What woman doesn’t obsess about her hair? Yes, I know it might sound superficial but if we’re honest, our hair is part of your feminine identity and throughout our lives many of us have been on an endless search to find the perfect products that will make our mane healthy, shiny and drop dead gorgeous. I don’t know many women who are 100% happy with their hair and I am one of them. Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful that I have a full head of hair and that it’s relatively healthy given the torture I put it through on a regular basis with dying, blow drying and styling with a curling iron.

In addition to always having a bit of a struggle with my fine and sometimes frizzy locks, a few months ago, I noticed that my scalp was itchy and flaky every time I shampooed. I started researching what the possible causes could be and that’s when I had my first brush with reality regarding the harmful ingredients I had been putting on my hair every time I’d lather up. I won’t go into detail here as there are already countless articles about the chemicals found in your shampoo but I at least want to share a breakdown of ingredients to avoid when sudsing up. Here are the biggest offenders:

1. Sulfates
They’re strong chemical detergents (also found in kitchen degreasers like dishwasher soap) that give shampoo that foamy quality, but they can cause scalp irritation, redness, and itching. I believe this is the main culprit for my itchy head as when I switched to a sulfate free shampoo, my irritated scalp was immediately relieved.

2. Isopropyl Alcohol
The petroleum-derived substance cleans and dissolves oils, but it’s also found in antifreeze, wood finish, and shellac. Alcohol is also extremely drying and strips hair of moisture, which can lead to hair damage and loss.

3. Formaldehyde
The chemical preservative kills bacteria, but it’s also a known carcinogen that irritates the eyes and respiratory system and can cause skin inflammation.

4. Propylene Glycol
The detergent helps cleaning ingredients penetrate hair, but it also breaks down healthy-hair proteins and irritates sensitive skin and eyes.

Of course, after reading this, if you are like me, you’ll want to steer clear of any product that contains these ingredients. Not sure where to go from here? Don’t worry girl, I’ve got you covered. I contacted the amazing women at Anise Natural Apothecary to find out what natural options they would recommend for my troubled tresses. Monique and Saska were super excited for me to discover the brand Rahua so they sent over the following products to try:

Voluminous shampoo $35

Voluminous conditioner $40

Regular shampoo $35

Regular conditioner $37

Omega 9 hair mask $70

OH MY GOSH. I had no idea that life as I knew it (or the life of my hair anyways) was about to change forever. Rahua (pronounced ra-wa) is a centuries-old Amazonian nut oil, prized by women of the Quechua-Shuar tribe as the secret to their thick, glossy hair. In the 1990s, these women shared Rahua’s power with renowned New York stylist and colorist Fabian Lliguin, a native Ecuadorian of Quechua descent. Intrigued, Lliguin studied Rahua’s revitalizing effects on his own clients’ hair. Dry, damaged strands sprang to life with renewed, bouncy elasticity. Colour treatments remained shiny and vibrantly true. Irritated scalps calmed under Rahua’s soothing care.

These 100% organic shampoos and conditioners are produced in sustainable partnership with the people of the region, and have fast become cult beauty favorites. The key to Rahua’s outstanding performance is its molecular structure. Unlike other botanical oils that simply coat strands, the extraordinarily small Rahua oil molecule deeply penetrates the hair’s cortex – bonding and repairing it – while simultaneously smoothing the hair’s cuticle.

Cue to me looking in the mirror in amazement at how shiny, bouncy and happy my hair appeared after using the products above only once! The Omega 9 hair mask left my hair so smooth and nourished. I looked like I had a professional blow dry and that result is priceless my friends. The voluminous products actually work too. My usually limp hair almost doubled in volume after one shampoo (proof below). Also, for those of you who have coloured hair like me, all these products are safe. Oh, and did I mention that here in Switzerland, the water is really harsh on your hair so every time I’d shampoo pre-Rahua, my locks would look like straw on a scarecrow’s head?

From this ...
From this…

... to this!
… to this!

Well the Omega 9 hair mask solved that problem for good. And if you aren’t already impressed with very professional before and after comparison above, know that I took that pic this morning after having slept on my hair all night and I hadn’t even passed a comb through it yet so imagine what it looked like yesterday when it was freshly washed and styled! Heaven I tell you. Heaven.

To discover the full range of Rahua hair care, click here. Rahul also offers body care which I’m sure is 100% amazing if it’s anything like its hair products. I strongly recommend trying Rahua even if you find the range a bit pricy. Remember that you get what you pay for. Having healthy and beautiful hair is important for so many women and we often spend a ton of money on big brand products (like the L’Oréals of the world) that don’t even yield good results but on top of that are tested on animals and full of harsh chemicals… Not great.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried more natural products for your hair and what the results were. And know that just because it says “natural” it doesn’t mean it is and it doesn’t mean that it’s high quality so do your research and opt for brands that have been recommended by other fabulous women.

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