Have you heard of the Environmental Working Group? They're an organization that independently tests all sorts of products against standards for health, sustainability, and environmental protection. I've known about and used their awesome databases for years. Definitely credited with a big part of my decision to go green. Check it out - visit their Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database and type in the name of the body wash residing in your shower stall. I promise you that you will make a funny face after you read about the ingredients it has and what they are doing to your body. Sorry, but the truth has to come out.
According to the EWG (and hundreds of other resources), shampoo is one of the biggest offenders. The typical shampoos that we see on drugstore or spa shelves typically contain not only ingredients that are harmful for our environment, but also known CARCINOGENS. Companies get away with this because there aren't any current laws prohibiting it. Many of them also include Dioxane and Formaldehyde. Read THIS and THIS for more information on Dioxane and Formaldehyde in bath products. It will make you squick and shiver. Eeeewwww. There is even mineral oil and petroleum in shampoo. Tons of it. It can kill you - really.
So, if you are like me when I first read about this junk, I flipped out. What was I supposed to use? How could I be slathering this nasty mess all over my kids? I did a LOT of research. I wanted to find options that didn't smell bad or use things that didn't get rid of germs or dirt. I also wanted to make sure I wasn't being uptight about nothing (as you can tell by now, it's not nothing).
For the kids, I use Method, Burt's Bees, or JASON brand products. There are others - California Baby is also great - but they can be pricier. Who wants to go broke? Not me! Method also makes some home products that I've been happy with - but honestly - I usually use vinegar and/or baking soda to clean almost every surface in my home. It's the perfect solution. Just being honest.
So, back to shampoo. Did you know that you can use baking soda and/or vinegar on your hair too? Peaceful Cottage has a recipe for homemade shampoo here, and perhaps the most comprehensive how-to and troubleshooting for No Poo can be found on Babyslime's journal here.
You'll probably read this and be curious. Scared of your shower. You should be! Maybe you even want to try something new. But if you're like me you're also definitely very wary of the switchover time when your hair will whiplash from going without the chemicals it's been bathed in for so long - the overproduction of natural oils. I have been told that it should take less than a week for the natural oils to regulate and the hair to start "breathing" again. I would love to know if any of you try this!
I'm not ready to make my own just yet. I started doing some research on other homemade shampoos. Turns out, a Canadian company called LUSH does make vegan shampoos, conditioners, and body washes by hand. Then they ship them in minimal packaging. They promise their bath and beauty products are 100% vegetarian, made by hand and never tested on animals. Fresh, natural ingredients benefit your body.
I wasn't sure what to try (and was weirded out at the idea of some of their products), so I contacted customer service and would you believe - traded emails with a real, live person yesterday until we had decided exactly what would be best for my hair type. I ordered these:
Yes, they are solids (LUSH does make liquids, too). I can't wait to try them. I promise to share the results.