Monday, October 13, 2014


Considering the frequency at which we wash ourselves, it is crucial to also recognise the  ingredients which we consequently expose ourselves to. When we opt for generic and, yes, often cheaper alternatives, we also opt to wash ourselves with toxins + endocrine disruptors. Repeated exposure to these industrial toxins can lead to build-up and eventual hormonal irregularities and other diseases. Here is a list to identify the main toxic ingredients to help you clean it up . . .

avoid | sulfates: sodium laureate sulfate (SLS), ammonium laureate sulfate (ALES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), + ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), polyethylene glycol (PEG)
use | coconut proteins, + yucca root
These are also surfactants used in generic shampoos to produce lather + cleanse. Although they are clinically proven to be not only skin irritators but also hormone and endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, + gene mutagens, they are in over ninety percent of bath + body products on the market. Generic emulsifiers also contain carcinogens, such as 1,4-dioxane that PEG is contaminated with. Studies have linked such chemicals to brain and breast cancers as well as autoimmune disorders.
Alternatives like coco proteins and yucca root provide a luxurious lather without the toxic + stopping effects of surfactants like SLS. They are derived from natural sources—coco proteins from the sugars, proteins, and fatty acids of coconut oil + yucca root from yucca—and nourish your hair.
avoid | fragrance + parfum
use | essential oils + extracts
A good scent is an absolute essential for me, and my shampoo is not an exception. Most people have the misconception that switching to a natural shampoo would mean stepping out of the shower with hair wafting with like herbal extracts or nothing at all. Quite the contrary! Essential oils are concentrated extractions of plant matter and are potent scents—their fragrance often lasts longer than the artificial ones found in generic shampoos. They also allow you to avoid the detrimental effects synthetic fragrances have on our bodies. FDA does not require regulations surrounding the components of substances labeled as fragrance, leading many manufacturers to stockpile toxic chemicals. These substances, according to the FDA, can cause a multitude of reactions from skin discolouration to vomiting and even central nervous system issues such as depression or hyperactivity.
avoid | retinal acetate, wheat + soy proteins
use |  horsetail + oat straw 
Retinyl acetate, a form of Vitamin A, is often an additive to generic strengthening shampoos and conditioners. Although Vitamin A found organically in foods such as dark leafy greens is a powerful way to feed your hair, Retinyl acetate in haircare leads instead to overexposure to this vitamin. Vitamin A overexposure can lead to endocrinological + reproductive issues and even weaker, brittle hair. Wheat + soy proteins are over processed with toxins and can also lead to itchy or dry scalp. Opt instead for oat straw or horsetail, both of which rebuild the hair shaft through compounds like silica and proteins.
avoid | glycerin
use |  aloe vera, marshmallow, + yucca
Glycerin is another over processed substance that is often bleached + drenched in toxic chemicals. Although it does coat the hair to provide it with moisture, it can lead to a heavy build-up over time and weigh hair down. Ingredients like aloe vera, marshmallow, + yucca are botanicals that, in addition to providing moisture, also promote hair growth, softness + manageability, and strength.

Your hair cannot be or grow healthy without a healthy scalp. Our scalp has over two-hundred blood vessels, six-hundred-and-fifty sweat glands, a thousand nerve endings, + between ninety to two-hundred thousand hair follicles! Feeding this powerhouse with nourishing and natural ingredients is vital to luscious locks. Many scalp issues arise from other imbalances, however, such as hormonal irregularities, sins deficiency, infections such as candida, or digestive issues. 
avoid | chlorohexidine
use | rosemary, peppermint, geranium, eucalyptus, + pine essential oils as well as calendula
Chlorohexidine is a perfect example of "if you can't pronounce it, don't buy it" philosophy I approach eery product with. This is an ingredient in many anti-dandruff shampoos and has been linked to low-level burns and even anaphylactic shock. Let's just stay away from it and switch to . . . essential oils! In addition to their fragrant properties, these specific essential oils have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities that keep dandruff at bay while stimulating blood flow to the scalp.
avoid | medications
use | omega supplements such as high-quality fish oils, flax oil, + evening primrose oil
Many doctors are quick to prescribe medications for hair loss, which inhibit the enzyme 5-reductase that synthesizes DHT, the main actor in the cause of hair loss. These medications have dangerous side effects, however, such as sexual dysfunction and breast cancer. Opt instead for testing your DHT + zinc levels, increasing your consumption of zinc through foods such as pumpkin + sesame seeds, and consume evening primrose oil for hormonal regulation. Other vitamins to look out for are iron, vitamin d, biotin, + the whole enchilada complex of b vitamins. If you are unable to source these directly from your food, please ensure that you are getting it from a high-quality source of multivitamin for bio-availability.

photos unknown, via Tumblr