Friday, March 12, 2010

What chemicals do you wash with?

Last night I washed and conditioned my hair for a fraction of a cent, using only 2 ingredients that I easily found in my pantry.  I was skeptical, but wanted to give it a try.  I have very oily hair and didn't think anything but traditional "shampoo" would get it clean, I also have hair prone to tangling, so I was skeptical about being able to comb through it after my shower.  I was pleasantly thrilled with the results.  After searching online I found a few "recipes" for homemade shampoo.

I washed my hair using only hot water and baking soda.  Then rinsed it with water and apple cider vinegar (I added some drived lavendar for scent because I had some), it was super easy.  My hair is totally clean, oil-free and I combed through it with no problem after my shower.  It feels smooth to the touch, but the only downfall is it isn't super shiny...I'll do more research on how to make that happen.

Why would I go to the trouble of doing this?  Read on...

My sister, Debbie, and I have been discussing lately the dangerous chemicals that are in just about every single thing that we commonly put on our skin EVERY day.  Lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shower soap, bar soap, facial products, etc.... 

Do you realize that everything that touches your skin is absorbed into your body? That's a scary thought.  So, I decided to research some of the ingredients in the shampoo's and conditioners that I use most often.  I found mixed results in some cases, so I'm going to give you both.

PLEASE NOTE:  I am sharing websites where I found some answers to my questions, but I don't necessarily agree with everything on these websites, not that there is anything bad on there, but just in case there is some strange info, LOL.

What I read about these ingredients was really pretty scary...not sure I want to put stuff on my scalp that is used to degrease garage floors....hmmm... 

The Big Negative:  Several sites I found claimed that SLS (and SLES) are highly dangerous and can damage hormones, hair follicles, as well as irritate skin and severely damage eyes of children.  It was also noted that it penetrates the heart, brain and liver and stays in the tissue for quite some time.  In addition, there are claims that it causes cancer.  Go HERE or  HERE for more on that. 

The Rebuttal:  I also found a few sites that counterd all that info by saying that it was not true.  Although they admit the irritation properties are present, they play them down a bit.  In addition they play down the cancer causing properties, but don't completely rule out the possibility of carcinogens being present in this ingredient.  Pop over HERE for more on that. 

COCAMIDE MEA:  It appears that this name is a "cover up" for DEA which is a known cancer causing substance that is used in hair care about it HERE.

BENZYL ALCOHOL:  In general, every site I found on this was so negative that I thought there was a conspiracy going on...scary.  You'll have to do some research and decide for yourself, but you can go HERE for some info.

PEG-12 DIMETHICONE: As with every product I searched,it seemed that this one was being defended, while at the same time revealing this information..."According to a study published in the International Journal of Toxicology, PEGs (including PEG 12 Dimethicone) can contain harmful impurities, including: Ethylene Oxide, known to increase the incidences of uterine and breast cancers and of leukemia and brain cancer, according to experimental results reported by the National Toxicology Program; 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen; PAHs, known to increase the risk of breast cancer; lead; iron; and arsenic (Source)."  You can go HERE to read more on this.

METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE and METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE:  I can't even pronounce these, but I freely rub them into my scalp every day!  When I researched these two products, I found many sites that linked them to nerve damage...Read HERE about the first one, and HERE about the second.

Whew!  I'm worn out!  Just to let you know, those ingredients were from a pretty little container of J**N Fr***A Luxurious Volume Shampoo.  I don't want that kind of "volume" if that's the price I have to pay!

If you don't visit any of the sites I listed above, please visit this will open your eyes.  This one lists the top 5 worst of most products for skin and hair...check it out to see if you are using them!

Question:  Is there something you've discovered about a product or food that has made you change the way you live?


  1. I havent taken the time to read your links yet, but baking soda for shampoo?? NEVER heard this, very interesting. Since I color my hair I wonder if it would help with fading. I use baking soda as a face scrub and I love brushing my teeth with it, your teeth are super squeeky clean.

  2. That's funny. I tried doing that all last week and finally had to go back to the regular shampoo. You know I have very thick and very long hair and I couldn't get the baking soda in and around all the hair around my head and by the 5th day my hair was very stringy and heavy.
    Organic shampoos do the same thing. I'm trying to find an alternative but not sure what that's going to be.
    I'll be curious of how it does after a few more days.
    Love ya!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Wow, that is awesome how you did all that research! It sounds so easy to do all that by yourself, too!

  5. Well, we try to stay away from MSG. I think everyone does. :) I've read the same the thing about all these chemicals. I'd like to try the baking soda and apple cider vinegar too. How much did you use? My hair is super thick, long, and curly. Any suggestions?

  6. Did you see my post on this?

    I've been doing it for 3 1/2 weeks now. One thing that Kim may not have realized is that your hair goes through a transition and it can take 4 weeks + for it to get where it needs to be - you have to power through the bad hair days while your hair adjusts!

    The first week my hair was pretty good, 2nd week was somewhat dry, 3rd week was greasy/icky & had me thinking about going back to shampoo, but this week my hair is fabulous so far - soft, bouncy, etc. Not kidding - went walking up to mirrors (in my house only - lol) and tossing my hair all day yesterday! :)

    Hope that's helpful to know!