Many people don’t think of their skin as an organ, but in fact it is the largest human organ. Our skin’s outer surface is the first layer of defense against harmful bacteria and toxins, but did you know a large percentage of toxins easily pass through the skin and enter our body? Absorbing the ingredients of shampoos may have unintended health concerns.
Furthermore, surfactants – which include sulfate ingredients commonly found in shampoos – speed up the process of getting more and more chemicals to pass through the skin. If surfactants are so bad, then why put them in shampoos in the first place?
Surfactants are needed for shampoos and soaps to be effective. Surfactants help water to do it’s job of removing dirt and debris. Chemicals characterized as surfactants have a water-loving head and a water-hating tail. This double-sided feat allows water to bind to oily residues which are then washed away resulting in a nice, clean feeling.
One problem is that harsh surfactants could cause skin irritation. People with sensitive skin and dandruff should avoid such ingredients. Sulfates can be so harsh that they strip the skin of it’s natural oils which leads to dry, cracked skin. One good thing is that there is no evidence thus far that such chemicals cause cancer, but customers should be smart and educated.
The best way to know what’s in your health and beauty bottles is to simply read the label. Common sulfates are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS). These chemicals are so widespread because they are cheap and easily produced. Large cosmetic companies use clever marketing to sell to millions to unquestioning customers. However, many advocates of natural, clean living look for other choices.
Milder alternatives to look for in sulfate-free shampoos:
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine
- Coco Glucoside
- Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
- Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate
- Sodium Cocoamphoacetate
Popular Chemical Free Shampoo Brands
Fundamental Shampoo by Fundamental Earth contains organic and natural ingredients such as Kukui oil, coconut and olive oil, honey, and ginger extract. It is sulfate free meaning that it skips the harsh sulfates including SLS and ALS. It is also alcohol free meaning that it won’t dry your hair. The natural oils smooth out dry straw-like hair into lustrous tresses. You only need a dime size amount for it to be effective. If this is your first time trying out all-natural shampoos you will notice that it doesn’t foam and lather as much as the chemical filled cheaper shampoos. However, most if not all natural shampoos don’t foam up a lot since by definition the foam-causing chemicals are eliminated.
Different hair types have different issues. Fine hair gets greasy at the roots while curly hair suffers from dryness. Handcrafted Shampoo by Christina Moss Naturals have hand-picked an ultra natural, ultra organic mixture that compliments virtually every hair type. This formula is so hypoallergenic that even babies can use it. Many times so called “baby-formulated shampoos” have harsh chemicals that keep the tear ducts from producing tears. Not this one. All products from the Christina Moss Naturals brand never contain risky chemicals such as SLS, SLES, sulfates, PG, petrochemicals, or synthetic fragrances. For this reason, this brand is one of my favorite.
Argan oil is thought of as the heavenly silk that turns dead looking hair into a luxuriously beautiful mane. For this reason, I sought out to find a high-quality shampoo that doesn’t have a huge laundry list of toxic chemicals. Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo by First Botany Cosmeceuticals fit the bill by being paraben and sulfate free as well as hypoallergenic and containing loads of moisturizing oils for dry, thirsty hair.
- Argan Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Jojaba Oil
- Camellia Seed Oil
- Almound Oil
- Coconut Oil
The Argan Oil shampoo is safe for color treated hair and will not strip away color. The oils are essential for gals and guys that use a lot of heat to style their hair.
One thing you have to keep in mind that all shampoos strip your hair of it’s natural oils – even if its just a little. The only way you can avoid this is to stop washing your hair. Some people with a coarser hair texture chose to wash their hair less often than those with fine, straight hair.