Want to know my go to hair detox? The product I use to get rid of product? The cheat I use to scrape away the residue of pollution, overenthusiastic use of hair spray and city dirt?

Washing up liquid.

It strips the hair of all the crap that comes with living in the city.

But as you might guess, it also strips the hair. It is harsh on the skin and takes away all the natural hair oils with it, so I would only do it in hair emergencies. Now living in Santiago, a city as famous for its smog as its mountains, I’m facing recurrent hair emergencies.

My hair emergency

On top of living in one of the most polluted, sunny cities, I suffer from scalp psoriasis and eczema. Since the birth of my kid my hair has been falling out (apparently hair loss is very common after childbirth). Oh, and I like to swim and the chlorine is turning my blonde highlights to straw.

My hair looks and feels horrible.

Dry hair

Dry hair?

The eco solution

I’ve been asking around and think I’ve come up with a solution. I go to an eco hairdressers in Santiago (by ‘eco’ they don’t use chemicals or test on animals) and the team there advised me to swap my shampoo.

While I spend a fortune on skincare, I admit to dumping the nearest shampoo from the supermarket aisle into my trolley and slapping it on with impunity. It’s all the same stuff right?

Well, alas, no.

I’ve switched to the Rebuilding Hair Bath by Oway and I’ve been really impressed.

Oway Rebuilding Hair Bath

Oway Rebuilding Hair Bath

‘Normal’ shampoos had been stripping my hair of their natural oils and my scalp was red raw, Meanwhile my scalp had been compensating by building up its own grease as a defense mechanism. My hair had become dry, brittle and frizzy.

The Oway way

Oway products are gentler. They’re free of parabens, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, silicons and other nasties. In fact 98.8% of their ingredients are naturally derived. But even natural ingredients can have harmful effects on the body, so each product goes through three types of rigorous dermatological and microbiological testing.

You might also be pleased to read that the shampoo comes in a recyclable glass bottle. And all ingredients are ethically sourced.

As for the Rebuilding Hair Bath, it contains essence of iris to refresh, basil to add moisture and protect, teak to strengthen and cleanse, and mahogany as a natural antiseptic and astringent for the scalp.

damaged hair trick

My other trick: a hat

Results in a bottle

Who cares, you say? Well, you can skip the above and read this:

This shampoo will make your hair softer than any other product I’ve tested.

Yes, it costs more than random supermarket aisle hair fodder. A 240ml bottle will set you back 27 EUR (around £25 GBP / $31 USD). I asked my hairdresser what was the difference between Oway and another shampoo that cost a third of the price. ‘Oway has a bit of a cult following because… well… honestly it just works soooo much better’, she replied, swishing her silky locks.

Not a miracle cure, but not far off

Let’s be clear, it’s not a miracle cure. In fact there is no known cure for psoriasis and my scalp is still dry. But my hair is starting to recover and feels the best it has ever felt.

My hair has a little while to go before it matches my hairdresser’s, but here’s hoping. In any case, the washing up liquid trick will be off the cards for a while.

Rebuilding Hair Bath by Oway, 27 EUR (around £25 GBP / $31 USD) for 240ml. Available to purchase online at Oway in Europe, through Simply Organic Beauty in the US and all good eco hairdressers in the rest of the world. 

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