Blow outs. Flat ironing. They all lead to weakening, or worse, breaking and splitting strands. You need Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo, enhanced with antioxidant-rich grapefruit, apple and aloe extracts plus vegetable protein to soothe and repair chemically processed or otherwise treated hair. This one leaves olive oil in the dust—trust me.
Oh, so you’re one of the lucky ones? Knock on wood and get yourself a bottle of Shikai Natural Everyday Shampoo. Lightweight, pH-balanced, soap free and mild, this shampoo gently cleanses hair, leaving it shiny and manageable. It’s so good, they even make an eight-pound, gallon-sized jug, knowing you’ll want to keep plenty on hand for healthy hair for months to come.
The Beauty Boss blogs are compiled by our staff editors Rebecca Chopin and Katie Kaleita, who work closely with the Vitacost.com beauty department experts to bring you the most relevant, up-to-date information on natural beauty and anti-aging tips and trends.