Shampoo insight

27th October 2011 by

When I shaved my head 3 years ago as part of a personal journey to challenge beauty stereotypes I discovered a world of less water & personal care product consumption. My motivation had been more social than environmental but I guess that after a while I just realised how these two are inevitably intertwined.

With more time in my hands due to shorter showers and experiencing the positive environmental impact of a hairless head I started looking in detail at the products in my bathroom. I felt relieved I wasn’t a parent or a health and safety inspector because I could have freaked out by the amount of nasty chemicals I came across. And by nasty I mean linked to neurological disorders, endocrine disruption, biochemical or cellular changes as well as various cancers.

I also found out that “when you put shampoo or conditioner onto your scalp, the 20 blood vessels, 650 sweat glands, and 1,000 nerve endings soak in the toxins”*.

So there I was, surrounded by cocktails of toxic chemicals nicely packed and wondering why a reasonably environmentally conscious person had no idea of such an issue.  I’ve had a similar feeling reading “In defence of food” by Michael Pollan and learning about the chronic diseases linked to the Western diet, the nutritionism scam and the highly processed food-like products. But that’s part of another story.

What’s the alternative then? I tried olive oil soap bar, Dr’s Bronners’ liquid soap, castile soap, baking soda and watered down vinegar. There are lots of recipes online here, and here. You’ll have to try a few before you find the one that suits you better – just like with the “normal toxic based” shampoos.

I stopped shaving my hair a year later and tried sticking to natural ingredients until I started rescuing things. I’ve gone back to natural stuff again this summer after spending quite a lot of time talking about our environmental impact at Tartan Trail’s cycle tour training week.

If you were wondering, my hair doesn’t look like the photoshopped models’ hair from the magazines but neither do I (and 99.9% of the female population) so who cares. My hair will take its time to adjust itself to a toxic chemical free life (if we don’t take into account air pollution). Nevertheless I feel better and my personal journey to challenge beauty stereotypes continues.

Smiles and positive vibes



One Response to “Shampoo insight”

  1. johannes Kulsdom says:

    Well , what can I say ? Hair by itself is dead ,so nothing can attack it ! But then that leaves the scalp, like you say full of glands ! So what to do ? It leaves me puzzled !I have made it to my ripe old age , without much trouble to my hair, I still have quite a bit of it,so I am doing all-right . Any suggestions ? Jo

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