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When you hear the words “detergents, surfactants, and alcohols,” they’re most likely affiliated with a negative connotation—especially when they describe one of your most-used personal care products: shampoo. These are the main ingredients that make up shampoo today. The biggest concerns?
The surfactants sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate, otherwise known as SLES and SLS. SLES can also produce the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane, which the FDA is shockingly not required to list on the label because it’s a by-product – it’s not an “intended” ingredient.
SLES and SLS are the cheapest, most damaging surfactants commonly used in shampoo, body washes, toothpaste and cleansers—anything that foams and cleans. Why? They’re inexpensive and are effective at cutting through oil and grime.
While the importance of using organic skincare products is becoming more well-known, hair care products tend to fly more under the radar. What people don’t know is that they can be just as damaging. [Read: 8 Need to Know Benefits of Organic Hair Care Products]
SLS and SLES are not only effective at cutting through oil— but they’re also quite effective at stripping the hair of its natural sebum, taking away your hair’s natural moisture, and leaving your scalp more exposed to absorbing toxic ingredients. A more exposed scalp means everything you rub into it, let sit on it, leave on it, and color it with is absorbed straight into your scalp. If you use multiple hair care products, this is a scary thought.
While some chemicals work their way straight through the body, others can stay inside the body for up to a year! Just like skincare products, it’s not just the main ingredients causing the issue—think about the preservatives, artificial fragrance, and other additives. This illustrates why organic shampoos are critically necessary. Hormone disruptors, parabens, carcinogenic by-products, and formaldehyde do not belong on your scalp.
Remember, organic shampoos might not produce as many foamy bubbles due to the lack of surfactants and foam boosters, but they are safely getting your hair clean and protecting its natural moisture.
Another fact to remember is the stringent requirements of USDA organic certification, as not every ingredient needed to make shampoo can claim that title (however, they can still be natural and safe). You’ll often notice several ingredients will be specified as being USDA organic with an asterisk in the ingredients list.
Here are Some of the Best Organic Shampoos for Color-Treated Hair:
Rahua: Color Full Shampoo
This protective shampoo from popular brand Rahua preserves color with an exclusive plant-derived color complex of Rainforest grown oils. Enriching mineral pigments help to maintain shine and vibrancy for all shades of color-treated or highlighted hair. Rahua’s Color Full Shampoo hydrates the scalp, strengthens the hair, and leaves the hair nourished and protected.
-> Available at The Detox Market<-
Innersense: Color Awakening Hairbath
For gentle cleansing to revitalize color, Innersense’s Color Awakening Hairbath uses coconut and pumpkin seed oils, shea butter, and other emollient plant ingredients to enhance and protect color. The combination of coconut, rice bran, and avocado oils creates a gentle, softening cleansing method that is sulfate-free. Also included in sunflower seed oil, a natural antioxidant and emollient that prevents color fading.
-> Buy Yours at The Detox Market or Amazon <-
Mother Dirt: Shampoo
Color-safe and kid-friendly, this simple and gentle plant-based shampoo helps to thoroughly cleanse and increase the time between your next wash. If you’re one who prefers products with very few ingredients, this shampoo is for you. It contains two plant-based cleansers, rose water, baobab seed protein (softener), and squalene (an olive oil derived conditioner).
->Available at Credo Beauty and Amazon<-
R+Co Gemstone: Color Shampoo
This vegan and cruelty-free shampoo helps to preserve and prolong color. Hibiscus extract protects, softens and conditions, while pea extract helps to preserve color and protect against discoloration. Rice extract smoothes, retains moisture, and adds shine. Lastly, golden root extract provides antioxidant protection and combats thermal stress. These ingredients are sourced from Egypt, India, Brazil, and Sweden.
-> Get Yours on Amazon <-
Juice Organics: Color Protect Shampoo
It doesn’t take a deep wallet to be able to use organic shampoo. This shampoo from Juice Organics protects against color fading, formulated without parabens, silicones, phthalates, sulfates, propylene glycol, artificial colors, and synthetic fragrances. Color is protected with antioxidant-rich fig and organic borage and rosehip oils; linseed oil helps to enhance shine. The ingredient complex helps to deeply nourish against harmful UV rays.
-> Buy Now on Amazon <-
Do you have any tips on maintaining your hair color? What shampoo do you use for your color treated hair? Share your stories below, we love to hear them!
To Your Colorful Hair,