Are Organic Haircare Products Better For You?
Organic haircare products have recently grown in popularity. Why is this the case? With information so readily available and easy to access, our society is becoming more health conscious and concerned about our footprint on the environment. There is still a bit of haziness revolving around the word ‘organic’ as it is commonly used interchangeably with the words ‘natural’ and sometimes even ‘vegan’ which means something completely different.
Not to be mistaken, an organic product is one that contains only ingredients that are free of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, sewage sludge, ionising radiation and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This means that the products are less affected by chemicals and therefore are gentler on the scalp and skin. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is a vegan hair product as some organic products may use animal ingredients sourced organically.
A lot of what we put onto our scalp and skin gets absorbed into our bloodstream, so we need to be careful with what we put on our bodies. Removing the nasties from non-organic products can only be more beneficial for your hair, skin and overall health. Some people may still be reluctant because of the difference in price point – organic products do tend to cost a bit more. So, are organic products worth it? Are they actually better for you?
Non-organic products are full of synthetic products that can harm you over time. Organic products are free of the following ingredients:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
Sulphate is a surfactant used in many shampoos to create a rich lather effect. While this gives you the feeling of a good clean, it is also removing all the natural oils in your hair that nourish your scalp.
Silicone is a plastic-type polymer commonly used in conditioners to give it the illusion of healthy hair as it fills the porosity and gives hair a shiny coating. Though dry and damaged hair may look like it is healthily sealed under silicone, this is not the kind of shine you want. You want the shine to come from within the cuticle layer and for the light to be reflected from your healthy hair, not a synthetic plastic. Over-use of silicone can also cause a build-up and the only way to remove it is by using a sulphate, thus creating a vicious cycle.
Parabens are a preservative that is used in products to prolong its shelf life. Though there has been no evidence that paraben can cause cancer, but they are able to penetrate the skin and stay in the tissue. Paraben has been known to disrupt hormone function by mimicking estrogen. Paraben has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues because an excess of estrogen can trigger an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumours.
Free of these three ingredients, organic haircare products contain less irritants, making it gentler and safer for people with allergies or sensitive skin. Full of natural ingredients that are packed with proteins, vitamins, fruit extracts and essential oils. Organic products provide the correct nourishment that results in long term benefits.
Are organic haircare products really better for you?
While there is no proof that organic products are better, everything is better in moderation. The more you expose your body to chemicals, the more your body would experience long term effects. You can break your routine up by switching between organic and non-organic products.
With its gentle formula, organic haircare is beneficial because it reduces irritation in more sensitive skin and those who are allergy prone. Additionally, because the ingredients are gentler, organic haircare will not strip hair of its colour. You can have long term benefits and longer lasting shine.
What are other advantages of using organic haircare products?
Not only are you saving your health, but you’re also saving the environment when you opt for an organic product. Choosing organic means choosing farming practices without the use of synthetic chemicals, GMOs and pesticides that are harmful to the environment. Additionally, you also avoid allowing these ingredients to run down the drain and into the waterways, further damaging the environment.
Are organic products worth the price point?
Going organic is a big habit shift as you have to start making more conscious decisions about what you put into your shopping basket and whether you can fit it into your budget. While there is no proof as yet of the long-term benefits, organic products should be something you consider if you care about holistic health. If cutting pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics out of your routine or caring for the environment is important to you, then it is worth the investment. It all comes down to what your values are and what works best for your hair and skin. Thankfully, more organisations are aware of this and more organic products are being released into the market, making it more affordable in the future.
What should you be looking for?
These are the ingredients that you should avoid in your products:
- Sodium laureth sulfate
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- Ammonium lauryl sulfate
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
- Polyethelyne glycol
- Alcohol (if listed as one of the first four ingredients)
- Synthetic Fragrance/Parfum
- Propylene Glycol (anti-freeze)
- Siloxanes (ending in -siloxane or -methicone)
We hope this blog has helped you make a decision about whether organic products are better for you. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.