Commercial shampoos and their alluring advertising can convince even baldies to buy the shampoo being advertised and swear by them. After all, who would not want to buy into the promise of long, thick, lustrous hair?
Trouble is, commercial shampoos that promise you the moon, are often riddled with more harmful chemicals than you would dare to slather on your hair.
The Risks in Commercial Shampoos
An average store bought brand name shampoo contains between 10 and 30 chemical ingredients including surfactants which cleanse yourthat inhibit the growth of microbes.
Chemicals in commercial shampoos include a range of sulfates like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Myreth Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, derivatives of Lauryl Alcohol, Alpha Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamide & Lauramide DEA and Fragrances which do not list their ingredients.
Sulfates are good cleansing and foaming agents. However, they are known to cause cataracts in adults and improper eye development in children. They are also used to make paint thinners.
Propylene Glycol is the main ingredient in antifreeze and causes allergic skin reactions in small doses and can cause liver, skin and kidney damage in larger doses.
DEA compounds that make shampoos creamy and foamy were labelled as carcinogens in the State of California, as per the Center for Environmental Health. DEA and its compounds can cause mild eye and skin irritation, with prolonged exposure even resulting in cancer.
Back to Nature: Healthier lifestyles
Ancient cultures like the Indians, Chinese, Native Americans and Aboriginal tribes all had their own versions of natural and herb based cosmetics, soaps and shampoos that promoted good personal care while causing no harm to the body.
The movement back to traditional natural cures is an encouraging one with more and more people seeking out products with all natural ingredients that heal, soothe and promote healthy hair and bodies.
Some companies try to pull the wool over your eyes by adding one or two herbal ingredients to regular commercial shampoos and marketing them as ‘herbal’ or ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ shampoos. Don’t fall prey to such marketing traps.
The best way to avoid harmful chemical shampoos is by checking the label on the product before you buy it. If you find any more than 9 to 10 ingredients on the label, chances are the shampoo has chemicals that will ruin your hair.
Make sure that the shampoo labeled as ‘herbal’ is indeed natural in its ingredients and is free of sulfates and DEA compounds.
Benefits of Herbal Shampoos
Natural shampoos encourage new hair growth by stimulating hair follicles, they moisturize hair and give it a new shine with the herbal oils and extracts that they contain.
Herbal shampoos are great for people with sensitive skin or allergies. The gentle herbal extracts soothe sensitive skin and the absence (or minimal presence of) chemicals keeps allergies at bay.
Natural herbs that are time tested and are proven to have no side effects have been used for generations before chemical-fuelled commercial shampoos made their appearance on supermarket shelves. The convenience of store bought commercial shampoo made people give up their healthier natural products in favor of time-saving but potentially lethal beauty concoctions. But this switch for convenience has come at a great cost. Numerous studies show direct correlation between the chemicals used in our cosmetics and shampoos and health scares like cancer, organ failure, hormonal problems and more.
The fact remains that even simple, unassuming natural products you find in your refrigerator can do miracles to the texture and quality of your hair. Herbal shampoos use such natural ingredients to pamper your hair without causing it any kind of damage.
Everyday foods that go into herbal shampoos
- Coconut oil contains proteins, iron and potassium and nourishes hair follicles. It moisturizes the scalp hence promoting hair growth.
- Indian Gooseberries or Amla is rich in Vitamin C that makes roots stronger and prevents hair fall. It also fights dandruff and gives a lovely sheen to your hair.
- Fenugreek reduces scalp itchiness and prevents hairfall
- Eggs contain sulphur, iron, zinc, phosphorus and proteins and are a complete package for your hair. They nourish hair follicles and make them thicker, promote new hair growth, condition your hair and make them super soft to the touch.
- Plain Yogurt is a good conditioner and also serves as hair food
- Apple Cider Vinegar is great to make your hair sleek and shiny. It helps restore the pH balance of your hair and scalp and promotes new hair growth
- Lemon juice is rich in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants that nourish hair follicles. The antiseptic properties of lemon prevent infections and fight dandruff. Lemon juice also restores pH balance of hair like Apple Cider Vinegar
Herbs and Essential Oils in herbal shampoos to promote hair growth
- Henna promotes hair growth and prevents greying of hair
- Grape seed oil stimulates air follicles and helps in managing tangled curly hair
- Shea Butter makes your hair shinier and prevents greying
- Tea Tree Oil is a good antiseptic and soothes itchy scalps and fights infections that affect the scalp
- Aloe Vera contains Vitamins A,B, E and selenium which help in conditioning your hair and fighting dandruff
- Rosemary helps in maintaining overall health of your hair, prevents hair loss and prevents premature greying. It also enhances hair colour in dark haired people.
- Chamomile is a versatile herb that helps in fighting dandruff and scalp infections, maintaining the right amount of moisture in hair by preventing oiliness as well as dryness in hair. It also prevents hair loss and promotes blond hair color.
As educated, well informed individuals it is our responsibility towards our bodies to watch what we put into or on them. Just as we avoid tobacco due to its links to cancer, we ought to eliminate harmful chemicals from our shampoos and personal care products to prevent our risks of cancer, liver and kidney damage, skin irritation, infections and hormonal imbalances.
Not knowing the risks is no longer an excuse. There are healthier choices out there – herbal shampoos, organic soaps, lotions and cosmetics. Love your body, give it the best.
Author bio :
Viyuta Agarwal is a content strategist for CouponzGuru.com, the web’s liveliest and most exciting coupons and deals website. Viyuta also loves being a part of the travel, business and food blogging community and enjoys life to the fullest. Hit her up on Twitter @ViyutaAgarwal