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Making Homemade Shampoo
Click the link to hear about the toxins in commercial shampoos and body products or read about them below.
To avoid these toxins, make your own shampoo using our simple recipe.
Why Commercial Shampoos are Harmful
A hot shower opens up pores in your skin and makes it easier for toxins to enter your body. They bypass your liver and enter your bloodstream and tissues. When you put shampoo or conditioner into your hair, the twenty blood vessels, 650 sweat glands, and 1,000 nerve endings soak in the toxins. Some studies suggest the skin can sometimes absorb more than your digestive tract. According to evidence presented at 1978 Congressional hearings, the absorption of the carcinogen nitrododiethanolamine (NDEA), commonly found in shampoo products, was shown to be more than 100 times greater when exposure came through your skin than through your mouth. Below are 7 toxins commonly found in shampoos, conditioners, and body washes.
Methylisothiazoline (MIT) -used to kill fungi and bacteria and to extend the shelf life of the shampoo. It has been shown in research conducted by national Institutes of Health to cause neurological damage in humans and can put unborn children at risk for brain defects, as well as lead to the onset of Altzheimer's and other neurological disorders. Commonly found in popular brand name shampoos and conditioners such as Head & Shoulders, Suave, Pantene, and Clairol.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) - this toxin is found in nearly every popular brand of shampoo and body wash. SLS is what causes the soap to sud and foam up the way we expect it to. (Shampoo doesn't have to make lots of suds to clean your hear.) SLS has an irritating and abrasive effects on the skin and hair, it weakens the strength and health of your hair follicles, and it strips your hair of its natural moisture.
Dioxane - in the medical journal Cancer's 2007 review of breast cancers, dioxane was identified as one of the 216 chemicals linked to breast cancer in rodents. This was first reported in 1965 and confirmed in 1978. Then in 1985, the FDA recognized these dangers and requested that manufacturers voluntarily limit dioxane levels in cosmetics to 10 parts per million, but it hasn't happened. In February 2007, an independent laboratory was asked by Marla Cone, LA Times staff writer, to test eighteen personal care products for both adults and children. All eighteen were contaminated with high levels of dioxane.
Diethanolamine (DEA) - DEA reacts with nitrite preservatives and contaminants to create nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), a known and potent carcinogen. DEA seems to block absorption of the nutrient cholien, which is vital to brain development. Pregnant women actually require extra choline so they can pass it on to their fetus. UNC School of Public Health states that, at this point, it is a cauthio, but would be prudent to look at labels and try to limit exposure until more is known about the effects of DEA.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) - We've been told to avoid it in food because it causes headaches, dizziness, and stomach discomfort after eating MSG-containing products. According to the FDA, MSG side effects include numbness, burning sensations, tingling, facial pressure, headaches, nausea, drowsiness, and weakness. It is secretly hidden in your shampoo and referred to as amino acids, yeast extract, nayad, glutamic acid, or glutamates.
Propylene Glycol - this active ingredient is found in engine coolants and antifreeze, air plane deicers, tire sealants, rubber cleaners, polyurethane cushions, paints, adhesives, enamels and varnishes, and in many other products as a solvent or surfactant. Users are warned to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol because it is a strong skin irritant and can also cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage. So why is it in our shampoo?
Formaldehyde - traditionally used as an embalming agent but is commonly found in soaps and shampoos. Formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions and damage to the nervous system. It can be found on ingredient labels as doazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and quarternium-15.
How to make your own shampoo
There are a lot of homemade shampoo recipes online, but this is my favorite.
I don't use any other care hair products with this shampoo. Conditioner is necessary with commercial shampoos because the
chemicals dry your hair. The glycerin in this recipe helps the hair retain moisture and gives it a little shine.
Get your ingredients together:
Castille soap (soap made with
olive oil only)
Vegetable glycerin - helps
Essential oils - I use Rosemary
(helps hair grow &
keeps it from falling
Tea Tree (anti-fungal,
Lemon (soothes, relieves
headache, clean scent)
Using a cheese grater, grate the soap bars until you have 3 cups of soap flakes.
Put 3 cups of distilled water in a stainless steel pot and add the 3 cups of soap flakes. Melt the soap flakes on medium heat. When all the soap is melted, remove it from the heat and add 8 tsp glycerine, and 20 drops of essential oil. I use 10 drops of Rosemary, 5 drops of Tea Tree, & 5 drops of Lemon. You can use the oils of your choice and determine the number of drops of each.
As the shampoo cools, it will thicken. If it is too thick for you, you can put it back in the pot, add 1 cup of water, and reheat it. After heating, add 2 tsp of glycerine. When it cools, it will be thinner. You can do this as many times as necessary to get the shampoo the consistency that you like. Write down the amount of water and glycerine that you add to the recipe and next time you can start with the right amounts. You can also adjust the essential oils.
For a larger amount of shampoo, use this recipe:If you use homemade Castile soap made from the recipe here, you can use 12 ounces of soap (by weight), 3 1/2 quarts of water, 1 1/2 cups of glycerin, 27 drops of Rosemary Oil, 20 drops of Tea Tree Oil, and 15 drops of Lemon Oil. Follow these directions and you will have 3/4 of a gallon of shampoo. This is a bulk recipe, so I use my wisk attachment to my hand mixer to get it mixed well. Add more water anytime the shampoo seems to get too thick, but add just a little at a time so you don't get your shampoo too thin.