The Strange Detox I Never Heard of or Expected

A few months back I had stumbled across the website, discovering just how toxic most of my personal bathroom products were. In doing so I did a deep clean and purge of everything I used on myself, product wise.

This included shampoo and conditioner. I switched to Avalon Organics Shampoo, which I loved the smell and the feel of, along with a bunch of other natural products I now love. I began to notice though that unlike when I had used regular store-bought products or even expensive salon brands, I was needing to wash my hair every couple of days. Normally I always considered myself very lucky. I could easily go a whole week if not close to two with my hair feeling just fine.

My hair began to feel more and more oily. It was getting annoying, if I let it go more than two days my hair felt greasy and even itchy. I began thinking this switch to natural might be a bad idea and that the products don’t really work.

It occurred to me as I lay in bed feeling almost like what seemed like grains of sand coming out of my head – is it possible my scalp is detoxing?

I had never heard of such a thing. I searched for it online anyway and low and behold! It is a thing. Scalp detox from chemical shampoo is a real verifiable thing. Even Google who almost never agrees with me or verifys any kind of detox as legitimate popped it right up first thing.

This is what Google had to say on the subject: “Switching from conventional hair care can be tricky. The scalp and hair will go through a detox phase during which they are slowly freed from the buildup of synthetic cleansing and conditioning agents. Your hair may feel sticky, matted, or tangled. This is the most common of the detox symptoms. When your hair releases all the chemical build up. Plastics from your previous hair care products will stick to anything they touch and may even build up grains that feel like small balls clinging to the surface of the scalp that have to be picked or scratched off.”

As it turns out, it can take 4 to 6 weeks for your scalp and hair to detoxify and adjust to natural shampoos and conditioners.  That is a lot of toxins! This phase isn’t pleasant. But I was thrilled to learn that it is a phase.

Considering what is in those beautifully designed bottles we all love so much, I am very happy I decided to make the switch. As it turns out some of the ingredients are downright dangerous for our health.

Some common potentially hazardous hair care ingredients include:

Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen.

Sulfates are harsh detergents made of sulfur-containing mineral salts. They are harmful to marine life and the ocean.

Phthalates – plasticizers that have been regarded in many countries to be potential carcinogens, are used in part to make the fragrance in shampoos and other cosmetic products linger. Phthalates are also strongly linked to endocrine disruption, early puberty in girls, and increased asthma in children.

Parabens – a preservative to increase shelf life. They can increase a risk of skin cancer and hormonal issues.

Triclosan – an antibacterial agent it is a known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor.

Sodium Chloride – makes shampoos thicker. It is an irritant and can cause itching and flaking.

Sodium Laureth Sulphate – foaming agent. Sodium laureth sulfate produces another possible carcinogen 1,4-dioxane as a byproduct. 1,4-dioxane has been linked to liver and kidney damage, as it’s a byproduct, it won’t be listed on the labels. Surfactants break down surface tension and allow dirt, oil, and other substances to be lifted from the hair. 

Polyethlene glycol – a petroleum derivative. It is a suspected carcinogen.

Dimethcone – plastic that coats the hair to make it feel smoother. It builds up over time and can sink into the scalp.

And the list goes on!
This is the crap that is oozing out of my scalp.
Disgusted is what I am. None of these ingredients should be used or marketed to us as safe or healthy to use on our bodies. They are some of the same ingredients used in floor cleaners.

My advice? Suck it up and go through a nasty hair detox. 4 to 6 weeks out of your life with questionable hair days is far preferable to cancer down the road. Plus, my hair now feels softer than I ever remember it being!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lisa Marie Donohoe says:

    Sarah, your knowledge and research on these toxic personal care products are amazing and so educational !!! I am stunned at how toxic and down right deadly our own personal hygiene products are, from shampoo to deodorant to female hygiene products and so on !!! Thank you so much for all your recommendations and your diligent research, into what products are toxic and dangerous to our health !!! I appreciate that you give us suggestions on clean, organic, healthy alternative products to use !!! Please keep up your wonderful and informative emails !!! Thank you so much !

  2. Sarah Barendse says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write in! It made my day 🙂 I share what I find because I truly hate to see anyone sick or suffering. Especially when its avoidable. I am amazed myself at this find. It was something that took me totally by surprise.

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