Saturday, December 1, 2007

Day 134 - I'm Gonna Wash That Sodium Laureth Sulfate Right Out of My Hair

Switching to a Naturally-Derived Shampoo

I think this may actually be the last chemically-infused product in my bathroom and I'm so glad I'm finally done with it! It took me a long time to use up the last of my Redken shampoo, but it's finally all gone and I can now switch to a more environmentally-friendly alternative.

I'm not quite ready to go the homemade baking soda shampoo route, but am very excited to be switching over to another product from my new best friend: Burt, of Burt's Bees. I know, I know - BB was recently brought out by the nice folks who bring you Clorox Poison Bleach, but until you can find me a better smelling solution than BB's Very Volumizing Pomegranate, I'm sticking with it.

As with the kids' baby wash, the BB shampoo is Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate Free, Paraben Free and Phthalate Free. Although made of plastic, the bottle contains 80% post-consumer content. And, according to the label, the shampoo is not tested on animals (I'm assuming the bottle isn't either ;-).

For you hard-core plastic avoiders, Burt's Bees does make a shampoo bar, which is sold in a cardboard box. I would have picked that up to try but didn't even know it existed until I did an online search, which was after I had purchased my bottled version. If I can find a shampoo bar locally, I'll give it a try. "Shampoo Bar" -- sounds like a salon that serves drafts, doesn't it? Someone should open one. I would definitely go there. Even a drunk stylist couldn't give me a worse haircut than I already have and I'd probably tip better if I was sloshed.


Mrs. Pigpen is now down to washing her hair only four days per week. Eek. When I write it out in black and white it makes me sound gross. But really, I'm not. Or rather, I am, but not because of my hair.

So anyhow, that's about 1 teaspoon of chemical goopiness avoided per day, about 3 ounce per month, 36 ounces per year. Join me, and we'll make it 72.

Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

Redken. Burt's Bees. As long as it gets the dirt out, I don't care about the brand name. What I do care about is the consequence of its use.


Mary Elizabeth said...

Don't worry, I'll write out in black and white that my hair only gets washed TWO days a week;) The long hair community on livejournal has lots to say about how often/with what/no SLS kinda things;) and nobody there would think anything of 4 or less washes a week;)

Anonymous said...

Oooh. When my hair gets really long (like past-the-butt, Crystal-Gayle-lookin' long), it feels awful washing it more than 2 times a week...if I try to wash it more frequently, it seems like it NEVER gets dry!

Plus, frequent washing dries it out way too much. I found my hair (long or short) was a lot healthier (plus bouncier, shinier, etc.) when I cut down on the washing and switched to Dr. Bronner's with a vinegar rinse.

But congrats on making the change. It can feel weird at first, but we really don't need a lot of the personal care products we think we do...

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a 2- and 4-year old, I wash my short hair AT MOST every other day, and clothes get work until they visibly need washing (and sometimes longer...). Reading your posts yesterday & today, I'm feeling like I occupy the grim end of the scale. At least I live by the country, then, and can blame damp cabbages in teh field s for the whiff... Ormskirk's answer to burbanmom!

Wendy said...

Have you tried Castille liquid Soap? It's actual "soap" and not what we usually think of as "soap" here in the US, which is actually detergent. Dr. Bonner makes a nice peppermint variety that smells pretty yummy.

I use Vermont Soap Organics brand, because they're more local to me than Dr. Bonner's which is in California.

I do wash my hair every day, but you're only supposed to use a smidge, and since castille soap is actually really watery, adding extra water to stretch out what you have is recommended. So, some people take the empty bottle and half-fill it with water and fill the rest of the bottle with the soap. We have some of those special bottles that make foamy handsoap for kids, and I just refill those half-water/half-castille soap, and I have exactly the same kind of foam soap that was in there before ... only more eco-friendly :).

The best part about the Castille soap is that it's not just for hair or bodies, but it's also a good, safe cleaning solution for regular household use.

A gallon bottle of Bonner's at my local healthfood store costs $35 or so, but can last almost a year.