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Natural Hair Care Ingredients for Shiny, Bouncy Locks

There are a lot — and I mean a LOT — of hair care products out there. Trying to find the right one for your hair can be overwhelming. And not just for you, but also for your hair! Many of the “miracle” hair care products touted on social media as life-changing are heavy on toxic chemicals that can destroy the long-term oil balance of your mane and your hair’s individuality.

Many hair care products are designed for the masses. And if they’re not equipped to address your hair’s uniqueness, they can end up messing with your hair’s natural feel, texture, or curl. What’s worse, many products, especially the organic or clean formulations, are just too expensive. Let me know if this sounds familiar:

  • You splurge on an expensive hair product or regimen.
  • Initially, you are pleased with the results.
  • A month later, your pricey produce line seems to have stopped working.
  • You move on to a new, more expensive product.

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After a while, it feels impossible to have healthy, beautiful hair without spending way more than you want to.

Well, I have some good news for you. Your pantry may be stocked with some very effective, all-natural products that can deliver the healthy hair you crave. And if you don’t have them in your pantry, you can run out and buy them without breaking your budget.

Adult woman with healthy curly hair thanks to natural hair care ingredients.

Here are five straight-to-the-source hair products that won’t weigh down your hair or lighten your wallet.

Natural hair care oil treatments

Oils help the natural moisture balance of your hair, restoring it to its previous shine and bounce. That’s why you’ll see many curly hair moisturizer products with almond and avocado oil in their list of ingredients.

1. Castor oil

Castor oil is a tried-and-true folk remedy that your grandma may have in her bathroom cabinet (or you can buy it at Walmart).

Castor oil adds shine and reduces breakage. It also helps your hair grow faster and thicker. To use, heat it up until it liquefies. You can also mix in an egg yolk and a bit of honey so it’s easier to distribute. Work it into your hair and scalp gently using your hands and wide-toothed comb. Leave on for up to an hour, then shampoo and rinse.

Word to the wise: Use castor oil as a treatment that you wash out thoroughly. It’s not light enough to work as a leave-in treatment.

2. Olive oil

You can also use olive oil as a hot oil treatment. Olive oil has many well-documented benefits, but one notable one is its ability to improve the circulation of your scalp. Better circulation means more blood flow to your hair follicles, which can add strength. Strong hair follicles are not as prone to breakage and split ends.

To apply an olive oil treatment, warm the oil slightly. Section your hair and coat lightly with your fingers. Leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse.

I buy olive oil in giant jugs at Sam’s Club because I cook with it too. If you don’t use it in the kitchen, you might justify the expense by using it as skin moisturizer.

3. Avocado oil

Avocado oil is high in oleic acid and monounsaturated fats. That gives it the unique ability to penetrate your hair’s shaft and thoroughly hydrate it (vs. coating it and slicking down your damaged hair follicles). Incidentally, this is why that ‘miracle moment’ with pricey conditioners and moisturizing products often doesn’t last. Your hair is coated and not treated. And that gives you buildup over time.

An avocado oil hair mask works the same as an olive oil mask. Warm the oil, apply, hang out for a half hour, and then rinse.

You can also combine the effectiveness of multiple natural ingredients into one DIY treatment. Mix equal parts olive, castor, and avocado for a hair deep conditioner that will leave it light and shiny the whole week.

Natural hair care rinses

Woman holding bottle of natural hair care in the shower.

4. Apple cider vinegar

Curly haired ladies: If your curls are flat, that’s a sign you have product buildup. Try an apple cider vinegar rinse as a gentle, clarifying solution.

Add three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to two cups of water and pour over your head, letting the rinse thoroughly saturate your hair. Limit your ACV rinse to once weekly and follow with a nourishing conditioner.

Bonus: Apple cider vinegar can also be used to lock in hair dye too!

5. Rice water

Rice water (yes, the water left over after cooking rice) is a fresh solution for hair that needs conditioning and shine. This is another DIY hair solution that curly-haired women love. A single rinse of rice water is enough to see a visible difference in the quality and shine of your hair.

After cooking your rice, strain off the water. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week until you’re ready to use. Then, dump it into a big hair and dunk your hair. Make sure your strands are fully coated, then leave on for five minutes. Rinse and style!

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