I must admit, I am now obsessed with my hair after having lost it twice to cancer treatment. Now I only use the best products available that are healthy AND environmentally safe, which means “green.”
Fortunately, with the current trend in environment and health awareness, there are more choices in safe shampoos. Some do more than clean your hair. They nourish, strengthen, and protect it in ways non-organic and some “natural” shampoos do not.
What is the difference between commercial, natural, and organic shampoos? 100% pure may not be 100% organic, and that can be a problem.
• Organic shampoo is free of dyes, chemicals, synthetic ingredients or other potentially harmful irritants that could damage your hair or the environment.
• All natural formulas do not contain synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, chemical preservatives, sulfates or other detergents that can strip or dehydrate hair, but they may not be organic.
• Organic may be natural as well, but the ingredients are also organic.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), some of the preservatives used to protect products can actually harm humans. The consumer industry sells harmful items to us because its goal is to make products look and smell appealing without thought to the products’ safety value. Buyer beware!
Here are some ingredients that we do not want in our hair products and why.
Chemical preservatives- help shampoos last longer. Preservatives can be natural, like salt or sugar, or complex chemicals manufactured in laboratories.
Synthetic chemicals- laboratory made compounds that do not exist in nature. During WWII, chemists invented plastics, pesticides, solvents, degreasers, insulators, and other materials. There are now more than 100,000 synthetic chemicals on the market and in commercial shampoos where they can be absorbed into our bodies.
Paraben- A study conducted by the Department of Biology and Biochemistry of Brunel University in the UK found that alkyl hydroxy benzoate preservatives (methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben) have the ability to mimic estrogen in the body. They believe that parabens absorbed through the skin of pregnant women may act like an alien female hormone, affecting the development of the fetus. Professor John Sumpter wrote an article in The Independent expressing concern that parabens may play a role in explaining why sperm counts in men have fallen and breast cancer is on the rise.
Gluten- use gluten-free shampoos if you are suffering with any gluten intolerance symptoms. Here are some “scientific references” found on shampoo labels, which are biological names for gluten—amino peptide complex, samino peptide complex, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed malt extract, phytosphingosine extract, stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl, hydroxypropyltrimonium, beta glucan, prolamine, maltodextrin, and cyclodextrin.
Sodium nitrate and nitrite- preservatives that help prevent discoloration and unpleasant odor. Studies have linked absorbing them to various types of cancer.
Sulfates- create the rich lather you get from shampoos. Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALS), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Myreth Sulfate are the most commonly used sulfates in the shampoos. Research has shown that it damages hair follicles and can result in hair loss.
Sulfites- preservatives and antioxidants used to preserve color and to prevent unwanted bacteria from spoiling the natural ingredients in shampoo. They occur naturally in foods. One in every hundred people is sensitive or allergic to them. If you have asthma, your chances of sulfite sensitivity are one in ten.
Here are some healthy organic shampoos available in stores and online.
mim-MORROCCO METHOD INT’L www.MorroccoMethod.com is pure, raw, vegan holistic and organic. The four mim shampoos address different hair types and embrace the four elements of water, air, earth and fire. The Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo embraces fire.
Organix products http://www.organixhair.com/content/faq are paraben, gluten, sodium and sulfate free, contain no lauryl or laureth sulfates. Products may be purchased in stores and online from websites including: amazon.com, cvs.com, walgreens.com, cosmeticsolutions.biz For years this product was only available in select hair salons. Organix will not bleach out colored or highlighted hair and are not treated on animals.
John Masters Organic Lavender Rosemary Shampoo- http://www.bestcovery.com/john-masters-organics-lavender-rosemary-shampoo-for-normal-hair-8-fl-oz is made with 15 quality certified organic ingredients, does not contain sulfates, is designed to prevent hair loss and stimulate new growth, and is safe on color treated hair.
Miessence Organic Shampoo- http://www.buygreen.com/miessenceshampoo.aspx is a natural, organic, ultra-mild shampoo that is so safe it is edible. It only uses certified organic cold-pressed and unrefined oils and therapeutic grade herb and flower extracts that are cold-formulated so precious oils are never exposed to damaging heat.
Desert Essence Essence Organic Fregrence Free Shampoo- an unscented organic shampoo available at Lucky Vitamin http://www.luckyvitamin.com/m-391-desert-essence?search=1&Query=refine%253dy%2526Manufacturerid%253d391&view=&SearchTerm=Shampoo&gclid=CJ3P25X78bACFUff4AodQmloxg
Organic shampoos are also great options for kids and pets because they are environmentally safe, healthy, all natural, gentle and good for our health.
About the author- Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos is a two- time breast cancer survivor who penned SURVIVING CANCERLAND. www.survivingcancerland.com , Radio Co-host of Beyond the 5 Senses & is represented by Devra Jacobs- Dancing Word Group Literary Agency & Steve Allen PR Media. Follow her on FB@ http://t.co/aD3Zo3q T@https://twitter.com/psychichealing LI http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=hb_tab_pro_top , http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thebodymindandspiritnetwork/2012/06/27/beyond-the-5-senses