Eco Shampoo, Natural Shampoo, or No Shampoo?
Previously I talked about what is in the popular commercial shampoos and how they can be harmful to your health. I recommended the excellent website EWG Skin Deep to check out the brand of shampoo you’re currently using and see its chemical rating (you’re hoping for a green 0 result).
Once you’ve done that, you might want to consider some natural alternatives to shampoo if you find that the product you’re currently using isn’t eco shampoo.
Natural Shampoo Alternatives
There are many people who aren’t using shampoo any more. (And no, they don’t have dirty hair!). What are they using instead? There are some interesting alternatives:
- Rinse your hair simply in warm water, with no shampoo or cleanser at all – the water does the washing for you without the chemicals. (Yes, I know, it seems strange, we’re so “conditioned” now to think we need extra stuff for washing, but it might work for you).
- Use only conditioner – this may be necessary if your hair dehydrates and turns frizzy. (Remember though that many conditioners also contain chemicals).
- Use baking soda – it’s very economical, and of course because it’s so useful as an eco-friendly alternative to chemicals all over your house, you’ll have it in stock anyway! Mix about a teaspoonful of baking soda with a cup of water, and shake it well. Then pour it onto your hair when you’re in the shower, massage it in and let it sit for a while, then rinse it out. Be aware, there is no lather with this, so it feels strange the first few times.
- Some people report that their scalp turns dry from using baking soda – if this is the case, use a rinse of diluted apple cider vinegar to counteract the alkalinity of the baking soda.
What will happen?
These alternatives to shampoo are interesting. Something that you’ll notice for a little while is that your hair will feel quite different. This is probably because the scalp will take some time to ‘realise’ that shampoo is no longer stripping your hair of its natural oils, and so it must cut back its production. It will take a couple of weeks to adjust – it depends on how big your oil glands are, and some of this is genetically based.
Should I ditch shampoo?
That’s your choice. Manufacturers tell us that their products are safe to use.
Also, the shampoo doesn’t stay on us for a long time. Which is one of the facts that the commercial manufacturers use to support their claims that their products are safe.
But shampooing daily or every other day for example, does expose us to a lot of chemicals which, particularly when combined with the other chemicals we use regularly (soaps, cosmetics, cleaning products) probably have a cumulative effect.
Because many people became aware of the harshness of chemical shampoos around 2008-2009, some manufacturers started producing reduced-chemical shampoos. They didn’t sell well, because they didn’t lather. So the manufacturers added back the lathering chemicals, added a few botanical ingredients and called them “natural”. As we all know, “natural” isn’t regulated, it can be anything. Lots of harmful things are “natural”. Arsenic for example.
Does it work for everyone? Not necessarily.
But people who ditch the shampoo report shinier, healthier hair with less frizz and more body.
But I want to use shampoo!
If you want to use shampoo when washing your hair, but avoid any harmful chemicals, no problem!
You might also enjoy: Easy, Safe Hair Conditioners for Healthy, Glossy Hair
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