Whether your are big or small, young or old, or anywhere in between, this is one of those necessary products every home around the world has in their bathroom. As necessary as it is, it is definitely not a product most people give too much attention to when noticing what kind of ingredients are in it. These products contain ingredients that are not approved by the FDA, and manufacturers can put anything in it they want.
Any guesses yet?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Fragrance, Cocamidropropyl Betaine, Triclosan, Polysorbates, Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol
Just wanted to give you an idea of some of the toxic chemicals (that even I, with my background in chemistry & biology, cannot properly pronounce) that are found within these products.
Know where I’m going with this yet?
This week, I’m talkin’ shampoo & conditioner.
Flowy, thick, bright, vibrant, and luscious, are all examples of words used to describe the hair we all strive to have. But what is the cost we are taking to achieve this look? When shopping for shampoo or conditioner at the department store, the most common things we check are the price and the brand. The harsh ingredients listed on the back of the bottle is not normally something people take a peak at, but it should be.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is the toxic chemical used as a foaming agent in most shampoos. Interestingly enough, SLS is also used in detergents that are meant for cleaning garage floors and engines. Which would explain the gradual thinning of hair and damage to roots/ends of individuals that use shampoo on a daily basis. It easily penetrates the skin and circulates within the body for up to 5 days. It leaves residues in the heart, liver, lungs, and the brain. SLS contains protein denaturing properties which causes inflammation and skin irritation.
Diethanolamine (DEA), a wetting agent found within shampoos and conditioners, reacts with nitrate leading to the development of cancer causing compounds.
You know that burning sensation you get when shampoo or conditioner gets into your eyes? That’s the Formaldehyde. Which has also been shown to lead to the development of cataracts in adults and improper eye development in young children. Formaldehyde is also the chemical used to preserve dead animals before dissection experiments.
Still think shampoo and conditioner are safe to use?
Propylene Glycol, AKA AntiFreeze, is another toxic chemical found within shampoos and conditioners. Similarly to its affects with your car, it is used to stop the product from freezing during shipping and storage. This chemical is directly correlated to skin irritation and allergic reactions.
The producers of “Natural Society” discuss that Parabens are a grouping of chemicals also found within shampoos and conditioners. They have been directly linked to reproductive damage and organ toxicity. Interestingly, a study consisting of 40 women who had undergone a mastectomy found one or more of the Parabens in 90% of the samples. They also have the ability to excessively unbalance the body’s natural estrogen levels.
Think of it as: Natural versus Synthetic.
Ingredient quality is the main difference between organic shampoo/conditioner and conventional hair care products. Instead of hurting your hair follicles, organic shampoos and conditioners gently infuse your hair follicles and skin cells with natural minerals, herbal extracts, and oils. Organic products contain:
- Organic Tea Tree
- Beta Glucan
- Coconut Oil
- Shea Butter
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Jojoba Extract
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
An extra added bonus to using organic shampoos and conditioners is that you are no longer contributing to the harsh chemicals that run down the drains of showers and baths. Using organic products flushes only biodegradable substances. They also smell fantastic (naturally)!
Eluxe Magazine made a list of their favourite organic shampoo and conditioner brands:
- Onira Organics
- Original & Mineral
- Dr. Organic Shampoos
- Rahua Classics
- Stop The Water While Using Me!
- Live Clean
I have very long, very thick blonde hair. So, a major concern I had when I made the transition to organic shampoo and conditioner was whether or not the product would still lather enough for my specific length and thickness, all while still giving me the shine and volume everyone strives for. It took a little bit of trial and error however, I have narrowed down my favourite products: Live Clean and Avalon Organics. Not only do these brands give me all of the same affects that conventional shampoos and conditioners do, but I am confident using them knowing I am protecting myself, my hair, and the environment. I even use the Live Clean products on my pup.
(that’s him, hehe)
Most organic shampoos and conditioners are on the pricier side of things however, they compare to the average prices you find when purchasing toxin-infused salon products. It is important to note though, that most of the organic products do not require you to use as much during each use so, the extra little bit of money you’re spending to purchase a safer product ends up lasting you much longer.
Since the experiences my family has had with my dad (refer to my ‘about’ page), we don’t mess around. It is extremely important to take care of yourself and your loved ones, and it is so easy to start with something as simple as transitioning your conventional shampoos and conditioners to organic ones. We already live in a world full of pollution where we cannot avoid what we ingest from the air, why add even more chemicals to the list? You have to start somewhere.