Monday, August 31, 2009

Rinse and Repeat

The first time I read a book which mentioned that my shampoo may not be all that green, I thought "I should look into that" and promptly forgot. Right now I'm reading another book (review to come) which has another large section on the impacts of shampoo on both the environment, and possibly on your body. This book talks a lot about the Precautionary Principle, which can be summarized as 'if you think it might have a bad impact, try not to do it'.

I don't have a favourite shampoo, but I pulled out the one currently in use, and here's the list of ingredients. I warn you now, there may be some spelling mistakes. I double checked, but most of those words aren't in my everyday vocabulary and spell check was no help at all!
  • water: nothing scary about this ingredient.
  • sodium lauryl sulfate: used to create lather, also in engine degreasers (higher concentration). May worsen some skin conditions, cause canker sores.
  • ammonium laureth sulfate: listed as very harsh in terms of shampoo use
  • sodium xylenesulfonate: a little disturbed when my search for this one took me too a pesticide database! Not a lot of information, but it's only slightly toxic.
  • acrylates copolymer: this search brought up a water treatment chemicals page. Harmful to skin and eyes contact.
  • sodium chloride: this is salt.
  • laureth-4: also called dodecyl alcohol, ethoxylated. Very harmful to marine life, but only a mild skin irritant for us.
  • dimethicone: makes hair shiny and slippery. Seems to have only moderate concerns for toxicity.
  • citric acid: Also found in pop.
  • butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) extract
  • hydrolyzed algae extract
  • cocamide mea
  • fragrance: Although not guaranteed, fragrance often means phthalates, possible endocrine disruptor
  • glycol disterate
  • sodium benzoate
  • polyquaternium-10
  • disodium edta
  • polyquaternium-6
  • methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • methylisothiazolinone
  • red 33
  • blue 1
Well, I was planning on looking up all the ingredients, but there were so many.... I think it's worth trying out some eco-friendly options. I might check out some of the local stores and do some online research. I think I can get used to the low-sudsing of shampoos without these chemicals, but it'll still have to prove itself good at cleaning hair! If anyone has suggestions...I'm all ears!

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