Palm oil. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Palm oil is widely used in a variety of things: food, dish soap, cosmetics, and…. hair products. It’s an extremely versatile product, which is likely why it has permeated so many industries so successfully. But here’s what you might not know about palm oil; it is an edible vegetable oil, derived from the palm fruit which is grown on the African palm tree. In order for the industry to be so successful, it needs to have a nearly unlimited supply. Of course, everything is limited, but palm trees are so abundant that it’s pretty close to unlimited. Here’s why using palm oil in your hair routine is killing the environment.
It all sounds good, doesn’t it? Man, this product is great, we should keep using it! No. What companies won’t tell you about palm oil is that in their quest for more and more money, they are responsible for deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty, and indigenous rights abuses in the countries they supply from – primarily Indonesia and Malaysia.
When I go to the zoo
One of my favorite animals to go see are the orangutans. They’re amazing; their mannerisms are so human, but their acrobatic abilities far exceed ours. The Melbourne Zoo is my favorite zoo, and that’s where they have an exhibit dedicated to how palm oil is contributing to the extinction of animals – including orangutans. Displayed there are several different hair care products, which is what made me do the research into what shampoos and conditioners contain palm oil. Turns out… most of the name brands do. It’s such an easy and cheap ingredient, big companies may as well use it. So you’re probably unknowingly using products in your hair routine that are killing the environment.
So I started looking into what shampoos don’t have palm oil into them, so that I could change my hair routine and try to make a difference. With this information, maybe you can too! These are just a few options:
A cleansing bar that’s good for your hair but the rest of your body as well. Plus, it’s vegan!
A sulfate-free liquid soap (I prefer the liquid, honestly) with lupine protein to strengthen and condition your hair. They have three different kinds to choose from, and they offer conditioner as well!
This shop is known for being palm-oil free and it offers four different shampoo bars. Pick the one that works best for your hair; I like the White Orchid Ginseng bar which strengthens your hair, helps prevent hair loss, and stimulates growth.
There are definitely more options out there if you search for palm oil free shampoo. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll be convinced to make a change too!