Monday, September 5, 2011


Shampoo Cleansing Ingredients To Avoid:

Extremely common ingredients
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
Ammonium Xylene Sulfonate
TEA Lauryl Sulfate
Sulfur (in dandruff shampoos)
Selenium Sulfide (in dandruff shampoos)

Less common ingredients

Magnesium Sulfate
Sodium Thiosulfate
Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
Alkyl Sodium Sulfate
Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate
Sodium C12-15 Alkyl Sulfate
Sodium Dodecyl Sulfonate

What about Sodium Laureth Sulfate?

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is the gentler version of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. A lot has been written about the evils of SLS, and how it is extremely irritating and possibly carcinogenic. So, if you are still using store bought shampoos, this may be an alternative. However, it can still be harsh on your hair.

Going Organic Isn’t Always a Fool-Proof Way to Avoid Chemicals

Organic products do not fall under any regulations so use caution when purchasing these products. Studies have shown that several major cosmetic companies are using floral waters, hydrosols and other organic “infusions” to artificially inflate the “organic” content of products.
When shopping for organic shampoos there are specific ingredients that shouldn’t be on the shampoo label. These are:

·         Grapefruit Seed Extract – Referred to as a “natural” preservative, studies have shown it is anything but. It derives its antimicrobial properties not from grapefruit seed, but from toxic chemicals, primarily benzethonium chloride, and to a lesser extent from triclosan and parabens.
·         Cocamidopropyl Betaine – Just because it is derived from coconuts doesn’t make this a natural ingredient. It is a skin sensitizer made of highly processed synthetic chemicals. It is toxic to the immune system and can cause dermatitis and other allergic reactions.
·         Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein – Anytime you see something that is hydrolyzed there is a hidden source of MSG that is absorbed into your bloodstream when it comes in contact with your skin.
·         PEG – Studies have shown that any ingredient that contains PEG in its name can be contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane.

Homemade Shampoo Recipes:

Recipe #1 – Very Simple

Purchase a bottle of Dr. Bronner's olive oil castile soap from any health food store. Variety of scents includes: almond, aloe vera baby-mild, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, and rosemary extract and tea tree. Just select the scent that pleases you and/or hair type. Bottle sizes range from a travel-size 4 ounces to a 5-gallon jug. Made from vegetable oils, the coconut oil produces enough suds to please the fans of lather!

Recipe #2: For those who prefer to make your own herbal shampoo

Equipment Needed:

Plastic or glass bottles [8 ounces]
Glass jar [12 ounces or more] OR glass bowl
Tea kettle or saucepan [non-aluminum]
Strainer [stainless steel or bamboo]
Distilled or spring water


7 ounces distilled or spring water
4 Tablespoons liquid castile soap [1 oz.]
5- 6 Tablespoons of herbs [choose at least 2 for your hair type When purchasing herbs, you don't need to get them powdered, just cut. All herbs used for this recipe are dried.]

Note: If using whole flowers such as marigold or red clover, it's a good idea to crush them first. While lavender flowers are small, crushing them invokes even more of their aroma. Apple Cider Vinegar can be added to this recipe (about 2 Tbs)


1.      Boil water.
2.      . Put herbs in strainer.
3.      . Add the liquid castile soap to the bottle that you'll be using for the finished shampoo.
4.      . Pour boiling water over the herbs, squeezing the last bits with the back of a spoon.
5.      . Cover the container and allow the herbs to steep for 10-30 minutes, depending upon   how strong you want the mixture. Make sure none of the leaves have fallen into the herbal water.
6.      . Transfer the herbal mixture into the liquid castile soap and you've got your shampoo.

Recipe #3: It’s a two in one – shampoo & conditioner!


1c. Dr.Bronner’s Organic Castile Liquid Soap
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
3/4 Tbs. Tea Tree oil & Vitamin E oil (or just one oil only, etc.)
1/4 c. water
1 (16 oz) spray bottle or other container for application


Combine together and store in a spray bottle. You can also add various fragrances to your desire, such as lavender, eucalyptus, etc. This shampoo will not be as thick as your standard shampoo, but sprays on really well. Rubbing through your hair first works well to activate the suds and then scrubbing into scalp.

Recipe #4: Scalp-Soothing Shampoo


3 bags chamomile tea
3 bags peppermint tea
1 cup water
2 Tbsp liquid Castile soap
1 tsp light vegetable oil


Bring water to a boil. Steep all six tea bags for 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Remove tea bags and add liquid soap and vegetable oil to brewed tea and stir until well blended. Massage generously into hair and scalp. Rinse well. Store unused portion in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe #5: Moisturizing Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair


1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap
1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel
1 tsp Glycerin
1/4 tsp Light Vegetable Oil


Mix all ingredients until well combined. Apply liberally to wet hair and let sit a few minutes before rinsing well with cool water. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, and shake before every use.

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