Hair – How to read Shampoo Ingredients

Aloha seekers of nature,

In 2012, I made a big change in my daily hygiene routine. I decided to learn about the products I was using. It started with my shampoo. My first step was to become familiar with a few ingredients to avoid. This choice I made years ago initiated a full revolution of how I live my life. Today, I make my own products from what is available locally and use only respectful ingredients. I also know how to listen to my body and adapt my daily care routine with how I feel. What a journey! You can do it!

The shampoos you find in supermarkets and pharmacies usually contains a lot of irritative ingredients : allergens, photosensitizing et pollutant. They disrespect nature: your body and mind nature and your envirronmental nature. They are to avoid. Now you know.

It’s time to be responsible for ourselves and open our eyes to what we consume.

Remember it’s a process of self-discovery 🙂

Here is a non exhaustive list of ingredients to avoid:

Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): tensioactive (detergent, emollient and foaming) very aggressive and drying for your skin and scalp. It’s commonly used in shampoos and shower gels because it makes a lot of foam.

PEG (polyethylen glycol): It is a polymer used also as an emulsifier. Polymers are plastics made by polluting chemicals processes that could be toxic. They are not toxic for us but are very polluting knowing that every shampoo or shower gel is rinsed. Other polymer names: PPG, cellulose, polypropylene, crosspolymer,…

Parabens: They are used as preservatives. Parabens are esters. An ester is a compound formed from an alcohol and an organic acid (in the case of parabens, that acid is p-hydroxybenzoic acid). Those esters have antibacterial and antifungus properties. In the 90s, we found parabens in cancer cells. Nowadays, It is impossible to say that they have a responsibility in developing cancer. However, the fact that we can find them in our cells indicates they are metabolized by the body and the official description for cosmetics is that they are not supposed to be metabolized by our bodies. It is up to you to decide if you want to avoid products with parabens.

EDTA (acetic acid) : It has antibacterial and stabilizing properties but mainly it’s a poison It is used by photographers as a preservative and antioxygen and also in the paper and food industries. It’s toxic therefore its concentration is limited. In cosmetics, it is used as a preservative.

Parfum or Fragance: A few of those odorous molecules can be allergenic. Why using chemical perfumes when natural perfumes are easily available?

They are a lot of ingredients I haven’t mentioned. I think that this list is enough to start deciphering the list of ingredients on your shampoo bottle. Go to your bathroom and check, you’ll see…

Beware of the marketing! Often shampoo bottles boast about ingredients you will find in tiny amounts in the finished product which is said “natural”. At the end it is as chemical as another competitive shampoo.

Please remember these few names and take the time to read the ingredients list. Or just head to an organic shop where you will find products which are more respectful for your health and our environment. Also, stop thinking organic rhymes with expensive because that’s not true. My first organic shampoo was the same price as a supermarket chemical one.

You will also find neutral/general cleansing body products in which you can add your own ingredients. For a shampoo, check out this list of essential oils for your hair.

Another good habit for your hair is vinegar 🙂

Be conscious of your moves.

Experience your own care.

I love you,


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