After I had my first child, I started to replace the daily products I was applying on my face and body after learning about the toxic ingredients that were in them. I read labels more carefully because I wanted to ensure I was providing my family with the highest quality products. I was sad to see that health and beauty products marked “all natural” were in fact filled with harmful ingredients. Imagine how many toxins enter a baby’s body and accumulate over time as they get older. Sadly, the FDA does not regulate many of the ingredients in cosmetic and health products.
Shampoos are an essential part of the hair care routine. Unfortunately, the majority of commercial shampoos contain ingredients that are harmful for one’s health. Just like the skin, the scalp absorbs whatever is put on it. These shampoos may make your hair feel great, but at what cost to your health? Typical shampoos contain:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate – Sulfates acts as a foaming detergent and are commonly found in soap, shampoos, and other cleaners. It may irritate eyes and skin. It also strips the hair if its natural oils and will end up drying and damaging the hair.
Parabens – These are used as a preservative in a number of beauty and health products. Causes irritations and numerous studies have found it to cause hormone disruption, which may lead to breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.
Diethanolamine (DEA) – Other names to look out for are momoethanolamine (MEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). These chemicals are use as emulsifiers and fragrances, but when mixed with certain preservatives it produces nitrosamines, which is a carcinogen.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) – Petroleum-based and widely used to create a creamy texture. PEG may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, another known carcinogen. California has classified polyethylene glycol as a developmental toxicant that may interfere with human development. PEG has shown evidence of genotoxicity, and it can cause irritation and systemic toxicity if used on broken skin.
Formaldehyde – Known carcinogen, causes irritation to skin and eyes.
FD & C Colors – Linked to Cancer.
Fragrances – This is a tough one to avoid because majority of shampoos use it and lets face it, we all love it when our hair smells of delicious fruit. But this is one ingredient that should be avoided! Fragrance is often listed under the name “Phthalates” which can have some serious side effects including birth defects, cancer, and hormonal disruption. Opt for unscented products which you can add essential oils in to give them fragrance.
What shampoos are safe to use? Below is a list of my favorite tried and true natural shampoos that make my hair feel clean and smooth:
1. Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Shampoo – Botanical extracts in this shampoo make it gentle enough to use everyday. Leaves hair pH balanced and clean. Increases shine while reducing that frizz we all hate! Great for normal to dry hair. Where to buy: Target, Whole Foods, Amazon.
2. Shea Moisture – Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo – Shea butter is rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids and is known for its moisturizing and healing properties. Combined with the argan oil, this shampoo leaves hair incredibly soft and shiny! Great for dry, damaged hair. Where to buy: Target, Walmart, drugstores.
3. Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo – This shampoo is awesome for anyone with dry and dull hair. The Argan oil and argan stem cells in this shampoo leaves hair smelling like almonds and soft as silk. Great for all hair types. Where to buy: acure.com, Whole Foods, health food stores, Amazon.
4. Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose – This shampoo is a holy grail for curly heads! Organic Rosa Mosqueta oil and a blend of rich floral extracts smooth away tangles and leave dry, brittle hair soft and manageable in this ultra-hydrating formula. Great for controlling frizzy hair. Make sure you also try the conditioner! Where to buy: Whole Foods, health food stores, www.aubrey-organics.com
5. Hugo Naturals Tea Tree and Lavender – This is a very gentle shampoo that will clean hair without drying it out. Made from all natural ingredients, vegan, and cruelty free. It has a musky scent that is balanced by soft lavender, which makes it perfect for both men and women. Where to buy: amazon, Walmart, health food stores.
6. DIY Lemon Rinse – For a homemade cleansing experience, take the juice of a half lemon and mix with a cup of water. Take it into the shower with you and after you’ve washed your hair, pour the lemon water over your head. Rub it into your scalp and leave on for a few minutes. Rinse. Your hair will feel so clean as the lemon clarifies your hair and removes any excess product buildup.
I love the Giovanni line, the tea tree shampoo and conditioners are perfect for my oily hair type. Aubrey on the other hand doesnt work for me – I need something stronger/more binding to get the oil slick out of my hairline. But I do really appreciate their ingredients!
It is so convenient that Target carries Giovanni. I also love their Direct Leave-in Conditioner, great for my curly hair!