The one Paleo area I've been completely avoiding has been the whole No Shampoo & No Soap issue. I recently had my hair done for my Birthday and I was quite shocked by the number of products I was smothered in (my hair didn't look that amazing after either):
- Colours for highlights
- Leave in conditioner
- Spray to make my hair soft
- Spray to give my hair volume
- Wax to give my hair texture, and
This trip to the hairdressers has forced me to think about the other chemicals I expose myself too. It’s all well and good being strict with my nutrition, but surely reducing exposure to chemicals like this, is of great importance too.
The ingredients list in a typical bottle of shampoo or shower gel often reads like a chemistry text book. Given that skin is our largest organ, it’s a reasonable assumption that chemicals are going to be able to transfer from the products to your blood stream.
I just looked up the ingredients of a Pantene shampoo I often use. I can't even pronounce some of these chemicals: –
Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Fragrance, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Citric Acid, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Tetrasodium Edta, Panthenol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Methylchloroisothiazolinone/Methylisothiazolinone
When researching the ingredients used in commercial shampoos and soaps all sorts less than favourable articles came up. Many of the chemicals are irritants and have many properties I just don’t want in my system.
A lot of Paleo people go entirely without shampoo and soap, but I just don’t think I'm ready to go this far, yet. My main problem with camping is not being able to wash my hair every morning; the thought of voluntarily doing this from the comfort of my home isn't a terribly attractive proposition!
The harsh chemicals in shampoo seem to strip away the scalps natural sebum, drying it out – and greasy hair appears to be the scalps compensation for this overly dried out scalp! From what I’ve read and from speaking to Paleo friends who've gone no ‘poo, it seems like the first week or two is not a good look – but then your hair is supposed to become soft, shiny and wonderful!
A lot of people use natural products such as eggs, apple cider vinegar and baking soda, so perhaps that would be a good place to start.
What are your thoughts on giving up shampoo? Or perhaps you have some top tips for conquering my shampoo habit?