Let There Be Gel! Great Product for Your Eco Curls

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Curls can be hard to maintain. For those of us without naturally curly hair, it seems that sustaining waves requires ingredients powerful enough to launch the Space Shuttle into orbit. In other words, really, really strong. I have locks that might as well have been permanently ironed at birth. Any attempt to curl them lasts about a nanosecond before collapsing into concrete-roller straight.

And my friends blessed with curly hair tell me the grass isn’t any greener. Curly locks can be unruly, untamed, and in tomes like Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre cut off for mere diabolical existence. (RIP Helen Burns.) And try to manage your curls? I’ve come across traditional hair gels that contain more bad ingredients than the gift shop at Three Mile Island.

First, let’s consider said “traditional” hair gels. One product I looked over – from a store I frequented as a teenager simply because it had the word “body” in its shop – rates a 7 high hazard from good old Skin Deep. Ingredients were linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and more. So does that mean we have to sacrifice our health for beauty? And in this case, curls? Maybe Bronte’s villains had it right – curls really are of the devil.

Not if you use a green product! (Take that, 19th century morality!) I took a look at Lavera’s Styling Gel – Extra Hold ($16.00). This product offers up a firm hold without the serious chemicals. I threw some into my hair and found it worked without weighing it down. And it did manage to maintain my hair’s shape. I wasn’t crazy about the smell – it’s a little too perfumed for me. (The fragrance comes from natural essential oils.) This product contains an abundance of certified organic ingredients, as well as natural oils.

How to use it? Gels form the curl and leave it manageable. Using your fingers, work it through your wet hair. Your hair should be wet, as wetting it serves to break the hydrogen bonds of your hair. Then, depending how curly your hair already is, you can simply scrunch the curls back into shape. For the rest of us, consider braids, rollers, bobby pins, or even eco-friendly fabrics or rags to tie your hair into shape. Either let it dry naturally or use a hair dryer (make it energy-efficient!) to set your curls.  And make sure you flaunt them seductively in the face of your dream Mr. or Ms. Rochester (sans crazy ex stashed in the attic, of course.)

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Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.