What To Look For In Your Organic Shampoo : Switching to an organic shampoo can give you positive results and make you feel empowered. But there’s one thing you should know if you decided to go this route.
Just because the words “natural” and “organic” appear on the label, doesn’t necessarily mean the shampoo really is. Sometimes they contain chemicals that can be harmful to you and your hair. That’s why it’s a good idea to read the small print, according to Ecology Center.
What To Avoid In Your Organic Shampoo
When choosing your organic shampoo, you’ll want to avoid products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), phthalates, and parabens.
Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate give shampoos that sudsy appeal. They also act as surfactants — a fancy word for a substance that’s used to break down the surface tension of a liquid, making it spread more easily.
However, both these chemicals can irritate your scalp and they produce nitrosamine, which has been linked to cancer formation. SLES is especially sneaky. It produces 1,4 dioxane, also a potential carcinogen, and has been linked to liver and kidney damage. What makes this chemical sneaky is that it’s a byproduct, meaning it won’t be listed on the label.
Phthalates and parabens
These chemicals are bad news because many experts believe they may interfere with your hormones, The Washington Post reports.
So what should you look for in an organic shampoo?
Let’s start with completely natural ingredients, which can work wonders for your hair.
Got curly hair? Try shea nut butter
Shea nut butter is high in fatty acids that provide an enriching layer of oil for your hair, sealing the moisture in, where your hair needs it, NaturallyCurly.com notes.
Ingredients to thicken thin or flat hair
Eggs contain a type of protein that can work wonders for hair.
But what should you look for in an organic shampoo if your hair is thin or flat? Ingredients that coat and strengthen your hair for improved texture and thickness.
Look for shampoos that contain albumen or albumen extract Albumen is a type of protein that comes from egg whites. It works by coating your hair and making it look thicker, Allure explains.
Barley and rice proteins or hops extract
“Barley proteins condition and moisturize the hair, and rice proteins adhere to the strands, which in turn adds body,” said cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, of BeautyStat.com. It’s another reason why beer shampoos are recommended. If anyone has ever recommended that you wash your hair with beer, you now know why.
What are the best ingredients to look for in an organic shampoo for oily hair?
Peppermint extract gently removes excess oil from your hair.
Cosmetic chemist Ginger King gave peppermint extract high praise in the above-mentioned article from Allure. “It gives your scalp a nice tingly feeling and removes the sebum (the oily stuff) from your scalp,” she enthused.
Allure also highly recommends cornstarch for oily hair. “It’s common in dry shampoos because its absorbent and helps soak up oil,” cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer explained
It’s also a good idea to look for an organic shampoo that’s pH-balanced, SofterHair notes.
Shampoos that aren’t pH-balanced can strip away oils, and that forces your scalp into overdrive — producing even more oil. A pH balanced shampoo is similar to nature’s natural balance, and this means you can use the shampoo frequently if needed. In general, the pH balance of our hair is between 4.5 and 5.5.
Look for an organic shampoo with sustainable packaging
All those shampoo bottles wind up in landfills because few of them are recyclable. Where they sit for at least 1,000 years, another post from Allure notes. Our landfills are suffocating under mountains of plastic and some estimates show that personal care and beauty product packing make up one-third of all landfill waste.
These plastic items are part of the huge Pacific garbage patch. Image Public Domain, by the NOAA Marine Debris Program via Wikimedia Commons
If you’re going to switch to an organic shampoo, why not help the planet go organic as well? You can do this by checking to see if the package says it’s renewable or recyclable.
These tips can help you find an organic shampoo that’s just right for you.
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What To Look For In Your Organic Shampoo
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