People who’ve known me for a while probably know that two things I’m adamant about are to not needlessly spend money and to use products that aren’t dangerous. As it happens, there is something that is used in most households in developed countries that is quite harmful when used as intended. Yet, it does have a use that is a huge money saving on the laundry, namely as a laundry pre-wash.
That substance might surprise a lot of people; hair shampoo. There is no joking about this. Every single top selling name brand hair shampoo, without exception, contains exceptionally harsh chemicals that are extremely bad for your hair and others that are equally bad for your skin. The brand makes little difference and the expense of the shampoo doesn’t make it safe; inexpensive and expensive are equally dangerous.
As an example, one major brand contains (among other things) sodium Lauryl sulfate, Cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium chloride and several other chemicals. These are extremely powerful chemicals that are designed to cause suds, break the surface tension of water, dissolve oil, and they actually remove the outer layer of hair to make it feel “soft”. In actuality, if you looked under a microscope at a strand of hair that has been treated with this stuff, it looks like someone went at it with an axe. That is basically what happens when the outer layer of the hair is removed.
Some of the most common chemicals used in shampoo are also known carcinogens. That is, they are overwhelmingly implicated in causing cancer. They are legal for use in shampoo only because they aren’t consumed, as if that is the only way a person can absorb carcinogens. It isn’t.
As bad as this stuff is for your hair and scalp, shampoo is great for use as a spot stain remover and laundry prewash. Indeed, this fact should make you think twice about using it on your head. However, if you want a powerful pre-wash that does better than any of the name brands, to a pint of water, add 1/4 cup of shampoo (any kind) and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. It can be dabbed on or put in a spray bottle and sprayed on. Use this like you’d use any pre-wash and stain remover. It fights stains and removes odors. Best of all, it is far cheaper than the store-bought kinds, yet it does a much better job.
Want a safe alternative for your hair? That one is extremely easy. While homemade lye soap remains easily the best, not many people make their own soap anymore. So instead, use Dawn brand dish soap. It is safe for use on wildlife, so it is safe on your skin and in your hair, without damaging it. If you simply must have something that smells strongly, like most shampoos, just add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
The bottom line is that if you care about yourself, your loved ones, and the condition of your and their hair, you’ll leave the hair shampoo in the laundry room where it belongs. In the bathroom, replace it with a bottle of Dawn. You won’t believe the beautiful, shiny, and nice looking difference you’ll see in only a few weeks. Yet, your clothing will end up looking cleaner, too. If you don’t believe me, give it a try.