The world has had a global awakening over the past few decades. People have become more conscious about the products they put on, in and around their bodies. For good reason. One could spend countless hours obsessing about the chemicals that are put into our everyday items like toothpaste or shampoo. As a person living with OCD believe me when I tell you that I have Googled my share of "Caprylic Triglycerides" and "Dicetyl Phosphates". It can be scary. So I decided to research some more of these chemicals to find out if they are dangerous and if there are alternatives. I started with shampoo.
As I sat at my laptop, gazing at the ingredients of my shampoo bottle, I realized that I could not correctly pronounce a single ingredient nor spell one if asked. Except water. Water was the first and only ingredient I could recognize, followed by 29 chemicals with an excessive amount of syllables, like "Methylchloroisothiazolinone". No word should take that long to say.
I researched away for a couple of hours, collected as much data as I could and came up with a conclusion. Big Shampoo is trying to kill us. Okay, so maybe not, but there seems to be cause for concern. These are the chemicals in shampoo I found, just in my shampoo, that have or may have serious medical consequences for our health.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
SLS is an irritant when in concentrations over 2% and can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports the chemical may cause negative effects to our kidneys, liver and nervous system. SLS can also be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane a "possible carcinogen" in humans.
There's that word again. It took just as long to type. MIT is a common preservative and is found in liquid personal care products. It has been linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity.
A study from 2012 found brief exposure to MIT is toxic in low concentrations during neural development, increasing the risk of seizures and visual abnormalities.
The search yielded more chemicals linked to health risks such as parabens and fragrance/parfum, but for the sake of time I will stop with just the chemicals found in my shampoo.
So what can we do?
It is a matter of personal preference to say the least. The way I see it we have two options when it comes to avoiding these products in shampoos. Purchase shampoos with natural ingredients or make your own natural shampoo. I explored making my own which resulted in a natural shampoo recipe, with a twist. This is the combination of two of the simplest recipes I could find with a variation of measurements.
My natural hemp hemp seed oil shampoo recipe
Hemp seed oil is a wonderful moisturizer. It also enhances hair growth through Omega3, Omega6 and Omega9 fatty acids. Hair is made of keratin, of which up to 90% is a protein. So I added it to my hemp seed oil shampoo recipe.
This is a simple recipe that makes approx. 1 liter of natural hemp shampoo. You will need:
- 3 1/2 cup of water
- 1 cup of castile soap
- 1 1/4 tsp of hemp seed oil
Castile soap is made from plant oils and can be found online or at your local health food market. It can be used to make a variety of natural home made soaps.
Use a large enough container to pour the water in. I used a salad bowl. Pour in the water and the castile soap. Mix vigorously.
Add the hemp seed oil. Mix well. You're done. I told you it was simple.
Take advantage of the chance to upcycle and pour into an old shampoo bottle. If you are feeling extra creative you can even print a label and decorate your new hemp shampoo.
Buy Natural Hemp Shampoo
For those of you who would rather buy a natural shampoo and still want the benefits of hemp seed oil, you are in luck. Hemp Inc has a Natural Hemp Shampoo & Conditioner made with high quality coconut oil and hemp seed oil. It's also dye, sulfate & paraben free so that you can rest at night knowing your shampoo isn't trying to kill you.