I thought I’d share some knowledge about the toxic chemical compounds in the mainstream shampoos that a lot of people use these days, what ingredients to look out for and what you can substitute them with for a more natural and healthy choice.
Being a hypersensitive person, I as a kid was sensitive to a lot of different fruits, like strawberries, tomatoes, mandarins and kiwis amongst many other things.. And as I grew up realised I can in fact eat these without any problems, if I buy them organic. If they are sprayed with toxic chemicals and pesticides, my body will know. Getting rashes and swollen body parts was a standard thing for me.. with some symptoms worse than others. Until I eventually had enough, and did more analysing of the food I was eating and the products I was using..
My worst enemy.. It was the shower, after every shower, I’d have red itchy rashes all over my body. Not a nice feeling when you’ve had a really nice and refreshing shower to feel clean and cleansed.. I soon realised the criminal was the shampoo I was using and I had a read on the back of the bottle.. Oh dear, the amount of ingredients that I couldn’t even pronounce. This is one of the reasons why I decided to start taking chemistry and biology classes.
So, I quit using shampoo and simply use a little organic castile soap if not just water to wash my hair. And some organic coconut oil as conditioner for the tips now and then to keep them from drying out. And it is healthier than ever before. I did some research and found a whole heap of information about the ingredients put in that plastic bottle of shampoo. This is when it gets scary, as some of these ingredients are actually carcinogenic, hormonal disrupters and can cause infertility. Why on earth put these ingredients in something that some people would use every day, and in a hot water shower where your body is way too open and lets these toxic chemicals straight into your bloodstream through your pores.
Either the manufacturers simply do not know, and are therefore mindless for using ingredients they don’t know enough about. Or they do not care, about anything but money, and the usage of these ingredients makes the product cheaper to produce. So, people, we’re dealing with hypocrites who don’t care or idiots who don’t know. But thanks to some aware and caring human beings on this planet, the knowledge is spreading, and there is healthy non-toxic products out there, you just have to take the time and look for them.
But with the big mainstream company names covering up their mindless and selfish acts, the smaller environmental eco-friendly companies need to be promoted, and their knowledge spread wider. Take for example Coca Cola, who pays nutritionists to say that aspartame and whatever else they put in their bottles, are actually healthy. Now, who believes that? But, if some nutritionist says its true, is must be, or?
Don’t trust anything but proper sources with scientific proof. Therefore, I go to, for example, IARC (The International Agent for Research of Cancer) and similar organisations for information about the different products. I mean, if it has been classified as carcinogenic by one big Environmental Health organisation, that’s it, I will not use any product with that ingredient.
For one, the usage of the compound Cocamide DEA, cocamide diethanolamine, a chemically modified form of coconut oil, widely used as a foaming agent in many cosmetic products, has been listed as a carcinogenic by The International Agent for Research of Cancer (IARC) as well as the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. For a source and further information about Coconut oil diethanolamine, follow this link. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol101/mono101-005.pdf
Also, a lot of shampoos use Parabens and Sulfates, that have been proven to have negative effect on the human body, on the endocrine system or irritative on the skin. The skin being the biggest organ of the human body that helps keep the body hydrated by keeping water in and protecting inner organs by working as a shield from outer stresses.
Paraben is a chemical compound, an ester of parahydroxybenzoic acid. It works as a preservative in lengthening the shelf life of cosmetic products. It is not classified as carcinogenic, since there has been no proof to link the compound to cancer, however, there is proof that parabens have a negative effect on the endocrine system which could lead to effected levels of oestrogen levels in the body, which in turn can lead to infertility and worst case actually be connected to breast cancer. As I said, scary stuff..
Sulfates are salts of sulfuric acids. Salts, acid derivatives and peroxides of sulfates are widely used in industry, in cosmetic products like toothpaste and shampoo but also floor cleaners and car wash soaps for their thickening and lathering effects as detergents and surfactants. SLES (Sodium laureate sulfate) and SDS or NaDs (Sodium dodecyl sulfate) are both anionic surfactants and detergents that are not carcinogenic however are both very irritable and can worsen skin problems. If you have sensitive skin, like me, I wouldn’t recommend using any products with sulfates, or parabens.
As a solution I’d recommend an organic shampoo without parabens and sulfates, or simply make your own with organic castile soap. You can use plain castile soap or mix 1/3 part castile soap with 1/4 part organic coconut milk. Optionally you can add a little of organic vegetable oil, either avocado, almond, olive or similar oil if you have dry hair.
Coconut milk is derived from the flesh of the coconut, that contains high amounts of saturated fats, majority are Lauric acids, that are mainly shorter chains of fatty acids, and acts as anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and also antioxidant against free radicals and their damaging effects. Coconut is great to use against dandruff, as it works as a gentle exfoliating agent and removes dead skin cells. It also helps keep the skin hydrated and moisturised due to high contains of Vitamin E, that promotes hair growth and nourishes the hair.
You can make your own castile soap with olive oil as a base and potassium hydroxide (KOH). Here is a great instruction to how to make it! http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Lye-Free-Liquid-Castile-Soap-from-your-Kitc/
Since your hair can still be dry after the usage of organic and natural shampoos. I’d suggest using something naturally conditioning like Apple cider vinegar to rinse with after. You can make it smell a little better and give extra scent by infusing herbs with your rinse of ACV, water and herbs. It is however very individual how concentrated your rinse need to be and also how often you should rinse your hair after shampooing. I will get back to this tomorrow..
Sorry for no pictures, and a lot of text. I am sure, that if you made it this far.. you found this post interesting enough to keep reading, and got something out of it.