If you have followed a sustainable lifestyle for a while , you may be familiar with the ‘ no-poo’ methods. And if you followed me , you know that I have been shampoo free for just over 4 years now..
But why ?
First of all - to reduce packaging waste. Think just how much plastic you can save if you ditch the bottle (something like 12 bottles /year or even more.. )
Secondly, to reduce / eliminate the amount of chemicals entering the water. Yes, because what drains from the shower enters (more or less directly , depending on where you live) the waterways and the sea and oceans. With effects on wildlife (which can also, potentially, come back to us through food consumption..). You may think that sewage’s will filter these out , but this is not exactly the case. Sewage’s are made to remove nitrogen, carbon and a few other things that come out of our bathrooms. So, be very mindful of what you flush.
The concentrations of fragrances and various chemicals in coastal areas are, as a matter of fact, quite high and, since they are novel, their effects are just starting to be discovered. From mutagenic effects , to endocrine disruption (hormonal havocs that can make species infertile, and highly reduce their population numbers). The effects can also be quite subtle, maybe behavioural, and yet cause big imbalances in the ecosystem as everything is interlinked.
If you think of all of those shower you are taking (whether we really need to wash that much is a question for another time), and you multiply it for the inhabitants of the developed world , you may soon realise the amount of man-made things that go down the drain !
But don’t worry , it is not necessary to completely stop using shampoo (although I recommend it ! Your hair don’t really need to be washed and soon will take care of themselves) but I suggest you look for alternatives ...
Shampoo bars are great - and there are many kind out there. Beware, though, as some that still contains harmful ingredients such as sodium Lauryl sulphate - an endocrine disruptors that is needed to make that nice lather that we consider as the thing ‘getting us cleaned’.
Also, if you go shampoo free you may feel that you need to condition here and there. Conditioner can actually also help you feel a little cleaner by removing some of the build up. I use conditioner weekly in summer (because I have to rinse more, and sun and salt can dry it out) and biweekly in winter , but I have struggled to find a good bar . They are usually too oily , or waxy. Finally , I found a great one:from kind2.
Firstly , it comes in a totally plastic free packaging , just a small squared box with the bar inside. Secondly and thankfully , no added fragrances. Since going ‘product free’ I became very sensitive to smells - and I don’t really see the point in them . It’s a pointless chemical that gives you headaches and go down the drain... also the conditioner is made all from natural ingredients and the only ‘chemical’ is behentrimonium chloride that of course is a chemical so it may still have some impacts but it’s not persistent nor it accumulates. And mostly had green ratings on the ewg list. And it’s the thing that both conditions and helps remove some of the buildup .
Since I live in Venice and here life is so intrinsically linked to the lagoon , I like the idea of being even more mindful with what products I use.
I feel that such huge advances have been done in terms of quality of sustainable products , if I think back to when I was going to scout camps and we were told to bring ‘biodegradable’ products - and I remember my hair being hay by the end of two weeks (oh the joys of being a teenager with hay hair...) , and now we have products like this and my hair are definitely not hay after using it.
It may seem a little costly , but according to them it equates to two bottle of conditioner (and I have a feeling it will last me for a very long while)..and well, sometimes a little extra it's worthwhile, it will be supporting a small company and be sustainable, no big industries, no capitalism. If you can afford it then sometimes spending more it is necessary. While I haven’t tried the shampoo bars they also offer two kinds , and the ingredient list seems good and not ‘greenwashy’ like others (like a well known chain that start with an l... that you can smell from miles ) - so I suggest you give it a try, or at least go snoop at their website !
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