Have you seen no chemical craze in cosmetics these days? Yes, the trend of natural has caught up fast.
The most common chemicals in regular shampoos are SLS and parabens. They both are the ones that are absent in natural shampoos.
If you are not aware of those 2 strange chemical terms. Then, in simple terms, these ingredients make the shampoos function.
SLS is the technical term for the lathering ingredient in shampoos. The full form for the same is Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
While the parabens work as the preservation ingredients.
What is a non-lathering shampoo?
A shampoo that does not give suds is a non-lathering shampoo. I know it sounds weird. But indeed such shampoos do exist. And yes, they do work as well. They clean the hair well. Moreover, they do not leave the hair damaged, unlike the common chemical shampoos.
The shampoos that lack SLSs do not form a froth. SLS is the ingredient common to all cleaning products. Be it shampoos, washing detergents, toothpaste, and even the toilet cleaners.
How is cleaning possible without lather?
The fact is that bubbles and lather have got nothing to do with cleaning. Cleaning is a process to remove oil and grime.
The process happens with the cleaning substances forming a layer around oil and dirt. Then, they form bonds with them. With the agitation of washing, the bond gets removed with water. Thus, leaving the surface that was dirty, spic after washing.
This is the way how soaps and detergents work. When we see the suds formed at the time of cleaning. That is when the dirt and grime wash away by the process of cleaning.
But it comes as a surprise that non-lathering products could also wash. Moreover, they do it even when there is no apparent presence of bubbles.
They work the same way as the lathering cleaners work. It is just the absence of froth that is peculiar to non-lathering cleansers.
Why use non-lathering shampoo
The simple reason to use non-lathering shampoo is the absence of toxicity.
The SLS score high on poisonous content that hampers the living being. They also interfere with the smooth functioning of hormones. This can further lead to headaches, irritability, and cancer in extreme cases.
Apart from causing harm to humans. They also hamper nature. Most of these ingredients in detergents are not bio-degradable.
This causes them to leach into the crevices into the ground. And from there they land into the water sources. This further pollutes the water and its nearby surroundings.
Hence, the flora and fauna around the deposits of these chemicals also have a deep effect. Apart from SLS and parabens. There are also many other ingredients in shampoo that are harmful. Artificial colors and fragrances are the most common ones.
So, for their own good. As well as for the long-term benefits of the mother Earth. A switch to no-lathering shampoos helps.
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Examples of non-lathering shampoo
There are several ingredients that serve as an effective shampoo without the lather. I am enlisting 3 of the most common ones as below:
1. Baking Soda Shampoo
The most common non-lathering shampoo is the baking soda. It is the same powder that is common to households world over.
It is a staple in baking and fermenting procedures.
Due to its leavening properties. It finds its use as a raising and proving agent.
It works the same way in cleaning too.
One can use baking soda to wash the scalp and hair. Baking soda moves the dust, dirt, and oil from their places. Which then get removed along with the baking soda following a water rinse.
Being in a powder form. The granules of soda also scrub the surface of scalp well. Thereby, the mane and the entire head get a thorough cleaning. That too minus the foamy bubbles. Not to mention the underlying harms of toxicity and a possibility of carcinogens.
2. Soap nuts
This is a fruit common to tropics. In India, it is common as Reetha or Aritha.
The dried form of the fruit without the seeds is what works as a shampoo. The excellent cleaning properties of the fruit will surprise you, in case you use it for the first time.
Though most of the natives of villages in India are not unaware of this miraculous fruit.
One can use the dried powder form of this fruit. The other way is to boil about 5-6 seeds in water for 15 minutes. Then, use that water to wash hair once it cools.
The fruit contains an ingredient named Saponin. Saponin is a natural detergent, which provides the cleaning properties.
Apart from getting a clean mane. Washing hair with soapnuts has advantages in the long run as well. Reetha makes the hair fuller and keeps them conditioned. It lacks the drying ingredients which are common to regular chemical shampoos. Hence, proves beneficial to hair in the long run.
Though unlike baking soda. Soap nuts do form a little lather. That may give some a sense of satisfaction that is akin to cleaning with regular shampoos.
This shampoo method is common to many. Since ages, eggs have worked as a shampoo and a nourishing agent for hair.
The protein content of eggs fortifies the hair. The fats in it help to clean the hair. I know that sounds counter-intuitive to cleaning oils from the hair.
No matter how weird it seems. But the fact is that oils dissolve in oils.
That is why the fats in the yolk wash away the oils in the hair with ease.
One can whisk egg(s) to a thick dense state. An electric whisk or manual vigorous whisking with a fork works well for the desired effect.
Then, use the resultant goop to wash hair. It feels and looks much like the usual shampoos. The only drawback being the odor.
On the other hand, the oils also impart conditioning benefits to the hair. You can see other methods of making egg hair masks by reading this article.
In Conclusion :
Washing hair without shampoo is possible. It may daunt the conceived mindset. But it is for real.
Few foods from the kitchen can work to clean the mane. In fact, they may work so well that you might abandon the regular shampoos forever.
I know many who have done it. For sure, I have done it for years.
Without a doubt, that was the best decision I took in my life.
Wondering whether going shampoo free is for you? You can find the answers by referring to my no poo journey in my No Poo book.
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