Shampoo–what really washes down the drain

The Problem: Hopefully everyone has used shampoo at one point in his or her life, and likely it is a product we all use regularly. The problem is that shampoos are packed full with all kinds of synthetic ingredients, many of which remain in the water even after it runs down the drain and through water processing plants. These chemicals can be harmful to individual human health and to the over-all environment. I don’t even need to mention shampoo bottles made out of plastic #5.

The Options: When I walk down any shampoo isle, I feel bombarded with all kinds of claims ranging from giving me blonde, straight hair to sexy bedhead in two steps. What I am on the lookout for, however, is not what a shampoo has, but what it doesn’t. Similar to hand dishwashing soaps, Triclosan is a dangerous chemical present in many shampoos. Shampoos also frequently contain Phthalates, a family of chemicals linked to reproductive problems in men and in wildlife.

My Decision: While there are still scientific studies searching for effects of our shampoos, I prefer to play it safe and go with organic shampoo. For now I am using Acure hair products, which are phthalate and Triclosan free. This shampoo even claims, “each product is…paraben free, gluten free, sulfate free, sodium chloride free, vegan, and cruelty free.” The one downside is the price, but in the long run, a few extra dollars is worth paying to play the largest part I can in protecting our water supply, overall environmental, and, in turn, human health.


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