Most hair care experts, depending on different hair types and textures, recommend that a healthy head and scalp be shampooed between one and four times a week and that the shampooing be followed up with a conditioning. However, what most people, and even many hair experts, do not know is how harsh the chemicals in most hair products, especially shampoos, can be to hair, scalp, and the environment. With these products being used so frequently by ALL Americans, it would be advantageous to use safer products.
Most commercial brands of shampoo include harsh, synthetic chemicals like Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate ( , Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and even severe drying agents like alcohol, fragrance, and even lye (Sodium Hydroxide). Sulfate products are used because they provide a quickly foaming detergent that is cheap and therefore can be used in high concentration in shampoos. However, these are the same ingredients that can be found in high concentrations in other hard cleaning products such as garage floor cleaners, car wash soaps, and laundry detergents. These products can increase the skin permeability, allowing harsh chemicals, such as Dioxane, a known carcinogenic byproduct of SLS, to enter through the skin.
Another downside to these harsh chemicals is how they can negatively affect the environment. Often time, many of the ingredients in your shampoo that you don’t understand non-biodegradable compounds such as petrochemicals, chemicals products made from raw petroleum materials, which can cause long lasting damage to the environment when released into the air, land, and water.
So alternatives are better for both your hair AND the environment?
Organic shampoos and conditioners! I can say from personal use of organic products, such as those made by Giovani and Aubrey organics, that they have made my hair feel softer and healthier and are less caustic to my scalp; along with the added benefit of being completely biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Most are affordable enough for even us poor college students and are available at organic food stores and healthy living stores such as GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe. So give some a try, I mean, who doesn’t want beautiful healthy hair and a green green planet?