Day 224: Toxic Shampoo And More

shampoo2If you didn’t already need another reason to stop using store bought shampoo and conditioner, the Canadian government just decided that 16 chemicals, two of which are common ingredients found in shampoo and cosmetics, are actually toxic.

According to a story on, Siloxanes D4 and D5  which are found in products such as shampoo, antiperspirants, lipstick, textiles, paints and coatings, sealants, plastics, and food additives, were determined to be substances toxic to the environment.

Other substances, such as epichlorohydrin and isoprene, were found to be so toxic to humans that they will be banned from being used in cosmetics and will be added to the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist.

Luckily, I don’t have to worry about my conditioner because as of yesterday it contains only one ingredient: apple cider vinegar.  As an aside, it felt really weird to pour vinegar on my head, and I worried that I would smell like a salad, but it turned out ok.  My hair is soft and. . . well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say managable, but it’s soft.

I made the conditioner switchover in an attempt to save on plastic packaging, but I also feel good about the fact that my choice is non-toxic and presumably better for the environment.

I think that’s something we should think about when we’re buying cleaning products, be they for the bathroom tiles or for our hair.  Every bottle of stuff (lotion, shampoo, dishsoap, etc) is eventually going to make its way into our waterways via the sewer.  Would you dump a whole bottle of pine-scented floor cleaner into the sewer?  Probably not.  Then why do it little by little over time?  Isn’t it the same thing in the end?

I know that using baking soda and vinegar to clean isn’t without it’s disadvantages (baking soda after all is made from limestone -a mined substance), but it’s probably better than pouring the contents of a plastic bottle emblazoned with a skull and crossbones down the drain.

As for shampoo and conditioner, if you aren’t willing to forgo it altogether or to take the vinegar plunge, at least check out how toxic your personal care products are at Skin Deep, the cosmetic safety database.



Filed under Around the house, Hygiene

4 responses to “Day 224: Toxic Shampoo And More

  1. Hi!

    Have been shampoo-free since December 2007, very happy with it!! :))

    Especially if I consider the toxics and the hassle.. 🙂
    YAY for gong for vinegar instead of conditioner!!

    Saw your comment on The Rubbish diet – do you make your own toothpaste? 🙂 Am interested! :))

  2. rhy

    yikes you’re going to scare me out of my obsessive conditioning habits!

  3. Carrie

    The Soap Works makes various kinds of glycerin-based bar and liquid soaps that are sold without any packaging. They are an Ontario company, so unfortunately not local. They make a combined shampoo and conditioner bar that I like (I have shoulder-length fine hair). In Vancouver, you can buy it from Genesis Nutrition (Broadway and Kingsway); it is probably also available in various health food / natural food stores.

    • Thanks for the tip! I have stopped using conditioner altogether since I ran out. I tried apple cider vinegar, and it was ok, but I keep forgetting to bring it into the shower with me. A two in one bar is definitely up my alley as I notice my hair is getting even more dry than usual what with the lack of conditioner.

      I still have a partial bottle of shampoo under my sink, but then I’ll try it out.

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