ShAM Po0.

Have you ever wondered about the composition of this curious chemical concoction? Although it spells suspicion, I’m not referring to the word itself here, but the ingredients it contains..

But everyone uses it… Oh the miracles of marketing, that doth cloud over all sorts of iniquities. Until you look at what it actually does.. and witness the damage done by the tonnes of (synthetic) chemicals we are dumping into our waterways, let alone on our own bodies (although EU laws have, the beauty industry remains for the most part unregulates, with many ingredients untested, or even revealed, e.g synthetic musks, other substances sneaked under the label of “fragrance” etc.).

Not to mention their perfect packaging. Plastic, produced from petroleum, the definition of unsustainable and something that will never disappear and instead break off slowly into microparticles that poison the oceans/ sealife and are now in 84% of our drinking water (Time)

Starting from the top.

As with many cosmetic products, most conventional shampoos cheap-as-chips ingredient called sodium lauryl sulphate. This cunning chemical successfully strips your hair of all the natural oils it produces to keep it healthy, well, naturally.  Think of it as a race to the bottom for who can best provide that ‘fresh post-wash feeling’, using another of their products to restore its “oils”, albeit synethically, i.e. temporarily.

Cue the conditioner. Stripped of it’s life, it’s time to coat your strands with silicones – those false friends found in conditioners, serums – anything ending with –cone –xane, -conol and more/… that make you “worth it”, and, with any luck, the £10000s you spend on the bottle over the years.

Like cocaine, coca cola, etc. etc., a cycle of dependency is created that, apart from being unsustainable (you need to wash more and more as your hair gets greasier and greasier) pollutes waterways (link), and your body, just like the bottles it is contained in.

It may have required a roundabout trial of just about every kitchen ingredient I could get my hands on, through thick and (very) thin – with it coming out in clumps – dandruff, greasy, waxiness that I couldn’t rid of that had me enviously longing after the shiny locks of others, my mother begging me to wash it, will this girl ever find a husband etc. etc. but I THINK I’ve found the trick and regained some sort of balance – the key being conditioning, cake baking ingredients, crimping, brushing, boiling water, and a whole lot of patience (which although lacking is luckily far outweighed by my stubbornness)

And now, you can too. Blog post #2 dropping soon (//edit: now dropped!)