3 Reasons Why Eco-Friendly Hair Products Are Essential

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Over recent years, eco-friendly hair products have become more common. The trend -- if something so very vital can be called a “trend” -- was born out of necessity, when women the world over began to notice their conventional store-bought hair products were causing issues. Here are a few of the problems that standard haircare can cause:

  • A dry, red, flaking, or itching scalp.

  • A feeling of hair being coated, greasy, and unpleasant to touch.

  • Never quite feeling like you are able to get your hair clean.

  • Bald spots

  • Slowed growth

As studies have progressed, it has become obvious what was causing these issues-- the products that women were using. The issues don’t affect everyone, but for those they do impact, they can be substantial-- and it’s easy to trace the culprits.

Scalp problems may be genetic or related to existing skin conditions, but certain chemicals used in hair products are known to exacerbate (or even outright cause) scalp issues. The most common suspect is a compound called SLS, which can be ruinous to scalp health. If you are sensitive to SLS, then scalp problems tend to emerge.

The reason your hair feels “coated” or greasy is due to the presence of silicones in your shampoo or (most commonly) your conditioner. On first use, silicones make your hair feel soft and shiny. However, certain silicones are not water-soluble, meaning they do not wash off when you next shampoo. As a result, they build up, damaging the look and feel of your hair.

Silicones also may cause you to experience the feeling that you can’t get your hair clean. Bald spots and slowed hair growth can be attributed to irritation from SLS, and silicones coating your scalp and restricting growth.

The problem can become so severe that women feel the need to explore tape in hair extensions or even “growth boosting” products… the latter of which will actually just compound the problem.

These are just the problems you personally may experience from conventional shampoos and conditioners, but there is also the environmental cost to consider. All of these ingredients, which we know can cause harm to humans, are being flushed down the drain every time you rinse your hair, and can have a toxic impact on waste water as a result.

What You Can Do

If you want to ensure that your hair products are kind to you and kind to the environment, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Only buy products that are SLS-free. These are more common nowadays, thankfully, and products usually announce clearly on their packaging if they are free of SLS.

  2. Do not buy products that contain sulfates; another potential scalp irritant which can also potentially harm the environment.

  3. It can be tough to find silicone-free conditioners, but there are a few out there.  

  4. Try and adjust to washing your hair as infrequently as possible; even the “good” products are still not great for the environment.

  5. If you struggle to clean your hair without SLS/sulfates, then try using shampoo bars, which work well if you have an oily or greasy scalp.

If you keep the above in mind, you can enjoy a healthy scalp, great hair, and be sure the environment doesn’t suffer for it.