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by Ryan Eccleston-Murdock June 25, 2018

Let’s be honest: none us of really know what to look for in our soaps or shampoos. There are so many different brands out there, each with their own pretty bottle filled with some concoction promising to make you glow, it’s hard to figure out what actually works for you. Plus, despite the branding, most commercial hair and skin care products have a lot of excess chemicals (sulfates, parabens, and more) that hurt you and the environment more than they help. These chemicals can dry out the skin and scalp and sometimes even leave an ugly rash.

Whenever I’m shopping for shampoos or moisturizers, I tend to look for natural products that I can use both in my hair and on my skin. I find that these products not only keep the clutter in my bathroom to a minimum, but also leave my hair and skin glowing and soft to the touch. Finding these miracle products isn’t as hard as it may seem. Check out the ingredients label next time you go shopping and keep and eye out for these four key components.

Coconut Oil

We’ve all heard about the wonders of coconut oil, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that it’s the first miracle product on this list. Coconut oil is perfect for deep conditioning. It’s comprised of medium-chain fatty acids that seep deep into your hair and scalp, moisturizing and revitalizing as it goes. It’s also perfect for repairing split ends and detangling tight knots.

If you’ve ever noticed a bit of dandruff on your shoulder, here’s how to use coconut oil to kick it to the curb:

  • Wash your hair as you normally would, with whatevernatural shampoo and conditioner you prefer.
  • Dry your hair, leaving it damp for the coconut oil to have something to grab on to.
  • Use your hands to melt the oil, rubbing it between your palms as it starts to soften. Coconut oil melts easily at room temperature, but be careful as it can stain clothes!
  • Massage the melted oil into your scalp.
  • Wrap your hair and leave in overnight for the best results.
  • (optional) Rinse any excess oil from your hair and scalp the following the morning.

Castor Seed Oil

Despite being slightly less known than its coconut counterpart, castor seed oil (or castor oil) can bring a myriad of benefits to your body. Castor oil helps reduce hair loss as the ricinoleic acid in castor oil promotes blood circulation to your scalp, strengthening your roots. Castor oil also balances pH levels in your skin, leaving it soft and resilient.

Shea Butter

Shea butter should be your all-in-one topical go-to. Since shea butter contains the same moisturizers naturally produced by the skin, it’s perfect for dry, flaky skin. Not only does it remedy cracked skin, but it also soothes most common skin ailments, from eczema and rashes to sunburns and bug bites. Be wary, only purchase 100% shea butter. It should be beige and off-white, not a blinding white color. Also, keep in mind that as shea butter ages, it’s amazing effects lessen, so keep quantity in mind.

Black Soap

Also known as African black soap, is truly miraculous. I’ll be honest: it’s not the prettiest piece of soap. In its most natural form, it’s a black-brown bar with a rough and craggy exterior. The good news is that ugliness is functional! By using the bar directly on your skin, the jagged exterior can be used to clean, as well as exfoliate the skin. In addition to soothing any irritation and reducing fine lines, black soap also fights against breakouts.

All of these benefits can also be brought to your hair as well! Here’s how:

  • Shave thin pieces of black soap into bottle filled with a mixture of warm water and your favorite oils.
  • Give the bottle a good shake and leave it to rest, allowing the soap to dissolve in the solution for 1-2 hours.
  • Wash your hair as you normally would, then apply the black soap mixture to your hair and scalp in small increments.
  • Rinse!

Taking care of your hair and skin naturally isn’t as hard as it may seem! Have any hair or skin tricks you’d like to share? Leave a comment!

Ryan Eccleston-Murdock
Ryan Eccleston-Murdock

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