Is your shampoo making your hair WORSE?

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

Every time you wash your hair with a regular shampoo, you expose yourself to a cocktail of nasty chemicals that reside in the shampoo. These chemicals are designed to strip the natural oils from the hair, thus requiring conditioner to make It soft again. Detergents in shampoos can strip fat from parts of your body where you do not want it stripped – such as your fatty brain!

Have you ever tried to read the label of the average shampoo bottle? And if you have, did you understand what it meant? That long list of words in the ingredient section that you can’t pronounce, are both detrimental to your health, and to the health of your hair. Any toxin containing product that you use on your hair, will be absorbed through the skin and into your blood stream. Your liver is the only organ in your body that can break down this array of toxic chemicals. That’s a lot of responsibility for one organ to take on board!

The Dr Cabot 15 Day Cleanse is an easy to follow program that improves liver, gut and immune function, helping your body to excrete toxins more efficiently.

To make it easier for you to decide which shampoo brand NOT to buy, here is a list of the ‘ingredient’ chemicals to AVOID:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): These harsh detergents are closely related to those used in engine degreasers and strip the hair of its natural oils. They break down the keratin (protein) in the hair, and have been linked to skin damage, breathing difficulties and eye conditions. These chemicals can circulate the body for up to five days, wreaking havoc.
  • Parabens: These are preservatives that are used in shampoos to prevent bacterial growth. These chemicals are proven carcinogens and act as xenoestrogens in the body, mimicking natural hormones and contributing to hormonal imbalances.
  • Fragrance or parfum: This one ingredient listing can represent hundreds of chemicals that are used to make a fragrance or scent, that often draws us to choosing that particular shampoo. The chemicals used to make fragrances have been linked to nervous system disorders, skin discolouration and can trigger asthma and allergic reactions.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA): These emulsifying agents are carcinogenic chemicals that can disrupt hormones. They break down the keratin in the hair which can lead to hair damage, can irritate the scalp and cause allergic reactions.
  • Polyethelyne Glycol (PEG): A petroleum based thickening agent that strips the hair and skin of moisture. Studies have shown that it is carcinogenic and could interfere with human development.
  • Propylene Glycol: The same chemical that is used in anti-freeze and engine coolants, to stop the shampoo from freezing in storage. This chemical may cause allergic reactions such as eczema.
  • Dimethicone: A silicon product added to shampoo to seal in the moisture of the hair. This chemical does not allow the scalp to breathe and seals in bacteria, leading to rashes, flaky skin and acne.

Now that you are armed with the information, stop using shampoos that contain these chemicals. There are plenty of organic shampoo brands that clean your hair well and leave it looking luscious, without causing adverse reactions or contributing to the toxin load of your body. The most common argument against using organic shampoo is that they are generally more expensive than their generic, chemical laden counterparts. This is because the natural ingredients they use are generally more expensive than the cheap chemicals, and more effort goes into ensuring the product is safe for use. You need to ask yourself, is it worth spending a few extra dollars to better your health? The answer should be yes, because changing your shampoo brand is an easy modification that you can make to your routine, to reduce the toxin load on your body.

Have a go at making your own natural shampoo

Shampoo can be relatively simple to make, and a lot cheaper than buying organic shampoo. With just a few ingredients and a couple of minutes you can make a nourishing formula that acts as both a shampoo and conditioner. For a DIY shampoo that is gentle on the hair, removes grease build up, restores moisture and helps to combat dandruff, try this recipe:


  • ½ can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 drops tea tree oil
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • Optional: 2 tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil for dry hair.


Mix all the ingredients together and pour into an empty bottle to make it easy to apply. Massage the mixture into the scalp and hair and leave for a few minutes. After you’ve allowed the hair to soak in the mixture, rinse out with warm water. If you feel as though your hair is left a little greasy, you can rinse in a diluted mixture of apple cider vinegar and water (combine 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar to one cup of water). This shampoo should be made fresh. Alternatively, you can make up extra and freeze into portions and defrost as needed.

There you have it. A new hair care regime that will leave your hair feeling nourished and you feeling healthier. Make the change today.

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