When you choosing a natural shampoo, you are likely to see different qualities being advertised such as “SLS free” or “palm oil free” amongst others. But why is this a good thing? Read on to find out more about these words and what they really mean
Sodium laureth/lauryl sulphate
Sodium laureth or sodium lauryl sulphate are otherwise known as SLSs and are the chemicals that help shampoo mix with water, creating the foam that you associate with conventional shampoos. Some companies refer to these as ‘soap’ or ‘foaming agents’ and they have been associated with cell damage and the stripping away for natural oils and hair proteins. When used over time they can actually make the condition of your hair worse, not better as well as irritating your skin.
The farming of oil palm trees is very bad for the environment and has been responsible for at least 8% of global deforestation as well as leaving many species of animal on the brink of extinction. It is estimated that over the last 18 years, over 100,000 orangutans have been killed along with elephants, rhinos, and tigers, due to their habitats being destroyed during the farming of palm oil. If you can avoid it in your beauty products, you can help to reduce the demand for this product that has little benefit for you, your skin, or your hair.
Shampoo and conditioner often comes in plastic bottles or tubs, they are rarely recycled and are damaging for the environment when they are produced. Instead, you should opt for products that come in bars which do away with the need for any kind of plastic container and are completely zero waste.
If you see ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’ on a shampoo ingredients list it usually refers to a blend of chemicals that are there to give a certain odour to a product. In commercial products, more often than not these are man-made synthetic compounds, often petroleum based. What actually goes into these combinations is often hidden from us so we have no idea what we are putting on our kin, or hair. They not only have a negative impact on your health, drying your skin and hair, but they also have an environmental impact due to their manufacture and also the fact they end up in rivers and oceans when we wash them off.