Go green by reading the fine print on your shampoo products

In our efforts to go green we have looked at ways to cut back our energy consumption, do our best to rely on recyclable materials, and support eco-friendly causes and products. One of these areas comes in the way of our health and beauty regimes and namely shampoos. There have been more and more studies that shed light to how certain additives are not only bad for the environment and the animals they may have been tested on but also detrimental to our health. Yet with what sometimes feels like information overload what do we really need to know to make not only a health conscious but also a green choice?

We need to start off by acknowledging that as frustrating as it may be we can’t go off of labels alone; while there is headway in cracking down on false or misleading claims we are not rid of them yet! This means you have to do some reading of those tiny lines and comb through that list of ingredients yourself. There are many baddies out there but if you find your shampoo contains parabens, formaldehyde, 1 or 4 dioxane, or diethanolamine (DEA) you will want to put down that bottle and seek out another. Then let me back up a bit; yes you need to be wary of claims on the bottle but there are some certified seals that will hold more credence and you can put more faith in. These include the endorsements of the Natural Products Association, USDA Certified Organic, the Australian Certified Organic, or BDIH; but anything else may not necessarily make the cut.

Something else to point out as we go green is that even if things are in fact natural ingredients that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily safe or good for us. In fact some studies have linked the development of breasts in small boys and the essential oils from both tea trees and lavender…unless you are okay with this possibility you may want to steer clear of these! Also keep in mind that there are those with severe allergies, or even not that severe, and things such as wintergreen oils, peppermint, and eucalyptus have been found to be common items to spur a reaction.

Finally if you really want to go green in full gusto style you want to consider not only what is in those bottles but the containers themselves; opt for those that are recycled and also ones that limit the amount of packaging as we don’t need any help accumulating more waste. In fact you can avoid this whole process if instead you were to instead make your own eco-friendly shampoo; there are numerous places online with simple ingredient lists that will keep that coif of your silky, smooth, and yes clean too! So the next time you are browsing those health and beauty aisles think a little green before you make your next purchase.

Photo credit: Jim Penn