Natural vs. synthetic: what’s in your shampoo (and what’s not in ours)?

As consumers, we’re becoming ever more aware of the potentially harmful ingredients found in the products we use every day. The result? Natural and organic alternatives are popping up everywhere and here atNo Ordinary, we couldn’t be happier about it.

As professional stylists, we know a thing or two about quality hair care and we take great pride in the ingredients that go into our products. But we take even greater pride in the ingredients we leave out.

So, what is inyour shampoo? And how does No Ordinary differ?

What’s in your shampoo? Silicones:

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The purpose of silicones in shampoo is to give the appearance of smooth, shiny, healthy looking hair – a job they do pretty well. But unfortunately, as synthetic materials, the results they produce aresynthetic in themselves. What you’re actually left with is the illusion ofhealthy hair, with any underlying issues masked by what is essentially a ‘coverup’ layer.

Over time, these layers build up and form a barrier, preventing essential oils and moisture from penetrating the hair and maintaining its natural balance. As a result, you shampoo more often, creatinga vicious cycle.

The No Ordinary way:

We carefully combine natural ingredients that work inharmony with your hair and scalp, such as Aloe Vera – known for its hydratingproperties – and a range of essential oils that promote natural strength andshine. No cover ups. No temporary solutions. Just consistently strong, wellnourished, beautiful hair.

What’s in yourshampoo? Sodium laureth sulphate (SLS):

SLS is a surfactant – a substance that lowers the tensionbetween two liquids – and is the foaming agent used to produce the lather formedwhen shampoo mixes with water. As both a cheap synthetic and an effectivecleanser, it’s a common ingredient in many hair care products.

But despite its effectiveness as a cleansing agent, SLS isessentially a powerful detergent, long term use of which may cause irritationand an itchy, flaky scalp. It’s also thought by some to damage the hair, makingit weak and brittle.

The No Ordinary way:

As an alternative cleansing agent, we use a derivative ofthe coconut. This provides a light and sufficient cleanse whilst maintainingthe natural balance of your hair’s essential oils, promoting a healthy scalpand stimulating hair growth.

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What’s in yourshampoo? Parabens:

Parabens are preservatives and though more common in skincare, they can still be found in some hair care products. Preservatives are anessential ingredient in shampoos and conditioners as without them theseproducts offer the perfect environment for the growth of mould and bacteria.

Parabens however are recognised as xenoestrogens –potentially capable of interfering with the natural hormone, oestrogen. As highlevels of oestrogen are associated with certain types of cancer there’sincreasing concern around the use of Parabens in our everyday products. Whilstthere’s currently no conclusive evidence to link the two, we prefer to usepreservatives that leave us in no doubt whatsoever.

The No Ordinary way:

We use food grade preservatives that are perfectly safe forhuman consumption (but please don’t eat our products!!). These ensure ourshampoos and conditioners stay free of any harmful bacteria and remain 100%effective for their entire 24-month shelf life.

What’s in yourshampoo? Synthetic fragrances:

Synthetic fragrances of any kind are a complete no no forus. Not only are they made up of a high percentage of chemicals derived fromcrude oil, they are also widely known to contain carcinogenic additives andtoxic substances linked to allergies, birth defects and a whole host of seriousdiseases.

Synthetic fragrances can also cause what’s known as endocrinedisruption. Your endocrine system is made up of the glands that producehormones essential for a healthy body. It regulates everything – your growthand development, your metabolism, even your mood. Disruption of this system cancause a number of serious diseases including diabetes, cancer and obesity.

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The No Ordinary way:

We stay clear of any synthetic fragrances whatsoever, instead using the natural scents of the essential oils found in our products. Scents known for their uplifting and energising qualities. Not only do thesenatural fragrances leave you feeling revitalised, they ensure our products haveno detrimental effects on your body’s internal system.

Making the move tonatural hair care:

Making the move from your go to synthetic shampoo to anatural alternative won’t produce magical results overnight. Your hair needstime to adjust to its new regime, but the end results will be well worth thewait.

It takes at least a week for your hair and scalp to adjustto working on their own, instead of relying on the quick fix from the siliconesand sulphates they’re used to. On rare occasions, you may notice that your hairbecomes slightly lank. This is the natural shampoo removing old silicone buildup, allowing the hair and scalp to return to a healthy balance.

Since it’s free of any artificial foaming agent, you mayfind the natural shampoo doesn’t produce as much lather – this is perfectly normal,and we advise that you shampoo your hair twice - you’ll find the second shampooalways foams.

For advice on the best techniques to use with your naturalproducts, check out our post on howto wash your hair like a pro.

Oh, and did we mentionour products are biodegradable with no detrimental effects to the earth’s ecosystem?Give the No Ordinary range a try – it’s not just kind to you, it’s kind to ourplanet.