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Choosing an Organic Shampoo

Updated on July 12, 2011
Photo by Yogi
Photo by Yogi

Many shampoos that label themselves "organic" are nothing of the kind. Unlike food products, the USDA does not have consistent regulations controlling the "organic" label on beauty products such as shampoo.

However, for the informed consumer, there are good choices out there.

Why Use Organic Shampoo?

For a horrifying look at what you're really putting on your hair, visit the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.

Many conventional shampoos contain synthetic chemicals (often petrochemicals) that are known irritants, allergens, or carcinogens. Some are toxic to organs or nerve cells. Still others have a history of contamination.

Unfortunately, skin, scalp, and hair absorb toxins relatively easily, and because many people use shampoo daily or every other day for their whole lives, there are serious concerns about the long-term effects of such frequent exposure to these chemicals. For example, studies have shown that methyl-, propyl-, or butylparabens, commonly used preservatives in many shampoo brands, mimic the effect of the hormone estrogen in the body. Excessive levels of estrogen have been tied to many health problems, including an increased risk of breast cancer, and in recent years, parabens have been turning up in biopsies of breast tumors.

These concerns are especially strong for infants and young children, are more susceptible to the effects of toxins, allergens, and carcinogens than adults. Despite this, products like Johnson's Baby Shampoo continue to contain chemicals like Quaternium-15, which is a known irritant, neurotoxin, and carcinogen.

Choosing an Organic Shampoo

Reading labels is the key to finding the best organic shampoo. To narrow your choices, start by choosing a few shampoos that advertise themselves as being good for your hair type. Then study the labels. Organic shampoos should be free of synthetic fragrances, artificial coloring, phthalates, and preservatives made from parabens or urea.

One of the most popular brands among experienced organic shoppers is Aubrey Organics.

Using an Organic Shampoo

Organic shampoo can be applied the same way as conventional shampoos, but you should leave it in your hair for at least a minute, as the cleaning elements of most organic shampoos are gentler and take longer to be absorbed.


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    • profile image

      dexter 7 years ago

      I have been using Rune's Organic shampoo and it definitely is helping ..hairfall has stopped!!

    • Penny Arcos profile image

      Penny Arcos 7 years ago

      Very informative. I think that public awareness should be raised about these chemicals. If people really knew how toxic their shampoos were, they would think twice. Just because it is on the shelf doesn't guarantee it is safe.

    • lewgard profile image

      Kathleen Lewis 8 years ago from Southern Michigan

      I have been using an organic shampoo for the last few years. From the first week I started using it, I could tell a difference - may sound cheezy, but I actually felt more clear-headed.

      I would also recommend organic laundry cleaning products. I have a laundry soap, with no detergents or chemicals, that I love.

    • Helen Cater profile image

      Helen Cater 8 years ago from UK

      You were on my page for related hubs and I am glad I checked out your organic shampoo as they can be very harsh to the hair. Not a lot of people understand that having a good shampoo can make all the difference.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I've been really tossing around the idea of making my own. I'm going to give it a try. Thanks.

    • Netters profile image

      Netters 9 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      I never thought about shampoo being organic. Thank you.

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 9 years ago from USA

      Glad you enjoyed, Patty! The recipes are Marye's - I am far too lazy to make my own, alas.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for this Hub and your recipes for Organic Shampoos. I will attempt to make some!