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Hair care can be a difficult topic when you’re vegan because a lot of the products out there are not vegan and cruelty-free. Luckily, since I try to live a more minimalist lifestyle I want to keep the number of products I use very low and am not too concerned with owning tons of different, new products.
I must have been around twelve years old when I started using semi-permanent hair colors. I loved all shades of red and reddish brown, and I'm not exaggerating when I say I must have tried at least 30 different shades. As I reached my 20s, I toned it down a bit and preferred colors that were closer to my natural brown hair. Soon followed my natural phase where I only used henna and indigo on my hair. This was a period where I stuck to the "curly girl method" which, if you have wavy or curly hair, you should definitely look up as it gives you the most beautifully defined curls you could ask for. This was the period in my life where I liked my hair the most.
Eventually, I became a bit lazy with that procedure, and when I moved to Greece it was just not feasible anymore to work with henna and indigo in my small shower. My use of mainstream products increased again which damaged my hair quite a bit, until I found a hair care routine that is both cruelty-free and vegan and easy to follow here in Greece.
Before washing my hair, I will add some virgin coconut oil to my hair for at least half an hour. I apply this more to the dry sections of my hair and leave out the roots. Coconut oil is my absolute favorite oil for hair. Over the years, I have experimented with different oils, such as castor oil, olive oil, or almond oil, but coconut oil has just the right consistency and brings really nice results. Once a week, I apply more coconut oil to my hair as well as my scalp and leave it on for several hours, preferrably overnight.
Then I wash my hair once or twice depending on how greasy it is from the coconut oil. Currently, I am using the tea tree and mint shampoo from Avalon Organics which is for sensitive and dry scalps. My scalp tends to get irritated here, and I think it has a lot to do with the shower head and how the flow of water because I didn’t have any issues on our recent trip to Hamburg.
Then I use a conditioner (right now I use one from Jason Natural Personal Care). I try to get something for dry hair to protect my ends because in the colder seasons I have to blow dry my hair which is quite damaging. Once I apply the conditioner through my hair I take a wide toothed wooden comb to detangle my hair. As my hair is naturally wavy to curly this is the best way to comb my hair and actually the only time I do it without ending up in pain. I may or may not follow up with a hair mask and another round of detangling.
When rinsing out my hair I focus on the scalp and the roots to make sure everything is clean and will not get greasy again too soon as I already wash my hair every two days. (Ideally, I would like to reduce washing my hair to two to three times per week, as that would be a lot less damaging to the hair and less time consuming as well, of course, but I haven't managed to get there yet.) I tend to wash out the ends a bit less so that some of the product can actually act as a leave-in product as well.
When I get out of the shower I apply a very small amount of unrefined shea butter to the ends of my hair and then blow dry it using a diffuser. I only blow dry it to the point where it’s comfortable to wear in a bun as heat is very damaging to the hair, and I want to use it as little as possible. In the summer, I simply let my hair air dry overnight.
I try to stay away from styling products as they are even more damaging to the hair. The only thing I apply is hairspray on my bangs after blow drying them straight because curly bangs look rather funny. If my hair gets too frizzy I apply a tiny amount of coconut oil to fix it.
As you can see, I try to keep it fairly natural which means less harm to the environment and less stress for the hair.
What does your hair care routine look like?
Half Bulgarian Turk, half German living life as an expat in Greece.
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