Shampoo seems like a harmless enough item. But in reality, many shampoos contain chemicals that your body absorbs. Chemicals, like parabens and sulfates, interfere with the endocrine system and can up your chances for serious diseases.  With this reality staring us right in the face, it only makes sense that we seek out healthier, all-natural options.
Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid
When shopping for shampoo and conditioners, read the labels before purchasing. Here are a few of the specific ingredients you need to look out for:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfates — Known to cause cataracts in adults and improper eye development in children. Regardless, it’s used in most store-bought shampoos and conditioners.
- Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate — A surfactant moderately associated with organ toxicity.
- Derivatives of Lauryl Alcohol — Thought to be harmful to the organ system and can cause irritation to the skin and the eyes.
- Propylene Glycol (Antifreeze) — High concern for skin and lung irritation and organ toxicity.
- Olefin Sulfonate (Deodorized Kerosene) — Possibly harmful to organ and hormone function, also highly irritating.
Ingredients Commonly Found in Organic Shampoo
Organic shampoos and conditioners usually contain much safer plant-based products. Tea tree is common and has been used for a long time to support scalp health and dandruff, not to mention fighting bad breath. Certified organic tea tree also has antiseptic elements that can aid in controlling naturally-occurring microbial levels that can result in different forms of scalp irritation.
Another popular ingredient in many organic shampoo and conditioner products is beta glucan. Beta glucan has immune-enhancing properties both internally and topically.  It helps to soothe inflamed cells of the scalp, which is particularly beneficial for people who suffer from skin conditions.
The Bottom Line: Organic is Best
True organic shampoo and conditioner products offer a wealth of benefits for your hair and scalp that will be immediately noticeable. Organic products gently infuse your hair follicles and skin cells with natural minerals, herbal extracts, and oils. If you are looking for shampoos that stimulate healthy hair growth, look for products made with aloe vera and coconut oil, as they naturally moisturize your scalp. If you need enhanced shine and moisture for your hair, organic shea butter is an important ingredient to look for in your organic shampoo.
- Bledzka D, Gromadzinska J, Wasowicz W. Parabens. From environmental studies to human health. Environ Int. 2014 Jun;67:27-42. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.02.007.
- Heike Stier, Veronika Ebbeskotte and Joerg Gruenwald. Immune-modulatory effects of dietary Yeast Beta-1,3/1,6-D-glucan. Nutrition Journal. 2014, 13:38. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-38.
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