So it turns out natural haircare does work just as well
By Delaney Loane
Digital Beauty Editor / February 08 2021
You just have to give it a fair go
By Delaney Loane
Digital Beauty Editor / February 08 2021
I’ll be honest with you: natural isn’t exactly my middle name. Yes, the documentaries terrify me, and I swear I have the best of intentions, but selfishly I’ve always struggled with the idea of sacrificing ‘good hair’, even for great reasons.
Ethically I’ve always wanted to make the switch, but when it comes to efficacy, I’d just never been impressed by what I saw whenever I dabbled with natural haircare.
Here’s the thing: I have the attention span of a goldfish. I’m generally the type of person that will immediately move onto a new book, movie, hobby, etc. if the first one doesn’t grab me within the first twenty seconds. The same goes for new shampoo and conditioner combos, too – I’m usually a one-wash wonder type person, and if you don’t instantly impress me, you’re out.
But, what any natural newbies (including myself, just weeks ago) may not yet know, is that giving a natural haircare range one shot at amazing you is like asking someone to audition for The X Factor and cutting them off before the chorus – you’re never going to see what they’re actually capable of unless you give them a minute to warm up.
So, I put on my patient pants and committed to Sukin’s #10washchallenge in a bid to see what giving natural products an actual fair go would actually look like, and boy oh boy, do I have thoughts…
My scalp and I are finally friends again
I cannot stress this enough: my scalp pretty much burns with the fire of a thousand suns on the daily. I’m practically the president of dry shampoo’s fan club, so congestion is a pretty major issue, and my dry, sensitive skin type tends to equal a lot of itchiness, redness and irritation day in and day out. Hence, my obsession with scalp scrubs.
I must say: this guy is a damn good one. You know when you brush your teeth and the fresh feeling leaves you feeling instantly energised? That’s exactly how this peppermint and ginger extract scrub works for your scalp – so, while natural haircare in general may not be about instant gratification, Sukin’s Natural Balance Scalp Scrub does offer it. Everything feels cool and clean, the itchy feeling subsides (blessings), and hey, the crisp minty scent sure doesn’t put a dampener on things, either.
I also must admit, it really doesn’t hurt (no, literally, it doesn’t hurt anymore) that the scrub’s stocked in the supermarket. I’m pretty much the least organised person on the planet, and so I’m usually fresh out of scalp scrub whenever I need it most. It’s truly a blessing to know it’s never more than a trip to the shops away now. It also seemed like the shampoo and conditioner were going easier on the scalp area too, but hey, more on them in a minute.
No hydration was sacrificed during the completion of this detox
The biggest change I noticed throughout the trial was that I found myself having to switch from my usual once weekly wash (it takes a solid forty minutes to blow-dry my wildly thick mane, so I stretch out shampoos as long as possible) to a bi-weekly one. The roots certainly checked into ‘greasy town’ quicker (especially at first), but while it was necessary to up the wash frequency, it turned out to be a double-edged sword.
You see, the other reason I usually leave it so long is that my hair embarks on a journey after every wash – basically, it usually takes multiple days to settle after being ‘stripped’ by shampoo, and it definitely doesn’t feel soft, hydrated or anywhere near silky until at least day three. For the first two or so, it sits super stiffly and strangely, almost like a wig – it’s like my haircare has drained it of moisture, and it doesn’t know how to react.
After using Sukin’s Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner duo, though, it felt more like I was hitting the ‘roots feeling normal and length feeling hydrated’ day three stage fresh from the wash. It meant I reached the final frontier (AKA ‘dirty hair’) quicker, yes, but considering I usually have to plan my social calendar around the fact that my hair needs to be washed three days prior to it actually looking good, it was really a welcome change. It meant that I liked how it looked and felt immediately post blow-dry for pretty much the first time ever.
10 washes later, the grease has subsided to the point where I can push it out to a week again if I need to, but the hydration has held strong. Point Sukin.
Thank heavens for hair oil
Considering my natural texture is wavy with a fair bit of frizz, and I prefer to wear my hair straight or in a different style of wave (one that comes from a curling wand), I do commit to a fair bit of heat styling after each wash, and so more frequent shampoo’ing did mean more frequent straightening – something I was indeed a little worried about in the beginning.
Despite my fears, though, I didn’t see any issues arise in the damage department. The Hydrating Treatment Oil (which is loaded with the argan, olive and jojoba oil dream team) really had my back protection and repair wise. It kept my hair soft and sheen-y, while also seeming to keep things fairly flyaway-free (not always the case, especially during a detox).
I’m happy to report that I’m also a big fan of the oil’s fresh, herbal-esque scent. It’s zesty, but not too overpowering, which is ideal, especially when you’re loading up on as much as I was after the first few slightly frizzier washes. Now that my hair’s back to a balanced state, however, it serves simply as a nice little moisture top-up to rely on if the ends start misbehaving.
The final verdict
I really don’t like to admit I’m wrong, but hey, here we are. 10 washes down, my scalp feels soothed (probably as result of both the scrub and the more frequent shampoos) and my hair feels (and looks) just as healthy, and honestly way more hydrated, than ever. So, while my pride may be hurt, my hair is happy.
There were a few tough times (first of the fluffy variety, and then the greasy) along the way, but I made it to the other side, and TBH I’m proud of myself for persevering. Long story short, what’s on my head looks good, and there’s no longer a wild amount of guilt swimming around inside it – win win.