Updated: Jan 29
Lockdown has taught us many things and spending so much time online has introduced us to new Do It Yourself (DIY) ideas for everything including our hair care and beauty products. The increased strain on people's finances in these difficult times have also led a lot of people to seek out home remedies as they tend to be cheaper or so they seem. The number of people I have seen on different platforms asking specifically for home remedies to deal with specific hair care or skin issues is almost greater than those that seek out product recommendations.
With the movement towards the use of organic products which is a fancy way of saying all natural, most people tend to think natural has become synonymous with better and how much more natural can one get than just going straight to the source ingredient right? Not necessarily so. DIYs may be cheaper on the pocket but have a lot of unknown variables that can lead to undesirable consequences. Just because you know what a product is made of or the claimed active ingredient does not mean you know how it works.
Most products are made of plant extracts meaning extensive research has gone into identifying a particular part of the plant, fruit or natural material and separate it out for use specifically.
Extraction can allow the manufacturer to concentrate the ingredient as they so desire to allow the best effect which you may not get naturally from the source simply because it is not concentrated enough. It also separates out the desired components from other parts of the plant or source material that will not be so desirable. An easy example is how the juice of the aloe vera leaf does wonders for moisturizing hair, adding slippage and general skin care. The outer parts of the leaf or even the colorless more solid parts of the inner gel when not strained out can become flaky and difficult to remove from hair after washing it making hair look not so clean or as if it has dandruff.
Commercial products are also required to guarantee safety hence undergo testing to ensure this. Certain stabilizing products may be added or even just processes may be done to the product first to rid it of potentially harmful particles or properties. Certain plants may be acidic in nature or contain microbial life that can cause harm to the user. Without the necessary safety processes, you may expose yourself to possible harm or infection, even more so for those with sensitive skin and scalps. The internet is littered with stories of people who have burnt their scalps and damaged their skin with home made products, so be sure you are taking all the necessary precautions before you proceed with any DIY treatments.
DIY has multiple benefits but you really have to be careful how you go about it. There are many affordable products that can be used effectively for your hair needs and could save you the uncertainty that comes with DIY. For all my DIY lovers please make sure you find credible sources of information and try to use clean and safe products as well as clean containers and utensils for preparing you home made concoctions. If the DIY way is not your thing or you would like to try some of the tried and tested products that are readily available, keep a look out for the reviews we will be posting here, as we are going to be reviewing different products to give you an independent perspective and a voice you can trust when recommending what you could use for your hair, skin care and makeup.
Tell us about your DIY experiences, both good and bad in the comments below.