Those of us who are looking to lead healthier lives are on a journey of strong habit change. The first thing we tend to rethink is our diet when we find out how much agrochemicals they contain and the damage caused by ultra-processed ones. But what about our skin? Are we aware that it is the largest organ in our body and that we also “feed” through it?
Many of us are in the midst of a shift towards healthier living. We realize that not all the food offered by the industry is good, we turn to organic food markets and in the best of cases, we have the possibility of growing our own food.
The next step in this overhaul of our lifestyle is to change our hygiene habits. What do we brush our teeth with? What creams do we put on our skin? What shampoo do we use for our hair? Thus, we have learned that the skin is the largest organ we have and that exchanges with the environment are generated through it, and that it can also absorb substances that are harmful to our health.
Would you eat anything that contains petroleum derivatives?
This question seems exaggerated, but once we understand that our skin nourishes us too, we begin to understand why to use a natural shampoo, as well as being inclined to choose healthier products for our personal hygiene in general.
In the particular case of our hair and scalp, it is common that with the use of shampoos, rinse creams, cream baths and other similar products, we are constantly looking for and changing brands. Sooner or later the hair, which at first seemed beautiful during the first uses, then becomes dull, heavy, lifeless, even in some cases itchy scalp, hair loss or problems such as dandruff and seborrhea may appear, and even hormones. problems.
This is because conventional hair care products contain ingredients that are not healthy for our hair. The list of these toxic chemicals is long… to name them only in general we find: Preservatives – Silicones – Detergents – Perfumes – Thickeners – Additional additives – Stabilizers – Emulsifiers – Dyes.
Toxic ingredients to avoid:
Paraben is a type of preservative commonly used in shampoos, among other hygiene and cosmetic products, in order to make them last longer.
Some studies have shown that parabens can increase the hormone estrogen (female hormone) and may contribute to the risk of cancer, especially breast cancer in women.
Paraben can also cause side effects such as eczema on the skin.
We can detect this ingredient under the names of methylparaben, ethylparaben, benzylparaben or butylparaben by reading product labels.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
This component is a surfactant whose function is that the shampoo generates a lot of foam on contact with water.
We mistakenly associate more suds with better hygiene, but these sulfates can dry out hair and cause it to lose its natural oils and moisture. In addition, they can irritate the scalp and cause hair loss.
Formaldehyde can damage DNA and cause hair loss if overexposed. New studies also warn that this ingredient increases the risk of cancer and irritates our skin.
Special attention should be paid to hair care products that offer a frizz control or smoothing function because, in addition to keratin, they may contain formaldehyde.
Phthalates are used as solvents, carriers of flavors or other cosmetic ingredients, or as alcohol denaturants. They are endocrine disruptors, which means they can speed up puberty in girls and lower sperm count in boys. It is also very dangerous for the environment.
Propylene glycol is also found in hair care products. It can irritate the scalp and cause discomfort such as itching, dry skin and dandruff. It also causes excessive dryness, weakening and discoloration of the hair.
Alcohols commonly used in hair care products can make your hair extremely dry. Alcohols such as propanol and isopropyl should be avoided. They are mainly used as thickening agents in shampoos and are one of the main causes of hair loss and deterioration.
This controversial ingredient is a powerful antifungal and antibacterial agent and is found in dandruff shampoos. It can cause serious problems such as an increase in the number of cancers and affect the reproductive system.
How to choose a healthy hair product
The harder the words on a shampoo label are to read and pronounce, the less healthy it is. The important thing is that we begin to recognize the toxic substances present in the formulations of hygiene products and to avoid using them.
We must also pay attention to deceptive marketing strategies. Often the packaging comes with captions such as “Organic product” “Produced with natural ingredients” “No chemicals” and others that confuse us. It is essential that we take a few minutes to read the labels before buying.
Solid shampoo, a good option
Lately, we’ve surely heard a lot about shampoo bars as a natural option for those of us looking for healthier hygiene.
Just because it’s solid doesn’t mean it’s 100% natural. Many commercial brands adopt this format as a marketing strategy, but reading the labels, they look more alike.
If you want a truly natural solid shampoo, you have to go to responsible manufacturers who certify their ingredients or to trustworthy local entrepreneurs.
This type of shampoo is not only harmful to our hair, but also sanitizes it in a healthy way, seeking to nourish it with natural ingredients. Many of its components are often sustainably sourced or eco-friendly, which adds an extra point when choosing them.
In addition, solid shampoos are easy to transport, there is no risk of spilling and they are very resistant. But above all, there is no need for a container that contains them, thus avoiding the generation of polluting waste. They are usually marketed in biodegradable containers such as cardboard or paper boxes that we can easily compost.
As we can see, solid shampoo offers us many advantages when it comes to cleansing ourselves while taking care of our health. It’s a nice change of habit for those of us looking to inhabit the earth in a more respectful way.