I’m always on a mission to reduce my exposure to harmful chemicals. Something as simple as replacing your shampoo can do just that. So, is your shampoo toxic? Most likely, yes. Regular shampoo can greatly damage our hair and bodies. Every time we wash our hair we absorb harmful carcinogenic chemicals into our scalp. Our skin actually absorbs 60% of any topical product we use. Most of us don’t realize that toxins absorbed through the skin move straight into the blood stream and into our cells. Absorbing these toxins through the skin actually causes more damage than if we were to ingest them orally. This is because the liver doesn’t get a chance to filter them. Typical ingredients in regular shampoo can cause hair loss, acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. Extended use can even lead to disease and cancer. Scary, I know! Here are some of the most dangerous toxins to watch out for:
  • Sodium Lauryl Ether - this chemical detergent is designed to clean and create foam. The manufacturing process creates a carcinogenic by-product that suppresses the immune system.
  • Aluminum - This toxic metal attacks your central nervous system and is also linked to degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • DEA/Diethanolamine - This hormone-disrupting chemical can form cancer- causing nitrates. It has been show to cause kidney or liver tumors (indicated in animal testing) as well as damage to the testicles, reduced sperm activity, and effects on the liver, kidney, bone marrow, brain, spinal cord and skin in animals.
  • Parabens - This synthetic chemical is used to preserve beauty products and has been linked to endocrine disruption and severe allergies. They have been scientifically linked to the development of several forms of breast cancer. Other studies have shown that certain parabens adversely affect the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.
  • Fragrance - These fragrances are derived from petrochemicals and contain phthalates which have been linked to hormones disruption, endocrine disruption and several types of cancer.
The good news is we can easily switch over to healthier and safer alternatives. If you want to go straight to the cheapest, easiest and most eco-friendly alternative try the No-Poo method (No-Shampoo). The No-Poo method is baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Its super easy to use, you wash your hair with a paste of baking soda and water then rinse with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. Voila, you hair is healthy, shiny and free of chemicals! Here’s a list of some other great holistic hair care alternatives: 1. John Masters 2. Aubrey Organics 3. Avalon Organics You can also use a small amount of argan oil and coconut oil in place of smoothing products. Make the switch and you’ll reap the benefits! From promoting hair growth to preventing cancer, you can’t go wrong by using these healthier options.
-Allie White