This is a public service announcement that may surprise some of you. Are you ready?!
There are no truly natural surfactants that will produce a thick lather.
“Non-sulfate shampoos” have become a buzzword in the hair industry, now that people have begun to realize just how harmful chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) can be. The problem is that these chemicals are not actually removed from the shampoos. They’ve just been renamed; SLS alone has 38 different names. or they have been replaced with different chemicals.
What if the label says the ingredient comes from coconut?
Let us consider the raw material—lauryl alcohol. SLS is synthesized in the lab by treating lauryl alcohol with sulfur trioxide gas or chlorosulfuric acid. Lauryl alcohol can come from petroleum, but it can also come from coconut oil. The oil is put through an complex process, however, that releases the fatty acids, then hydrogenizes the oil, and finally pulls out the lauryl alcohol.
Regardless of where the alcohol comes from, it’s still mixed with the other chemicals to produce SLS or SLES or other forms of the ingredient. The result is still a chemical that is a long way from the original coconut oil. We may feel more comfortable having something that originated from coconut oil, which we recommend, rather than from petroleum, which we don’t but that doesn’t mean the chemical is any safer. The chemical may not only be irritating to scalp and hair, or that it will not be contaminated from manufacturing processes.
We have no way of knowing the extent of the contamination. Companies can “vacuum-strip” ingredients to take the 1,4-dioxane out, but you won’t find anything on the label telling you whether or not they did that.
The whole “coconut-derived” or “from coconut oil” or whatever description you may see on the label has been described as a marketing ploy to make you believe that somehow the ingredient is more natural. When the “all natural” product says its made with coconut oil and it foams, check the back. Does it say cocamide diethanolamine (DEA)? This is a foaming chemical derived from coconut oil in a laboratory. In 2012, California added cocamide DEA to the Prop 65 list of harmful chemicals. Check out this list of products with cocamide DEA on EWG’s Skin Deep Database. Some of them are marketed as natural, organic products!
The Cycle of SLS and Other Foaming Chemicals
As described by Anthony Morrocco of Morroco Method:
- Have greasy, dirty hair.
- Shampoo with chemical foaming agents.
- Chemicals strip hair of natural oils, making it look clean for a little while.
- Scalp panics and overproduces oil to compensate.
- Repeat 1-4 until hair is unhealthy, falling out, or worse!
- It’s never ending! And your poor hair just has its damage covered up with chemicals over and over, so you might not be aware of the problems.
His recommendation? If it foams, don’t take it home!
Again, there are no truly natural surfactants that will produce a thick lather. Natural products, like Morrocco Method shampoos, will foam very, very little, not even noticeably most of the time. Only chemicals can produce that beehive of foam.
Morrocco Method is one of our incredibly supportive sponsors and the only haircare products I use. They celebrated 50 years as a company in 2015. They exhibited at the last Weston A. Price Foundation’s Wise Traditions conference in November. See my webinar interview with Anthony Morrocco. I am delighted to announce that they have offered our community a coupon code!
Your 15% off coupon code Nourishing15 will expire in one week from today!
I would like to dispel the myth that these products are more expensive than others. The set of 5 shampoo bottles we rotate lasts me at least one year – 15 months this last round, now that my hair is shorter. If you do the math, I think you’ll find that it is very competitive in terms of costs. We dilute the shampoo with water, as it is very concentrated.
I encourage you to explore Morrocco Method. Nothing but pure, all natural ingredients you can find from Mother Earth! And the only things you can’t pronounce are the scientific
botanical names of the plants they use. But at least you know what they are!
Your 15% off coupon code: Nourishing15 will expire in one week from today!