Parabens and SLS. The Bad and the Ugly.

Shampoo and conditioner advertisements have been sensulising and manipulating the shower experience for marketing reasons - and we all bought it. When you think of shampoo on television, you might think of a woman with long hair in the shower, a thick sudsy foam over her entire scalp and hair. This visual reinforcement of what it means to be clean has convinced most of us that we need that headful of foam for a shampoo to be effective, but a clean and healthy head of hair is possible without the aid of unnecessary chemical reactions taking place.

Many shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which acts as an emulsifier and foaming agent and is harmful to the human body but also to the environment. Although SLS can be made from coconut oil, it is combined with sulfur trioxide or sulfuric acid during the manufacturing process and becomes a dangerous product.

The hazard begins right in your shower, as the particles release toxic sulfur oxide fumes when heated. Most of us enjoy a hot shower, so not only are the fumes released but your pores are more open in the heat and your skin is more easily absorbant to SLS and other chemicals in your shower routine. Once down the drain, SLS has the potential to accumulate in the bodies of fish and other marine life and acts as a groundwater pollutant.

Another culprit on the harmful ingredients list is the use of preservatives and parabens in your cosmetic products. Have you ever seen an expiry date on your shampoo and conditioner? That’s because they are designed with heavy preservatives so that they can sit in a warehouse or in a store and remain shelf-stable for years and years. We use these products in our daily lives, and they are designed to save the company’s money and time, not for our health and the health of the environment.

Parabens have been shown to interfere with our hormone functions, and they can mimic estrogen in our bodies.  They have been detected in breast cancer tissues, suggesting a possible link between cancer and the parabens in our daily cosmetics. There are no restrictions on the use of parabens in cosmetics in Canada, while many international regulations are stronger.

It can be hard to break free of the brands and companies that we have been taught to trust, but if we dig a little deeper into what the ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner actually are, we can see that these companies aren’t making this shampoo with your health or the environment in mind. We expose ourselves to so many harmful chemicals and toxins on a daily basis, so at Hippy Pits we designed our shampoo and conditioners so that at the very least you can start (or end) your day with a healthy and all-natural product that leaves you with happy hair and a healthier earth.

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