Do you use organic shampoo?
Then you could be forgiven, for believing the ingredients really do what they say on the bottle.
The very thought of washing your hair in natural suds is a delight, yet sadly, when it comes to your personal hair products, the use of the word shampoo is actually a bit of misnomer.
Many shampoo brands that are labeled organic, contain ingredients that are synthetically produced such as petrochemicals, detergents, and alcohol, these are just some of the ingredients found in shampoo brands that market themselves as Organic.
Alarmingly, there has been an influx of companies trying to mislead consumers, so much so, that the Organic Consumers Agency, has felt it necessary to go on record to say
When it comes to organic shampoos and soaps, anything that says it is “organic” almost certainly is not
Organic shampoo – why the struggle?
So why is there such a problem defining the term organic in shampoo? The biggest struggle when it comes to shopping for an organic shampoo is finding one that really does what it says on the bottle.
This is thanks to a lack of regulation – shampoo brands can label their products with the word “organic,” even if the ingredients list is actually filled with questionable ingredients. Terrible, right?
The second reason that it is hard to label a shampoo as organic is that in food, the water percentage is not allowed to be included in calculating the percent of certified organics present in the product. Yet surprisingly, this does not hold true when it comes to your shampoo.
Many organic shampoo brands, add a large amount of floral herbal waters and essential oils to their products, but it is the smaller percentage of ingredients such as Vitamins, Extracts, and Antioxidants, which are at the root of the problem. It is not difficult for unscrupulous companies to replace organic herbs they originally use, with herbs that aren’t organic, and then claim their product to be organic.
This is something the Soil Association is currently trying to address.
The other problem is, that in order for an ‘organic shampoo’ to be classified as organic, ideally, it needs to be made with an organic soap base, and the only truly natural option is saponified organic oils.
However, the problem is that organic soap made from saponified organic oils does not create a shampoo that is truly Ph balanced for human hair, long-term use on long or color-treated hair.
The high Ph level of around 10 found in natural soap, can cause the cuticle cells of the hair to swell up and strip the hair, leaving the hair looking rough, dull, and lifeless.
The naked truth
So what exactly is the answer, what do you look out for, when purchasing certified organic shampoo? The soil association has some great guidelines around organic products, but until other governing bodies can agree on stricter guidelines, it really comes down to you the consumer, being a savvy buyer.
A tip to look out for is that organic or natural dry shampoo tends to have low suds, or may even be completely lather free, although these formulas may not create mountains of suds, in the way that a traditional salon product does, they clean just as well.
And the really great thing is that they are much healthier for you and the environment.
Want to find an organic/ natural shampoo in 2020 but don’t know where to start, this article by Harpers Bizarre is a great place to start.