Should Clean Hair Mean Dirty Ingredients?

 

When it comes to beauty products laden with nasty ingredients, conventional shampoos are pretty high on the list. If you turned over the bottle in your shower and actually looked at the label, you may be surprised that the stuff that is supposed to be filled with healthy ingredients to make your hair shiny, full, and bouncy is actually a bunch of toxic junk.

Most conventional shampoos include sulfates, in the form of sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and/or ammonium lauryl sulfate. These sulfates are the detergents in your shampoo that give it that intense lather that most of us associate with getting clean. However, it is becoming more well-known that these harsh sulfates are actually bad for your hair in the long run (and the short run), stripping it of its natural oils and staving off new hair growth.

You may think that stripping your hair of oil is a good thing, but it actually creates a vicious cycle. When you shampoo your hair with a harsh, foamy product, your hair feels really good for a little while. It’s light and bouncy, because you got rid of all of the oils. But then, your hair and scalp kind of freak out because there are no natural oils present, so your body starts producting extra oils. Then comes the greasy hair, itchy scalp, and the need to lather, rinse, and repeat, all the time. (It’s similar to when you use a really harsh cleanser on your face, and your skin starts producing extra oils to compensate).

Besides making your hair excessively greasy, conventional shampoos also can cause that frizziness that most of your bottles claim to get rid of. By stripping your hair of its natural oils, there are no oils to naturally coat your strands of hair, which causes them to appear dry and frizzy. Your hair is meant to have natural oils – they are good for your hair and create shiny, smooth, bouncy hair when in proper balance. However, your harsh drugstore shampoos are throwing your oil production out of whack, which results in you relying on your hair care products even more. You find yourself slathering on more shampoo, conditioner, leave-in treatments, and hair serums to combat whatever you’re dealing with, when really all your hair needs is some space to do its thing!

The trick is to break this vicious cycle by shampooing less and/or switching to a natural shampoo. I personally struggle with the idea of shampooing less because I am one of those people that gets an oily, itchy scalp and hair only 24 hours or less after washing. I can’t stand the feeling of an itchy head, so I shampoo again, and the cycle continues. Not only do I get a really oily scalp, but I also get frizz. Now I understand that I am putting my hair through unnecessary havoc by not letting it maintain its natural oils.

A lot of people recommend quitting shampoo/conditioner altogether and instead using a natural cleanser like apple cider vinegar. I am not quite ready to go to that extreme at this point, so instead I purchase shampoos that are sulfate free and as natural as possible.

I just purchased this shampoo from Acure Organics about a week ago, and so far I am really impressed. It is sulfate free, paraben free (parabens have been linked to cancer and hormone disruption), and phthalate free (phthalates are another hormone disruptor). It is also formulated with Argan Oil and Argan Stem cells, which along with its other ingredients, are supposed to repair and moisturize dry and damaged hair. It’s also only $9.99, so you can easily try it without feeling like you’re investing too much.

I’m sure there are a lot of great natural hair care products out there, but this is one I found available at a local natural store and decided to try. I’ve already noticed only after a few days of use that my hair doesn’t feel oily and itchy the next day like it normally does with conventional shampoo. I actually was able to go two days in between washing, which is a rarity for me. My hair feels lightweight, shiny, smooth, and frizz-free. That just goes to show that our harsh conventional shampoos are preventing our hair from doing what it’s naturally supposed to do – regulate its own oil production so that it is strong, healthy, and bouncy.

I just wanted to share with you my experience in switching to this more natural shampoo, and how much better and more balanced my hair feels already. If you do try to switch to a natural brand, make sure you give yourself and your hair a few days to adjust before you decide if you like it or not. I highly recommend that you ditch your conventional shampoos that are filled with nasty ingredients and let your hair do what it’s meant to do naturally – be healthy and beautiful!

If you want to read more on this topic, here are some resources I used:

Ingredients in shampoo to avoid: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/616834-shampoo-ingredients-you-want-to-avoid/

What shampoo does to your hair: http://www.crunchybetty.com/no-poo-to-you-too

Effects of Phthalates: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maia-james/phthalates-health_b_2464248.html

Effects of Parabens: http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/radiation-chemicals-and-breast-cancer/parabens.html

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