f you're like I was you blindly assume that if a product is on the shelf at the supermarket and widely advertised, that it must be absolutely safe for the consumer without doubt.... because after all there should be bodies whose main job is to monitor these kind of things. Well I hate to break that bubble - but it's not true and no one is looking out for you and your family as much as they should be. Regulations are VERY lax and it's shocking to discover. It's really driven me to the understanding that I need to watch every little thing that I put in or on my body or have in my home because I am not going to be a guinea pig, which is really the reality of what's going on these days with everything.
So to cut to the chase - what is in your shampoo?
I'm going to pick out the common nasties that you will find in pretty much any shampoo or conditioner out there (excluding organic of course) and tell you how they will harm you. This list is from Herbal Essences ingredients list but if you check any shampoo you have you will find at least one or more of these in there:
Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate
In clinical studies SLES and SLS are linked to direct damage to the hair follicle, skin damage, permanent eye damage in children, and liver toxicity. The FDA reports that shampoos with SLES and SLS cause eye irritation, scalp irritation, swelling of the hands, face, and armpit; tangled and fuzzy hair. The cause for alarm is that SLES and SLS are absorbed into the skin each time it is used where it mimics the hormon Oestrogen. Oestrogen has been known to cause many problems from fertility problems to even causing breast cancer in women (Oestrogen levels are known to be involved).
Any product containing DEA, has been proven by the FDA to cause cancer. Because studies showed it caused cancer, many manufacturers pulled the product out of ingredients. However, manufacturers are still using DEA derivatives such as MEA in products. The FDA says Cocamide MEA is the number one product to contain the most DEA. It has yet to be tested, but is still a cause for concern among consumers.
EDTA alters the skin structure making it a penetration enhancer. It enables other chemicals to sink into the skin and reach the bloodstream more easily. Add to this the fact that hot showers also open the pores to take in whatever is in your shampoo, the PVC fumes in your shower curtain and pesticide residue etc coming through your water supply - it's a toxic cocktail going straight to your blood in all that shower steam.
It is a petroleum derivative that acts as a solvent, surfactant, and wetting agent. It easily penetrates skin and weakens cellular structure and protein structure. It can cause liver, brain, and kidney abnormalities. It is used in anti-freeze and hydraulic fluids. It is one of the primary irritants of skin, even in low concentrations
Parabens mess with our endocrine system. They mimic the hormone Oestrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers. In the July 2002 issue of the Archives of Toxicology, Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health reported that exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben “adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.” They also accumulate in the body over time.
If it doesn't say essential oil fragranced it is synthetic and therefore you are exposed to pthalates. Phthalates are industrial compounds found in shampoos that enter the body through the skin and wreak havoc on the endocrine system. In fact, phthalates are associated with male obesity, insulin resistance and reduced sperm production among other things.
Ext Violet 2
Also known as Ext D&C Violet 2 is a known cause of tumors and serious skin rashes on lab rats. Prolonged exposure to the chemical has cause depression, convulsions, coma and death. It is also a suspect in causing Leukemia. Even inhaling the vapors can cause absorption into the skin.
Yellow #5, Coal tar, is used to control dandruff; however, it is a known cancer causing agent.
An external anaglesics, Benzyl alcohol is applied to the skin to help relive pain. There is strong evidence that Benzyl alcohol causes neurotoxicity in humans and is toxic to the organs.
Also known as CPS, it is a silicone based product that adds lubrication, shine, and waterproofs the hair. It is often used in a combination with dimethicone to provide extra strength, shine, and waterproofing. However, CPS clinical studies that when tested on animals, this product produced tumors, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity (damage to the brain and peripheral nervous system), organ toxicity (non-reproductive), and skin irritation.
It also keeps the product from separating into dry and oily parts and to keep the foam down when the product is shaken. It is a strong irritant for the skin and eyes. Studies on animals have shown tumor formation when in contact with high doses.
It helps other ingredients dissolve in mixtures that would not normally dissolve. Studies show that in high doses, it does cause cancer and reproductive problems on animals. In moderate doses, studies show that animals have organ toxicity.