Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Non-Toxic Tresses...and what it takes to have them!

It's always a good idea to start slowly but surely eliminating toxic substances from not only your cleaning supplies, but your beauty supplies as well. I have experimented with a few non-toxic beauty companies so far but still the quest continues! Today I would like to highlight my experiences with non-toxic shampoo and conditioners. First off, here's a very handy printable list of toxic chemicals to look out for and then avoid in your beauty products and food choices. These chemicals are found in many (most!) of the beauty products found on shelves, the shampoos, the soaps, and have been identified by the EPA or Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) as hazardous or cancerous. Here is the list, take it to the store with you and have a ball. I found it so frustrating standing in the shampoo isle at the grocery store going through all the "healthy" looking labels, cleverly marketed to my tastes & interests, with this list noticing that these chemicals are in EVERYTHING! I finally ended up just getting the one with the least amount of toxic ingredients I could find before I had a mental breakdown in the beauty isle. It was very near.

A couple of weeks later, I was in a different health food store when I saw a label on a shampoo bottle: "No Toxic Ingredients" so I went to the back label and read "Ingredients: Castille soap, apple cider vinegar, hemp, rosemary, organic tea tree, eucalyptus oils, burdock root, neem, nettles, and sage." Nice! So, I bought it! Uncle Harry's Natural Products Aromatherapy Shampoo - Organic Tea Tree. I want to give big props to this company for making only products that do not contain any harmful or toxic ingredients. They realize that it can be done naturally using essential oils and they rock this. Having said that, you must know that this is not like traditional shampoo. I was a bit surprised when I first went to use this shampoo that it didn't really seem to flow out of the tiny hole as well as I wanted it to, which was strange considering it seemed to be very liquid inside the plastic container. I had to actually unscrew the top off of the bottle to get any shampoo out, and when I did, it poured like water into my hand. After a couple of times using this shampoo I started just pouring it either into my hand very near my head and then dumping it on, or I just poured it directly on my head! One reason was that it doesn't seem to spread very well without a lot of water, so if you don't get enough water-thick hair with the first batch, you end up feeling wasteful as you add on more trying to cover all of your hair, or at least I did. The other, and more obvious, reason is that this liquidy substance does not hold firm in the palm of the hand the way typical shampoo does, and so you have to be a bit tricky in how you get the right amount applied to your head without wasting it and/or accidentally letting half of your intended use go down the drain unused. Which, at certainly a higher price than it's cheap-o, chemical laden counterparts, will make you somewhat cringe a bit as your money drifts down the drain with nothing to show for it. Is this how everyone feels when they waste precious money? So, I didn't purchase the conditioner made by this company, which I did see at the store, because I still had some other bottles I was using up of the only half toxic products I mentioned earlier. That, and I think it was priced at about 12 dollars for some tiny 4 oz. bottle and I was trying not to spend a fortune on hair products, if possible. This did dry my hair out more than I expected, leaving me with more tangled mess to pick through after the shower...but, small price to pay, I suppose, for being kinder to the earth! :) So, I give this shampoo a basic thumbs up, though I am still in search of a more perfect fit for my curly-ish tangle-prone hair, as it is kind of a bit of a pain in the ass sometimes. So, moving on!!

The next non-toxic shampoo/conditioner I tried was sold at the same little health food store. This one, by Mera Naturals, is brand I am currently using and I am really happy with it! The ingredients of the shampoo are:
Aloe Vera Gel, Coconut Oil Oiefin, Coconut Oil Betaine, Lemon Extract, Avacado Oil, Grapefruit Seed, Vitamins A, C, and E. Essential Oils of Juniper, Cypress, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Neroli, Jasmine, Rosemary, Gernium, Rose, Sandalwood, Lavender, Basil, Camomile, Cardamon.
The ingredients for the conditioner are:
Aloe Vera Gel, Vegetable Oil Quarternary, Cellulose Gum, Coconut Oil Hydroxyl, Hydroxylized Wheat Protein, Glycerine, Lemon Extract, Wheat Germ Oil, Methyl Paraben (food grade). Essential Oils of Bergamont, Cypress, Lavender, Clary Sage, Rosemary, Frankincense, Myrrh, Neroli, Jasmine.
I have been using these two for about 3 weeks now and I can say I really do prefer it's consistency to the Uncle Jerry's shampoo, because it actually stays more in a blob in your hand and is easier to apply, however I prefer the ingredient list of the Jerry's because it is smaller and easier to understand. I literally just looked up all the ingredient words that seemed foreign to me and discovered that there is some synthetic fiber in it (oiefin), which seems to be a strengthening fiber, not listed as toxic. It is easier to use, though, smells absolutely amazing, and it does not dry my hair out nearly as much. I really really like this stuff, and I will probably come back to it again at some point.

So, that is my experience thus far. I will continue to update as I experiment further with these and other "environmentally friendly" beauty products. If you have any non-toxic shampoos or conditioners you like, I would love to hear about it! Post the name and a link, if possible, below and I'll give it a try if I can!

Other than that, I do not use any hair products and I find that this keeps my hair feeling fresh, not to mention chemical-free, and vibrant as it grows naturally! Very soon I will most likely be experimenting with making my own chem-free hair products, and I will certainly update on how that is going when I get there! :)

Also, just an update about the raw food cart job.....I got it!! I started training last week and working officially, on my own, today!! So fun! I love love LOVE the smoothies & foods we sell and I am having a blast serving wheatgrass shots and nutritious raw food to people! Fun stuff! So it has been a very busy week, and this week is shaping up just as busy as last, so on we go! Hope everyone is having a fabulous day! Rock your universal sexy, ambitious souls this week, and bless your body with something absolutely fabulous for it, you deserve it! Rock on!


  1. Congratulations on the job Rachel!

    Have you tried solid shampoo? I've been using it for a few years and love it. No packaging, so no waste. And there are lots of great handmade, natural shampoos (and all other beauty products and makeup) available on

    I personally love the dreamseeds products.

    Let me know if you get a chance to check them out.


  2. It's a jungle out there when it comes to maintaining non-toxic tresses. I use EO and have been pretty happy with the results. They sell in large containers to reduce waste and use mainly essential oils in their products. I would love to try and make my own, so let me know how that adventure plays out!