There are two things that are tricky to change when adopting a more natural lifestyle. One is deodorant and the other is your hair care. But there are great options and your body, and hair, will thank you.Here we discuss what to avoid and why.
Why should we move away from regular shampoos and conditioners?
Regular shampoo often contains harmful chemicals that are absorbed through the skin and therefore absorbed through the scalp. Whenever you wash your hair you are putting chemicals on your scalp and into your body putting yourself at risk to toxin build up.
When choosing your hair care products you should try to avoid products containing the following ingredients:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS, as it is often known, is an inexpensive foaming agent used in many beauty products. It is known as an irritant and causes eye and skin irritation, if you have an irritable scalp you should absolutely avoid. It is also found in many cleaning products. The sodium and ammonium laureate sulfates are known cancer-causing ingredients. Avoid, avoid, avoid!!!
Polysorbates - Used to dissolve fragrance or other oil additives. Often found in conditioners. It leaves a residue on the skin and scalp, disrupts the skin’s natural pH and destroys the natural protective barrier of our skin and scalp.
Fragrance - best to be avoided as this can trigger asthma and allergies. Some is linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some are harmful to fish and other wildlife.
Petrolatum - Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
Triclosan - It can accumulate in our fat cells and keep our body in a state of toxicity. It causes irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs.
Propylene Glycol (Antifreeze) - this is one to avoid because the jury is split. In small quantities it is probably fine but, my advice, avoid. It can be irritating and is toxic.
Olefin Sulfonate (Deodorized Kerosene) - a cleansing, foaming agent but very irritating and drying for skin.
What's so good about natural shampoos?
Well apart from not containing the ingredients mentioned above, which is a huge win, natural shampoos are made with plant oils and herb extract which are really nourishing for the hair and scalp. Benefits are:
promoting new hair growth by naturally stimulating the hair follicles and improving the overall condition of your hair and scalp
being non-allergenic and non irritable. Good for all skin types
being better for those with psoriasis with no sulphates.
being environmentally friendly as they contain bio-degradable materials rather than harsh chemicals
The products at Flora & Fauna include hair care products from Acure, Green People, Dr Bronner's, Hot Tresses, Daily Naturals, Mukti, Weleda and Vanessa Megan. They contain gorgeous natural ingredients such as coconut, argan, aloe vera, lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang and more. You can shop our hair care range here.
Top tips: keep it simple and embrace the change! Your hair and scalp might react to the change but persevere. Your body will thank you for fewer toxins!
Flora & Fauna acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.