If like me you've started to discover (and really start to hate) just how many chemicals are in just about everything we eat, wear and put on our bodies then it's time to take the plunge and switch to all natural products!
Going plastic free has really opened my eyes to a lot of things I used to eat and rub into my skin without thinking twice about it. Now I have made so many changes I feel SO much healthier and happier, but let's not sugar coat this, it's not a simple click of your fingers and you change the way your brain has worked for the last 26 years; it takes work. But that's where I can help! I have been through it all so I want to write as much advice as possible to guide you through those days where you just want to scream...
Why use all natural shampoo bars?
Transitioning to plastic free shampoo bars was the easiest change I made, however I started out by using Lush's range which lathered up great and my hair didn't feel any different to using bottled shampoo. But don't be fooled, these lovely little bars are packed with synthetic chemicals that can not only be damaging to you, but to the environment too.
I must admit I read a lot about synthetic shampoos on my journey to Plastic Freedom but I just thought "I've been using them for years and nothing bad has happened so they can't be that bad". Oh how wrong I was! It was only when switching to all natural shampoo bars that my flaky scalp I've had for as long as I can remember FINALLY cleared up and my hair suddenly didn't need washing every couple of days.
I also hadn't realised they were bad for environment until I was staying in a remote eco cabin in Wales. They were adamant that only their products be used in the shower and when washing up as the water went straight into the rivers that surrounded the area and using anything else could really harm the fish. I was curious to see what products they had and they all had NO SLS OR PARABENS written across the front. Well this was a wake up call to me and I suddenly realised that of course is something is going to be bad for me, then it would be even worst for smaller animals!
What are SLS and Parabens?
Parabens are a chemical that is added to SO many beauty products to kill bacteria and prolong the shelf life. So what's wrong with that? This chemical can not be broken down by our bodies and has some serious health risks that have been studied for years...
"As females we store them and the breast cancer fund states that parabens are Endocrine disruptors and say that measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified from breast tumours (Darbre 2004). later on a different study showed that an even higher concentration of n-propylparaben were found in the axilla quadrant of the breast, the area nearest to the armpit, and a British study in 2013 showed that 60 females with breast cancer had parabens in the diseased tissue, but the NHS still states the link is unproven." Sun Cloud Therapy
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is another chemical used in a lot of beauty products as it's a great forming agent. However, this exact same chemical is used to degrease car engines!! Now, do you really want to rub that into your skin?! Imagine what that can do to your natual oils produced...
These chemicals can be written in a lot of different ways so make sure you're wary and always check the ingredients list for SLS, ethyl, butyl, methyl, isobutyl or propyl.
What do these do to you hair?
All of these synthetic chemicals in 'normal' shampoo and conditioner basically strip your hair of it's natural oils and replace it with synthetic oils and waxes. These may make your hair feel nice initially but it can also be the reason you may need to wash your hair more often and it's even been linked to hair loss!
Switching to an all natural shampoo and conditioner bar could honestly change your life, without even realising it as you've probably used synthetic shampoos for your whole life.
Most people can switch so easily you'll wonder why you didn't switch sooner, for those with long or thick hair then the struggle can be hard but it is SO worth it and I have all the tips on how to make it a smooth transition... read my Natural Shampoo Bars - Top Tips to Natural Victory blog post!