Did you know the average Canadian makes contact with thousands of chemicals every day? And most of them are in products like your shampoo. One out of eight ingredients in personal care products is toxic.
That’s scary stuff.
It’s no wonder natural hair products are gaining popularity. Let’s start with the basics of hair care: your shampoo. We all want healthy hair, and natural shampoo is the better choice for great looking hair.
Let’s find out how and why. This article looks at why you should consider switching to a natural shampoo and ditch your harsh drug store shampoo.
What’s Lurking in Your Commercial Shampoo?
Canada does not regulate chemical agents in cleaning and personal care products. For example, manufacturers do not have to disclose the ingredients in fragrances and personal care products.
They don’t have to put them on the label or disclose them to Health Canada. In fact, retailers selling shampoo don’t know what’s in them at all.
Why is this so incredulous? Because commercial shampoos contain chemicals and other ingredients your skin absorbs. They can cause skin irritation, or worse, make you sick.
Some are even carcinogenic. In this way, a simple personal care product like shampoo puts your system at risk of cancer and other diseases.
They also shrink hair follicles, irritate your oil glands, and dry out your scalp. Any or all these things can cause hair loss. Here’s a partial list of these chemical offenders.
Triclosan is common in toothpaste and deodorant. But it sometimes shows up in shampoo as well. It’s considered a pesticide. Reason enough to stay away from it?
If not, physical reactions include bacteria and disruption of the endocrine system.
Polyethylene glycols come from petroleum. So you’ll find them in products (like shampoo) with a cream base. You’ll find them on your product label as PEG-150 or PEG-6.
Petroleum-based compounds contain ethylene oxide. Those increase the likelihood of breast and uterine cancers. It also increases instances of brain cancer and leukemia.
By the way, another name for polyethylene glycol is antifreeze.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
These sulfates show up in cleaners like shampoo because it makes it able to foam. How many shampoo ads can you recall that boast about “luxurious lather”?
Now, you know the chemical that makes that possible. Manufacturers extract sulfates from coconuts, which seems safe enough. But the manufacturing process yields a toxic by-product.
Science conflicts over the harmful effects of sulfates. In fact, Health Canada states that SLS and SLES are safe ingredients. Back in 2009, Health Canada conducted studies.
The outcome? Sulfates in personal care products were too low to affect your health. The agency also asserts that sulfates as cancer-causing agents are a myth.
Shampoo DOES contain harmful agents. But small amounts not concentrated enough to cause disease. Yet, carcinogens are still present. Why accept them in your shampoo?
No matter how you interpret the research, sulfates are carcinogens. And they are terrible for your hair. They rob your skin of its natural oils.
Your scalp becomes dry and at risk for dandruff, irritation, and allergic reactions. Not to mention it stings when it runs in your eyes.
Synthetic fragrances contain up to 3,000 chemicals. Manufacturers are not required to list each of them. Thus, they remain unregulated for the most part.
The ingredients for a fragrance can come from petroleum or natural raw materials. There are chemicals that create the scent. Then there are the other additives like stabilizers, solvents, preservatives, and dyes.
One out of five personal care products contains a preservative made with formaldehyde. If your mind jumped to either a funeral home or laboratory, you’re on the mark.
But formaldehyde won’t appear as formaldehyde. On the product labels, look for these names instead:
- Bronopol (2–bromo–2–nitropropane–1,3-diol)
- Diazolidinyl Urea
- DMDM hydantoin
- Imidazolidinyl urea
Avoiding these toxins is reason enough to switch to chemical-free shampoo. There are extra health benefits as well that we will cover next.
What Is Natural Shampoo?
First, natural shampoos are precisely what they sound like. They are fragrance-free shampoos made with natural ingredients. These shampoos contain plant and herb extracts. In short, they contain botanicals instead of chemicals.
Keep in mind that "natural" doesn't have specific qualifying criteria. Hair care companies can market a product as natural when, in fact, it’s not. A legitimate natural shampoo is 100% free of the chemical ingredients named above.
In general, the label on a natural shampoo bottle won’t contain more than a dozen or so ingredients. Any more than that means synthetic ingredients. That's the difference between a commercial shampoo and a natural one.
You may also hear them called green shampoo or eco-friendly shampoo. Some may even be organic shampoos, but only if they contain certified-organic ingredients. Healthy hair without harmful chemicals is possible.
Beautiful Benefits of Natural Shampoo
Natural shampoos are rich with botanical ingredients. They infuse your scalp and hair follicles with vitamins, minerals, and natural oils. A far healthier alternative for your hair, no?
Chemical-free shampoo stimulates new hair growth. The natural oils, extracts, and minerals infuse moisture and nutrients to hair follicles.
Also, the natural ingredients do not aggravate or cause allergies. All skin types can use natural shampoo, even sensitive skin and those with allergies.
Without synthetic fragrances, natural shampoos have a mild, pleasing aroma.
Finally, natural shampoos are environmentally-friendly. Because they are chemical-free, they won’t harm the environment. Natural ingredients are bio-degradable.
Individual ingredients found in natural shampoos have their own unique benefits as well. For instance, Aloe Vera and coconut oil moisturize the scalp and thus promote hair growth.
Shea butter can enhance the color and original shine of your hair. Beta glucan is another common ingredient. It has immune-enhancing qualities that soothe inflamed or irritated skin.
There is tea tree oil, which works as an antiseptic. This helps maintain your scalp’s health by preventing skin irritation.
Best Natural Shampoo to Try
Anytime you switch shampoo or conditioner, you will most likely try a few brands before finding a favorite.
Natural shampoo is free of Sodium Laurel Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate. So, don’t expect it to lather as well as commercial shampoo. Though, your hair should still feel clean after a good rinse.
Here are a few popular brands to try.
Pure Anada's Vanilla Lime Shampoo
Anada’s Vanilla Lime shampoo is gentle and yet effective. Use it to remove excel oil from your hair without causing dryness. It's free of SLS/SLES sulfates, parabens, and artificial fragrances.
This shampoo is also PH balanced. It has a delightful scent of lime and vanilla essential oils.
Saltspring Soapworks Rosemary Mint Shampoo
This rosemary mint shampoo is rich and luxurious. It's formulated with plant-based cleaners. And it contains all-organic herbal extracts to keep your hair healthy.
The peppermint invigorates your scalp while the rosemary protects and conditions. Last, panthenol adds shine, and seaweed extracts keep your hair feeling soft.
Buck Naked Soap Company Rhassoul Clay Shampoo Bar for Normal to Oily Hair
The Rhassoul clay bar is, in fact, a shampoo. Shampoo bars are eco-friendly and biodegradable because they aren't bottled. They can also last for 80 washes or more. This means they can go as long as three bottles of shampoo.
A natural alternative to commercial shampoos is a shampoo bar. This clay bar is for people with normal to oily hair. It’s sulfate-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.
The name comes from its main ingredient, Rhassoul Clay, which has been a beauty secret for over 1,400 years. Using this shampoo bar will add volume and shine while reducing dandruff.
Nuthead Natural Shampoo Bar by O’Canada Soapworks
Another bar, Nuthead Natural Shampoo, is perfect for damaged hair. This homemade shampoo contains castor oil, olive oil, and coconut milk as conditioners.
These oils combine oils of kukui nut, macadamia nut, and coconut to moisturize further. It also has a warm, pleasant scent.
Ready to Make the Switch?
Natural shampoos are becoming more than a current trend in hair care. They belong to a larger family of personal care products that are healthy for your body.
Even better, they are also eco-friendly and biodegradable, right down to the packaging. You can nourish your hair and support the environment at the same time. If you haven’t already, is it time to try a natural shampoo?
Our environment bombards us with chemicals. They are in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the things we put on our bodies to clothe and clean us.
Maintaining our health becomes a day-to-day challenge. Natural shampoo is one small option that can end your contact with harmful chemicals.
If you have any questions about natural shampoos and conditioners, please contact us. To reach us, click the mail icon at the bottom of any page on our website.