Staying At Home? Secrets to Make the Most of Your Natural Hair Without All the Toxic Chemicals

Zoom meeting joke photoYou’re staying safe at home with nowhere to really go, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to look good (Zoom hair notwithstanding, of course). So we wanted to share some tips about how to care for your hair in quarantine.

That’s why we spoke with Dr. Christine Martey-Ochola, Co-Founder of NUELE, a company committed to making clean, natural, and MADE SAFE® certified hair products that don’t contain harmful or synthetic ingredients. She shared her favorite beauty and hair hacks while you shelter-in-place and beyond.


Q&A with Dr. Christine Martey-Ochola, Co-Founder of NUELE

Given that we are shopping less, how can we get creative with products we may already own?

We are big proponents of using what you have and limiting waste — in fact, it’s something we feel very passionate about. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pamper yourself by giving products you already have new uses.

Love the smell of your essential oil blends? Dab your favorite balm on your pulse points before dabbing your oils to keep you smelling good all day long.

Got a hangnail or painful, dry cuticles? Don’t pick at them. Reach for your eye cream instead. This moisturizer is formulated for one of the most sensitive and fragile pieces of skin on your body — and the extra hydration from the eye cream will target and help repair the damage to your cuticles.

What about pampering our hair? What’s your go-to?
Got dry hair? In addition to everyday use, we love using NUELE as an overnight moisture surge. Add up to triple the recommended amount and wrap your hair in a silk scarf or something similar to give your hair a moisture boost while you sleep.

What are your favorite DIY hair care tips that we can use at home?
First, it’s no secret that strong, healthy hair starts from the inside — and that’s why it’s not only clean and natural products that matter, but taking care of yourself too. Drinking water, eating whole foods, and taking time to de-stress is crucial.

Combine those tips with a DIY hair mask using ingredients you’ll find in most homes to bring your locks life! Simply combine:

  • Banana
  • Avocado
  • Aloe Vera
  • Coconut Milk
  • Olive Oil

This hair mask is our favorite to revive your locks and quench its thirst while conditioning, but this recipe is flexible. You can absolutely add your favorite oils that you have on hand and other enhancing ingredients you already know your hair loves. We also like argan oil (like we use in NUELE).

Greenwashing is when a product is marketed to give the appearance of concern for health or the environment without necessarily living up to those claims. What are your tips for avoiding greenwash in hair and beauty products – or as NUELE calls them, “Faux Natural Products”?
There are products in stores – there actually may even be a few of them in your bathroom cabinet – that are branded as if they’re “all natural,” but include synthetic ingredients or toxic chemicals that can be destructive to your hair or health. The thing is, toxic ingredients can be damaging to hair health as well as the health of your body.

But how are you supposed to know what is what? Grab that bottle, and avoid the following ingredients:

  • Parabens
  • Triclosan
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (like quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, and some ingredients containing the word “urea,” though not all so make sure to do a quick search)
  • Polyethylene glycol (PEGs) (ingredients typically listed as PEG followed by a number)
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
  • Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
  • Phthalates
  • Dimethicone
  • Triethanolamine (also abbreviated TEA)
  • Alcohols like SD alcohol 40, propyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol (aka propanol), as well as ethanol which can be natural, but dehydrates hair
  • PVP / VA Copolymer

Protect yourself and do your research before using any product. If you don’t understand the ingredient list, look it up. Empower yourselves to improve your health so you’re not a victim of “faux natural products.”

MADE SAFE’s Banned & Restricted List is an excellent resource for beginning your journey to empower yourself and find products that are made with safe ingredients.

NUELE founders photo
NUELE co-founders Dr. Christine Martey-Ochola (left) and Anne Cheatham

To learn more about NUELE, a brand we believe is truly doing natural hair care right, check out their MADE SAFE certified products.

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