Natural Homemade Shampoo
Because of my battle with cancer, I continue to look for ways to reduce toxins in my environment and my exposure to toxins in any way that I can. I’m sure that you have heard about all the unhealthy ingredients that are found in many of our beauty products including shampoo. Just pick up a bottle and read the ingredients … you have to read them because they are far too difficult to pronounce.
Toxic Ingredients in Shampoo
Many of the ingredients that you’ll find listed on your shampoo bottles are toxic. Let me share with you the worst offenders of the bunch. If your shampoo has any of these ingredients, it’s time to find another shampoo! Or better yet, make your own (recipe provided below). Not only will you be healthier – you’ll save money as well.
- Sodium laureth sulphate, also labelled as sodium lauryl sulfate, is a common ingredient in almost every popular brand of shampoo and body wash on the market today. This chemical has a long association with probable carcinogens. It can cause eye and skin irritation; and it intensifies exposure to other chemicals making their detrimental effects on you even worse.
- Ammonium Chloride can be harmful if swallowed, can be harmful if inhaled, and can cause serious eye irritation.
- Methylchloroisothiazolinone is used as a preservative. The United States and other countries have restricted its use for cosmetics because of its toxicity. It has been shown to harm the skin and to possibly contribute to problems with the immune system. Despite this fact, it is allowed for use in products that are “washed off” the skin and body such as shampoos.
- Propylene glycol, added as a moisturizer, is a skin irritant. It is a serious toxin that has been linked to the development of numerous respiratory and immune disorders, especially in children.
- Parfum or strong fragrance is nothing more than a catch-all phrase used on labels, representing many different chemical ingredients. Since it is an unknown as to which chemicals are actually present, but it is known that many of them are harmful and toxic, it is best to avoid.
These are but five of the ingredients found in the shampoos you use that can be detrimental to your health. A great chart listing all the common ingredients in shampoos can be found by clicking here. This chart lists the various ingredients, tells you if the ingredient is safe or not, and lists the concerns for its use and the possible effects its use may have on you.
The main cleaning component of our natural homemade shampoo is castile soap. Thefreedictionary.com defines castile soap as a fine, hard, white, odorless soap made with olive oil and sodium hydroxide. Castile soap is named for the area of Spain where its origins begin – the Castile region. It was first made by Aleppo soap-makers in this Mediterranean area thousands of years ago. A typical recipe often includes olive oil, laurel oil and lye.
Homemade Shampoo with Castile Soap and Essential Oils
Castile soap is used in many homemade recipes for household cleaning products including shampoos. Castile soap can be purchased at health food stores in bar or liquid form. This recipe calls for the liquid. It is possible to make your own liquid Castile soap, but it is a long labor intensive process. The liquid is readily available in many different fragrances.
- 1 c. coconut milk
- 1-1/3 c. liquid Castile soap
- 30 drops of essential oil – choose a fragrance that you enjoy or one that complements the fragrance of the liquid Castile you are using. Tea tree oil and peppermint oil both work well for medicated purposes.
- 4 T. coconut oil – the kind of oil that remains in liquid form is best, otherwise the shampoo will solidify.
Pour all of the ingredients into a quart jar, seal with a lid, and shake well. Pour the shampoo into an old shampoo bottle (make sure to rinse out well). Store any leftover shampoo in the refrigerator for later use.
Please note: Homemade shampoos will not create the suds and foaming action that you are accustomed to. The first toxic ingredient discussed above, sodium laureth sulphate, is used to create that experience when using commercially prepared shampoos. However, suds and foam are not required for a shampoo to clean your hair.
Looking for the ingredients to make your own natural homemade shampoo? Look no further.
Image attribution: All images were obtained from MorgueFile.