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The Truth about Your Shampoo

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People, people, people. Look at your shampoo. Some people use expensive shampoos, some people use shampoos that cost fifty cents at the nearest Family Dollar, others use shampoos that are made to look fancy, like the Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut shampoo and conditioner with the coconut extract at the bottom of a 24-item list. (19 item for the conditioner.)

I took six of the shampoo and conditioner bottles in my grandmother’s huge house and analyzed them. Remember, I do this for you and your health, not because I have nothing better to do. This is actually a very important subject. A topic that is severely ignored by the general public, most of whom wash their hair at least once a month. Don’t you want to know that there is a carcinogen (cancer-causing subject) found in your shampoo? Don’t you want to know that you are lathering your scalp, a cavern of dead skin, with a skin irritant?

I thought so.

I took six bottles of shampoo and conditioner (two of which are 2-in-1), and four of them contain something called sodium laureth sulfate.

It’s the second ingredient, after water.
It’s an irritant for the eyes and skin.
It contains a breast cancer causing substance calling 1,4-dioxane. (5th paragraph Campaign for Safe Cosmetics)

What is that? Well, it’s easier to explain if we go past the shampoo, into the factories, right where all the ingredients are sitting there waiting to be mixed up, processed, and poured into those shampoo and conditioner bottles.

First, there is a substance called ethylene-oxide, which by itself is a breast cancer causing substance. It is combined with other chemicals to make those chemicals less harsh, less of an irritant. This specific process of combination is called ethoxylation. During this process, 1,4-dioxane pops out like a newborn baby. This substance is also a carcinogen, and it sits in that other chemical until you use it and then expose yourself to it. (Fifth paragraph, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics)

This process takes place in shampoo. Some of them. Not all of them. If you just look at the ingredients of your shampoo at the supermarket and you see the ingredient sodium laureth sulfate, then you know that your shampoo contains a chemical that was converted into a less harsh substance by putting that ethylene-oxide stuff in it (thus, putting the 1,4-dioxane in it. (Fifth paragraph, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics)

(I don’t make these crazy words up just to confuse you, folks. Blame the scientists.)

So, the second ingredient in four out of the six shampoos I picked up contains a breast cancer causing substance.

Now, the shampoo companies know this. They know this! And they have opportunities to not use the substance. But they don’t. Heard this all the time, hu? They could vacuum-strip 1/4 of the chemical out, or they could just use not-so-harsh or not-harsh-at-all chemicals in their shampoos and conditioners. (Sixth paragraph, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics)

The good thing is, organic shampoos and conditioners can’t have that substance, or else they can’t be labeled as organic. (First paragraph, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics)

I’m not an organic-advertizing monkey person for whatever organic companies are out there, I’m just stating facts. At 3:19 pm. On a Sunday. I’m tired. I had really bad tomato soup this afternoon. Feel bad for me. Nah, I don’t need your sympathy.



Bibliography:


"Campaign for Safe Cosmetics : 1,4-dioxane." Campaign for Safe Cosmetics : Index. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Web. 29 Jan. 2012. <http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=288>.



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AbigailPalmer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm
wow - I think next time I go shopping I'll pick up some organic shampoo, after reading this :) thanks - great article
 
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