My two year quest for an effective, all-natural shampoo is over. It ended last week when I noticed that my newest bottle of all-natural shampoo (this time from Etsy…probably should have known better) seemed to be causing my hair to fall out. My panicked reaction: I went to the store and bought a $3 bottle of Citre Shine. Sodium lauryl sulfate? Check. Artificial fragrance? Check. Sigh.
Kevin raised his eyebrows when I brought home a bottle of something that didn’t have a speck of green on the label. I felt slightly uneasy about all the chemicals I was choosing to reintroduce to my life. (It ranks a 6 on the Cosmetics Database.) In the end, I decided I was more fed up with natural shampoos than I was paranoid about a small amount of synthetic chemicals.
No joke — my hair feels softer, cleaner, and shinier than it has in years. It stopped coming out five strands at a time. That made me wonder: is it reasonable to expect people to pay up to 20 times as much for an all natural product that works half as well just because it’s greener?
Probably not. For the most part, I’ve had pretty good luck with natural products. I love my Seventh Generation dish soap and laundry detergent. Sure, Palmolive has better lather and Tide might be able to get things whiter, but the green versions work fine for everything but shampoo. I tried everything from the light green drugstore versions to the expensive stuff that had to be ordered online. The expensive stuff worked…okay. The bad ones were fairly awful, and most of them still had synthetic chemicals.
I understand that the planet is more important than my hair, which is an evolutionary leftover with minimal actual function. But do I really have to sacrifice every personal vanity to be green[er]? Can’t I keep one? How selfish is it to want hair that isn’t sticky, heavy, tangled, or falling out?
All of which is to say that I can kind of understand it when someone who wants to be more environmentally conscious tells me that she’s tried a green alternative and it doesn’t work as well as her beloved Brand X that she’s been using for the past y years. Sometimes it takes a lot more persistence to find a viable green option. Sometimes the green version really doesn’t deliver, even though it costs more. Sometimes it’s hard to make myself buy the green version, even knowing all of the environmental reasons that I should.
And every once in a while, I give up. It’s not ideal, but the world will not end because I switched back to regular shampoo. Two steps forward, one step back. No one said it was going to be easy.
What are some of the green setbacks you’ve encountered? And what on earth should I do with the rest of my hair-removing, all-natural shampoo?