Ok, the Sustainability Nut is on the Sustainable Shopping Hunt again, this time in search of the ultimate Sustainable Shampoo.
It has to pass the rigorous demands of the Sustainability Nut Household.
AND it has to help your hair look good. Afterall one doesn’t exactly want to look like a hay bale with legs, nor does one have any desire to create an oil slick when jumping into the neighbour’s pool.
So, I’ve been on the hunt. Good thing is I don’t have to worry about catering for LTSH (Long Term Suffering Husband) as he has an allergic reaction to just about everything you put on your skin or in your hair. And hence, refrains from using anything too much apart from the good old Eco Store Lemongrass Soap – obviously not on his hair! (Basically he doesn’t have much of that – he’s into that whole ‘Prison Break’ look with the number ‘one’ crewcut.)
Remember when looking for an environmentally friendly shampoo (or any product for that matter) that some manufacturers and retailers are guilty of ‘green washing’.
Green Washing is a new marketing… shall we say, technique (a much nicer term than ‘con’) for enticing eco-friendly consumers to buy a product. Basically, the seller takes their standard sales copy and ‘greens’ it. So, for example, a product that contains a plant-derived ingredient is suddenly marketed as ‘natural’ and in some cases ‘biodegradable’. And if a product has one ingredient that is organic, the entire product is labelled as organic. Then there are the companies who state that their products are ‘carbon neutral’ because they invested in carbon offsets which went towards protecting natural rainforest. Others introduce a ‘hot’ environmental term into their product’s name, eg. organic, wildlife friendly, energy efficient, etc.
Fortunately, we as consumers are becoming more and more educated in the environmental stakes and aren’t as easily conned. Do a little research on the products you intend investing in. Check to see that the manufacturers and sellers can back their claims on sustainable practices – and trust your gut instinct; if something doesn’t feel right, then avoid it.
Here in Australia the ACCC (Australian Competition and consumer Commission) have put together some helpful guides:
Tips for Shopping for Products that make Environmental Claims
Educating businesses in relation to Carbon Offset Claims and the Trade Practices Act
And now back to the Sustainable Shampoo Hunt…
I have tried one commercial Shampoo so far: Ni Organic Instinct Natural Shampoo.
It fit perfectly with my agenda:
- Australian made and owned (supporting local business, and avoiding long transits that waste resources)
- Not Tested on Animals
- Organic ingredients
- Recyclable Bottle
- Doesn’t contain those nasties like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Petroleum by-products, Artificial bits and pieces, and Parabens.
It foamed nicely and smells beautiful. I revelled in that fresh, clean feeling during and after washing. My hair really liked it… but my body didn’t.
I came up in an itchy rash on my stomach and legs. When I told LTSH his response (as you would expect) was, “Aren’t you supposed to use it on your head?”
And then of course, the test and measure principle came into play at LTSH’s insistence and I waited a week before I used the shampoo again to see if it was responsible for the rash, and yes, I came up in spots that itched like mad again.
Which was a real bummer because the product fulfilled the rest of my criteria. So I’m back on the hunt.
In the meantime I attempted the old Egg Shampoo which is very nourishing for your hair.
2 Organic Grain-fed, Free-range eggs
50ml still mineral water
15ml Organic Lemon Juice
Place ingredients in blender and blend for 30 seconds at low speed. Massage into scalp and hair. Rinse thoroughly with luke warm water.
Don’t make the mistake I did and jump into a hot shower (because it was winter) to rinse your hair. The egg sets, and I spent the next half hour pulling chunks of boiled egg out of my hair.
LTSH found this rather amusing, and I earned the nick-name “Egg Head” and “Omelette Head” over the next two weeks. He also said I was a real ‘yolk’ and that I ‘cracked him up’ and had great fun ‘shelling’ out more lines.
If you come across a Shampoo and Conditioner that fits the sustainability requirements let us know, and if we can source it here, I’ll test drive and publish the results.
Please… anything to save me from more rotton egg jokes!