Academic journal article Teaching Science

Shunning the 'Poo: There's a New Movement Afoot That Might Make Your Hair Stand on End. It's the 'No-Poo' Movement: Shampoo, That Is. Dedicated Folk Are Shunning Sweet Scented Commercial Shampoos, and Instead Are Washing Their Hair with Materials You'd Find in Most Kitchen Pantries

Academic journal article Teaching Science

Shunning the 'Poo: There's a New Movement Afoot That Might Make Your Hair Stand on End. It's the 'No-Poo' Movement: Shampoo, That Is. Dedicated Folk Are Shunning Sweet Scented Commercial Shampoos, and Instead Are Washing Their Hair with Materials You'd Find in Most Kitchen Pantries

Article excerpt

IS SHAMPOO A SHAM?

People shun ready-made shampoo for different reasons. Some think it's better for the environment. A few do it to save money. Others believe it's better for their health.

If you read the back of most shampoo bottles, you'll find a list of chemicals such as polyquaternium-10, phthalates, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate (or SLS). These ingredients are used as thickeners, wetting agents, perfumes, foaming agents and preservatives to give your hair body and bounce, making it shine squeaky clean. They also make the shampoo feel more like shampoo-thick, foamy and scented.

While these chemicals are non-toxic when used during your regular beauty shampoo, particular chemicals can cause mild skin irritation in some people. There are also concerns about what happens to some of these chemicals when they break down in the environment: not to mention the wasted plastic bottle.

So, what's the alternative?

GREASE AND OIL CHANGE

It's a fact of life - hair gets dirty. Your scalp secretes oil called sebum from its sebaceous glands. This protects the protein structure of the hair, so it doesn't splinter. Unfortunately, sebum collects dust and flakes of dead skin, giving you that greasy-pirate look.

During puberty, your skin and hair may get even greasier, as changing levels of hormones pulsing around your body affect sebum production.

So, maybe you think no-poo is not for you? …

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