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What Are the Benefits of Chemical-Free Shampoo?

By O. Parker
Updated May 21, 2024
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Many shampoo products contain preservative chemicals or those that enhance lather, texture or scent. Ingredients in personal care products are absorbed into the skin, and chemicals in hair-care products are no exception. A benefit to choosing chemical-free shampoo and other such products is a reduction in the amount of chemicals used on the body, thus a reduction in the levels of chemicals absorbed into the body. Natural products also offer an alternative for people who experience allergic reactions to chemicals.

The skin is a permeable organ, and it absorbs ingredients in personal care products. When those products contain chemicals, the body absorbs the chemicals as well, many of which have been found to cause health problems over time. Additionally, some people are allergic to chemicals found in shampoo and other personal care products; such ingredients can cause hives and other uncomfortable and unpleasant allergic reactions. More severe allergic reactions can even include dizziness, shortness of breath, blurred vision and fatigue.

Chemical-free shampoo also is a solution for people who choose not to use chemicals on their bodies, regardless of whether they experience allergic reactions. Many of the chemical ingredients found in shampoo have been linked to diseases, including cancer. Using chemical-free shampoo and other personal care products as well as eating organically grown food is a lifestyle choice many people make for health reasons and as part of an earth-friendly, sustainable lifestyle.

Given the toxicity of chemicals, many personal care products are tested extensively on animals before they can be released into the market place. The ingredients in chemical-free shampoo come from natural sources and tend to be gentle and non-irritating, thus chemical-free shampoo is more likely to be cruelty-free than regular shampoo as well.

Sodium laurel sulfates are chemicals commonly added to shampoo to increase lather. Not only does this chemical dry out the hair and scalp, it can also cause skin irritation. Propylene glycol and formaldehyde are two additional chemicals commonly added to shampoo. These toxic chemicals can cause irritation and may affect health over time.

Natural shampoos are either scented with natural essential oils or are unscented. Regular shampoos and hair care products are scented with blends of chemicals that are often not listed individually on the product labels. Given the toxicity of many chemicals, it is important to have full knowledge of the ingredients in personal care products. A truly natural shampoo tends to have fewer ingredients, and the listed ingredients tend to be easier to recognize.

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Discussion Comments

By bluedolphin — On Sep 18, 2014

@burcinc-- It's true that chemical free shampoo doesn't lather and foam up as much as regular shampoo. But that doesn't mean that it's not cleaning the hair and scalp properly. It does. One just has to get used to less lather. Washing hair may seem like a different experience at first, but you will get used to it.

Unfortunately, in order to make shampoos lather so much, they have to add certain chemicals in it. Many of us wash our hair every single day. Can you just imagine how much chemical would get absorbed by our scalp and hair within a year? Five years? Twenty years?

That's a lot of chemicals. And I think that chemicals in beauty and hygiene products are contributing to high cancer rates. So ignore the less lather and use what's safe.

By burcinc — On Sep 17, 2014

I agree that chemical free shampoos are healthier, but do the clean as well? My friend said that chemical free shampoos don't usually lather well. And the ones with natural oils leave hair oily.

I want to use a shampoo that doesn't pose any health risks. But I also need one that will make my hair and scalp feel clean and light afterward.

So I'm confused as to what I should I do. Is it not possible to get best of both worlds? Does anyone here want to comment on this? Are you happy using chemical free shampoo or do you miss regular shampoos?

By literally45 — On Sep 16, 2014

I'm allergic to shampoos with chemicals. It took me a while to understand this but now that I have, I avoid such shampoos completely. Natural shampoos tend to cost a little bit more but it's definitely worth it. I don't want an itchy, painful, flaky scalp.

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