Friday, March 5, 2010

Are Salon Shampoos Killing Your Skin and Hair?

Sitting in the waiting room in any salon, you'll see product after product available for sale, to keep the color in your freshly dyed hair, to keep that teased, perfected hairstyle in place, and to moisturize your hair after all those treatments. These products are made by professionals though, so how bad can they be for you? After all, the bottle says "the true professional," so that must mean they know what's good for us, right? Maybe not.

As it turns out, those hair products could be destroying your hair more than fixing it, all the while depositing a range of chemicals into your scalp, skin, nails and hands. What chemicals? The internet is full of conflicting information about chemicals. At the very least, the chemicals could be doing nothing (though many articles and studies have suggested otherwise). Worst case scenario, the petrochemicals in salon products and shampoos could lead to severe skin irritation, cause birth defects, and potentially shampoo could cause Alzeheimer's Disease. Are salon products going to kill you overnight? No, you have a better chance of winning the lottery and then being struck by lightning while seeing a flying pig in your last moments. Over long periods of use, your salon shampoo that contains petrochemicals cause some annoying irritation, weaken and damage your hair, strip it of vital nutrients, and expose your hair and scalp to unncessary agents (and some of the potential risks described previously).

What About Animal Testing with Shampoos?

One brand that doesn't test on animals is Paul Mitchell. However, you do have to be careful when a product says that it "has not been tested on animals." The final product itself may not have been tested on animals, but the individual ingredients may have. How can you be really sure your product hasn't been tested on animals? Look for the little bunny. Products that have the "leaping bunny" logo have met standards where the product is cruelty free, including suppliers, all ingredients, testing, and manufacturing.

What are the alternatives to traditional salon shampoo?

There are some alternatives out there for salon shampoo. An organic shampoo is a great choice, but you have to look at the ingredients just like any other product. Just because the product states that it's organic, that doesn't mean it's healthy. First, you'll always want to look for certified organic products. Some companies cannot attain organic certification because some of the ingredients simply aren't made organic, or the price difference in certain ingredients is astronomically different. If you have questions about any product, check the cosmetic database, and check reviews from other consumers online by doing a quick google search for the company name + reviews. There's also biodynamic shampoo, which is not just organic, but a product that is made from a self sustaining ecosystem. In other words, nothing comes from outside of the farm. The herbs are grown on the farm, and all of the other ingredients in the shampoo. The cost of the biodynamic organic (which you can find here) shampoo will also be comparable to that of a salon product, but will be far higher quality - and won't damage your hair.

If you're interested in reading more about what chemicals might be lurking in your cosmetics, you may want to read the following posts from our blog:

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

It would also be nice if they found some way to package these products in something besides PLASTIC. Nice article. Thanks for sharing.