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Finding Natural, Organic Shampoo in the UK
More people are turning to natural, organic shampoo in the UK – it’s becoming increasingly popular. It seems that more people are becoming aware of what they use on their bodies and how the skin absorbs the ingredients of these products.
Consumers today are simply becoming a lot more health and environmentally conscious, and there is a much greater connection to where our ingredients are sourced from. Alongside this is a greater respect for the planet and the wondrous natural ingredients it can offer us, many of which are healing and act as nutritional medicine. This is true for what we put on our skin externally as well as what we consume internally.
We can choose nourishing ingredients from Mother Earth or countless synthetic ingredients, some (not all) of which are potentially harmful and damaging to our health. The choice is always ours, and certified organic products are becoming more appreciated for having the knowledge that they were ethically and sustainably made, as well as the reassurance that no nasties are being introduced to our bodies, only nourishing, natural ingredients.
But it’s important to note that there’s a lot of people trying to take advantage of this surge in interest of organic, natural products, with many brands ‘greenwashing’ their products, which means purposefully leaving a false impression to convince consumers that their product is organic and natural without this being entirely or even remotely true.
This article will explore why finding a natural, organic shampoo (UK) is a good option, the natural ingredients you can look for in your shampoo for the healthiest hair and scalp and exactly how to avoid being a victim of greenwashing.
Why Choose Natural, Organic Shampoo (UK)?
The following information can offer an insight into why natural, organic shampoos are gaining momentum in the UK, and in other corners of the world.
Firstly, there are three big harsh chemicals often found in shampoos. These are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and parabens. SLS and SLES are used as a sudsing agent. This is what allows shampoo to lather, but many people with sensitive skin find them to be irritating. In some cases, parabens can cause skin irritation as well and these are commonly used in shampoo as a preservative.
There has been evidence that SLS can cause environmental damage by making its way into waterways from our showers. It has been shown to kill off certain types of microorganisms that fish feed on. This, in turn, impacts the food chain.
Making the switch to safer, healthier options is enabling people to break the cycle of exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Alternatively, natural plant and herb extracts nourish the hair and scalp.
Why are More People Choosing Organic Haircare?
In recent years, there has been a growing interest and use of organic skincare and food. As people become more aware of the toxicity their bodies meet each day, finding natural, organic shampoo in the UK seems to be a natural progression, as haircare products are used on a regular basis.
There is also a greater level of awareness surrounding scalp health. The scalp is skin and is highly sensitive. The scalp often gets a lot of products thrown at it. Think shampoo, conditioner, styling serum, finishing treatments, hair spray! If all these products are toxic, and we use them often, it’s no wonder people are becoming more interested in finding alternative options to nourish their scalp, instead of letting their scalp absorb all the toxicity of their usual products.
Many experts make the connection between haircare choices and the skin. It’s true that using natural, organic shampoo can potentially ease skin conditions like contact dermatitis or eczema, as these shampoos are less likely to cause irritation (unless your individual skin reacts to a natural ingredient: this happens too).
As people become more environmentally conscious, products that do less damage once they’ve disappeared down our sink are becoming more popular. Biodegradability is becoming a word that is now more important than ever to consumers who care about how the products we choose to use affect climate change.
The belief that finding organic, natural products are healthier and less harsh for our hair and scalp means that more people are seeking out gentler products that are not only better for their health, but for the health of the environment of our beautiful planet too.
The Difference Between Organic and Natural
It seems that both words are everywhere now. And the way they are used are to make us believe that the product advertised is your best option. However, there are no legal requirements within the world of cosmetic products to say that a company cannot use the word organic or natural over the packaging of a product, even if the product only partly uses natural or organic ingredients.
There is also a difference between ‘organic’ and ‘natural’. In order to be classed as organic by an organic certification body, a product must meet strict requirements, such as being produced from an organic farm, without the use of synthetic fertilisers, herbicides and genetically modified ingredients. Organic ingredients must be used where possible. Any non-organic ingredients must be made using green chemistry principles.
Natural, on the other hand, has wider interpretations. Whilst it would be easy to assume that natural simply means using ingredients from the earth, some companies use artificial ‘nature identical’ ingredients made in a lab and brand this as natural. Certain natural ingredients, such as water, salt or clay, are not products of farming and therefore cannot be organic. Therefore, some products made with natural ingredients are not certified organic. They do not meet the organic requirements if these natural ingredients are used in large quantities. In these cases, companies can opt for natural certification.
Natural Ingredients for Healthy Hair and Scalp
The following are nourishing ingredients you might want to look for when searching for your natural, organic shampoo (UK).
Okay, so we’ve all heard of argan oil by now. It’s everywhere, but this is for good reason as it’s very beneficial for hair and scalp. Rich in Vitamin E, it’s soothing for the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth. As Vitamin E is an antioxidant, it boosts cells when massaged into the scalp as a shampoo, so that stronger, healthier hair can grow.
Argan oil can moisturise the scalp, fighting dandruff and dry scalp. It also be used to treat split ends and heal damage from overexposure to heat and chemical/artificial treatments. The oil is commonly used for added gloss and shine, and for soothing frizz to make the hair more manageable.
In shampoo, argan oil restores softness and shine whilst strengthening the hair. This makes it a great ingredient to look for if your hair is brittle, dull or damaged. If argan oil is in your shampoo, it means you will be nourishing your hair every single time you wash it, in contrast to some artificial ingredients used in mainstream products, which could potentially be causing more damage than anything else.
Amalaki is an Ayurvedic herb which has brilliant health properties when it’s eaten. It’s rich in Vitamin C, containing many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B Complex, Iron, Carotene, Phosphorus and Calcium. Amalaki is just as nourishing when applied topically, promoting hair strength and shine. With antiviral and antimicrobial properties, amalaki is thought to be helpful for those who suffer with yeast infections and other scalp issues. Amalaki could help to treat dandruff.
It also has a high iron and antioxidant content, reducing hair loss by not allowing free radicals to damage hair follicles or impact the hormones that can cause premature greying.
Amalaki is used in the treatment of premature grey hair because of its rich Vitamin C content, which preserves melanin in the hair follicle to prevent grey hair.
Brahmi, also known as the ‘herb of grace’ is another medicinal herb in Ayurveda. Known to promote the overall health of the hair, it can make hair grow stronger and thicker. Brahmi prevents and treats split ends by creating a natural, protective layer around the hair follicles that keeps the hair fibres healthy.
By keeping the hair roots nourished, Brahmi will reduce hair loss by making the roots stronger. The scalp is kept cool with Brahmi, which makes it a better place for the hair follicles to thrive, encouraging hair to grow.
Brahmi is moisturising, removing dry skin, reducing dandruff and preventing itchy scalp. It’s also commonly used to prevent and treat grey hair.
This herb is also called Kesharaj or ‘King of Hair’! Bhringraj is a traditional and ancient Ayurvedic treatment for the hair. This medicinal herb grows in moist areas and its leaf is thought to be a powerful liver cleanser in Ayurveda. It can be used to treat dandruff and dry scalp and has even been suggested as a treatment option for treating baldness.
It may prevent hair loss because it’s nourishing for the hair follicles, containing nutrients that support strong and healthy hair growth. It’s known to be one of the best remedies for grey hair treatment in Ayurveda.
How to Find Natural, Organic Shampoo in the UK
To find any organic product in the UK, you can use the Soil Association directory to check if a company is certified organic. By checking the company, you can be sure that the product has been produced ethically and sustainable to the high standards of the Soil Association, without the potentially harmful ingredients many beauty products on the market contain.
Are you looking for a natural, organic shampoo in the UK? Fushi has three certified organic shampoos: Argan and Amalaki Shampoo, Scalp Soother Herbal Shampoo and Stimulator Herbal Shampoo.
Written by Jess Burman
BA (Honours) Writing