Picking the Perfect Organic Shampoo
Lately, it seems like every company under the sun wants a piece of the “all-natural” trend.The problem is that not every product labeled “natural” is, in fact, natural. How do you choose the perfect organic shampoo and conditioner when labeling can be so misleading? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you choose the right formula for you? You need to learn how to read labels, avoid certain ingredients, and choose your perfect hair care line of products. Sound daunting? Don’t worry. Keep reading for a handy guide!
Step One: Know Your Ingredients
Unfortunately, even “natural” shampoos and conditioners can contain harmful ingredients. Of course, many companies count on the fact that most people aren’t reading the ingredients lists for their products too closely. Hopefully, you are smarter than that. You’re going to go a step above – you’re going to know your ingredients. This way, all you have to do is glance at an ingredients list for organic shampoo or conditioner, and you’ll know immediately whether or not you’ll feel confident applying the product to your hair and scalp. First, here are some INGREDIENTS TO AVOID like the plague. These components will never be found in the best organic shampoo and conditioner formulas:
Most hair care products that list “fragrance” in their ingredients should set off alarm bells in your head. Why? Because, more often than not, “fragrance” includes phthalates – chemicals that have been shown to disrupt hormones in humans. According to The Guardian, phthalates have been linked to everything from breast cancer to ADHD. NVO never uses phthalate containing fragrances. We use only essential oils in our shampoos and conditioner.
Preservatives keep products on the shelf and prevent spoilage. These may include parabens (most words ending in –paraben on an ingredients list fall into this category) or benzyl alcohol. The latter in particular is a possible carcinogen and neurotoxin. NVO uses Leucidal as a preservative- a probiotic-based ingredient created by the fermentation of Lactobacillus in a defined growth medium. Lactobacillus is one of the species of microorganisms used to produce fermented products such as sauerkraut and kimchi, a Korean diatary staple from cabbage. Like many members of the lactic acid bacteria family, Lactobacillus is capable of restricting the growth of other microorganisms by acidifying its environment. However, in addition to acidifying its environment, Lactobacillus also produces novel antimicrobial peptides, also known as bacteriocins, that are capable of providing broad spectrum antimicrobial protection.
Surfactants are what help water rinse away dirt, grime, and grease, but some are more controversial than others. Sulfates, for instance, may not have any long-term health risks, but they can irritate the skin, leave hair brittle and stripped of moisture, and can fade dyed hair color faster.
The use of sulfates also has environmental implications, according to Reader’s Digest Best Health. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), common ingredients in shampoo, are made from petrolatum when they are manufactured, which is a non-renewable resource.NVO shampoos and conditioners contain NO SULFATES or SLS.
Step Two: Read Labels Carefully
Now that you have the above watch-words in your vocabulary, you can read labels carefully. Better yet, you can sift through all the mumbo-jumbo and read them intelligently to make a smart purchase.
The right organic hair products won’t have questionable ingredients. In fact, you’ll probably be able to pronounce all of them easily. Here are some good ingredients you will find in excellent organic shampoo and conditioner brands:
- Essential oils. Any essential oil for hair may be listed with its Latin name as well as the common name in the ingredients. For instance: “Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) oil” or “Lavandula (lavender) oil.” These essential oils nourish, smooth, and moisturize the hair, not to mention soothe the scalp.
- Any natural plant extract – these will be listed with the plant name followed by the word “extract.” This means that some beneficial part of the plant has been extracted for use in the product.
- Plant oils are fats taken from plants — usually from plants' seeds. Like most food fats, plant oils help improve the stability and usefulness of the oil in skincare and hair care products. Organic oils are pure
Organic Coconut oil stimulates hair growth getting deep into its follicles and promotes the scalp health fighting against such problems as insect bites, lice and dandruff. Organic Coconut oiladds luster, shine and softness to the hair. Organic Coconut oil prevents hair breakage and split ends, contributing to hair length. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is pure, with no impurities, which is the best that your hair deserves. Dandruff treatments – Dandruff is usually caused when the scalp becomes dry and flaky, causing those unsightly white flakes. Olive oil is a natural moisturizer and great for treating dandruff. Organic Castor Oil - This natural humectant is a basic ingredient as a cleansing oil, as it dissolves impurities and draws them out of your pores. With its germicidal properties, it also helps to rid the scalp of bad bacteria. Organic Jojoba Oil balances oily scalp by mimicking the effects of human sebum, therefore halting the skin’s natural oil production. It will not clog pores, as it can be used freely on oily and greasy hair. This organic plant oil is also a great source of Vitamin E, Vitamin B complex and fatty acids. Plant-based, organic Glycerin naturally attracts and retains moisture, making it an essential ingredient for anyone with dry scalp. An all-natural organic compound, plant-based glycerin is completely colorless and odorless, and adds a smooth texture to your hair in addition to its hydrating properties. Organic Aloe vera contains something called proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cells on the scalp. It also acts as a great conditioner and leaves your hair all smooth and shiny. It promotes hair growth, prevents itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff and conditions your hair. Organic Coco Glucose works as a surfactant, foaming agent, conditioner and emulsifier. Helps increase the foaming capacity of a solution, (instead of SLS). Very useful in hair care products, it has the ability to smooth out the hair structure and increase manageability. As an anionic surfactant, it mildly cleanses the skin/hair by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed off. As an emulsifier, it keeps the oil and water parts of an emulsion from separating, and it also enhances the properties of primary cleansing and moisturizing agents contained in a product.
Extracts such as calendula flower extract, horsetail extract, or sweet orange extract nourish the hair and help encourage hair growth. Extracts like these are perhaps the most recognizable words in an ingredients list, both easy to read and understand.
Step Three: Choose Nittany Valley Organics as a Trusted Brand for Organic Shampoo and Conditioner
A trusted brand is labeled well showing all ingredients, but it also works. Period. After all, you want to be able to read and trust the ingredients, but all of this amounts to nothing if the formula does zilch for your hair. NVO's ingredients are easy to read, and easy to understand. No need for a PhD in Chemistry to understand what you are going to use on your hair and be absorbed by your skin.
Nittany Valley Organics organic shampoo and conditioner produce products that do what they say they’ll do. If the label says it will moisturize your hair or get your scalp clean, those are promises the product actually does. Our products have trusted ingredients for beautiful, healthy hair.
After all, Nittany Valley Organics organic shampoo and conditioner formulas are health-conscious, eco-conscious, and hair-conscious.