The Most Vulnerable Part of Your Body For Chemical Absorption

The Most Vulnerable Part of Your Body For Chemical Absorption


This week, Mary decodes: Aluminum in dry shampoo.


Most of us know that aluminum in antiperspirant is a huge risk because it works to blocks your pores, preventing you from sweating, which traps toxins inside your body. However, did you know that many conventional dry shampoos also contains aluminum? If aluminum starch octenylsuccinate is on the ingredient list in your dry shampoo, you might want to look for an alternative and I explain why what you put on your head is one of the most important considerations.

Based on new pharmaceutical research for topical application of drugs, studies have found that your scalp is a weak spot on your body for protecting against chemical penetration.  The scalp and the forehead show the highest absorption rate for drugs and chemicals (approximately four times greater the absorption rate than your forearms). Follicular penetration allows drugs and chemicals to enter the body with much great ease.





You’ll find that many conventional dry shampoos use aluminum starch octenylsuccinate in the formulation, as it is highly effective at absorbing excess oil and sweat. With its anti-caking agent, it’s also used in aerosol cans to prevent the dry shampoo formulation from blocking the nozzle.




What is aluminum starch octenylsuccinate?

This ingredient is an aluminum salt of chemically modified starch. This synthetic powder-like ingredient is used as an absorbent, thickening agent and anti-caking agent in cosmetics, such as dry shampoo, foundations, eye shadows, face powers and sunscreens.

Based on scientific studies, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel has indicated that Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate is safe in cosmetic formulations, as long as established limitations imposed on heavy metal concentrations are not exceeded.



Although studies have not demonstrated that aluminum starch octenylsuccinate is harmful in cosmetics, the area in which this ingredient is applied on should be noted. With dry shampoo, the problem is that this heavy metal infused starch is sprayed directly onto your hair follicles – the weakest spot on your body for protecting against chemical penetration.

With our overnight dry shampoo, it is formulated without aluminum, aerosol gases, and is made up of 100% natural ingredients.

Think carefully about the ingredients that you place on your scalp and forehead. We are learning more and more about the body through research. The PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE should apply to hair care products based on this new information.

Click here to read more on aluminum in your antiperspirants and the harmful effect it has on your underarms.



overnight dry shampoo


overnight dry shampoo


How Co-Washing Saved My Bleached-Fried Hair

How Co-Washing Saved My Bleached-Fried Hair

heavy-metal-toxicity-detox-marissaI’m Marissa, the Wellness Manager at kaia naturals. Today I’m sharing with you my experience with co-washing and how I was able to train my hair to need less shampooing. I used to wash my hair every single day, but now I only wash it twice a week. Find out how I did it below.

Two summers ago, I bleached my hair using a box dye just before heading to Florida. I got distracted, left the bleach on a little too long, and my hair looked and felt like someone had put it the deep fryer – crispy and crunchy. Although I wouldn’t call this a blessing in disguise, frying my hair that summer would change how I would shower and wash my hair forever.

My hairdresser (who was appalled by the mess I made) told me the first step I had to do was stop shampooing every day, as that was stripping my hair even more. Motivated to nourish my hair back to a healthy state, I started researching how I could possibly go a day without washing my hair and not have greasy roots. I then discovered the “co-washing and dry shampoo method“.



Co-washing is when you skip the shampoo in your routine and only use conditioner or another moisturizing product so that you aren’t stripping your hair of its natural oils. This may sound odd, but here’s how it works. Scientifically speaking, like dissolves like, which means that oil will dissolve oil. 

The result? The oils/moisturizing agents in your conditioner will mildly dissolve and cleanse the oils on your hair, but will not strip the hair entirely of its natural oils like shampoo does. By skipping shampoo your hair will also, over time, stop overproducing oil and balance out its own oil production. You can now go longer without the need to wash your hair.




DAY 1: I would shampoo and condition like normal.


DAY 2: By the end of the day, I was itching to wash my hair again but with sheer determination I washed my hair using only conditioner (avoiding my roots so they didn’t become greasy).


DAY 3: This day was tough until I implemented dry shampoo, which was a total game changer. Instead of washing, I sprayed a natural dry shampoo into my roots before going to bed. This way when I woke up, the dry shampoo had had enough time to absorb the oil, sweat and odor from the previous day.

NOTE: Day 3 is the real hump you have to get through! Stay motivated and power through!


DAY 4: It was time to shampoo and condition again!


What I found after a few weeks of sticking to this routine was that my scalp become less greasy between every shampoo, and I couldn’t believe the time I was saving from not having to wash my hair every day. In just a few months after my bleaching mishap, my hair felt so much softer and even noticed my scalp was less dry and had less dandruff. The co-washing + dry shampoo method is a total life saver!

If you want to learn a few more tips on how to start washing your hair less, read more here.


This Beauty Product Is The Lethal Bomb

This Beauty Product Is The Lethal Bomb

Hairspray is one of the key offenders when it comes to the most toxic beauty products. The Canadian Government classifies it as a “HAIR LACQUER”, which should give you a pretty good indication as to what you are about to read.



The National Institute of Health says that it doesn’t know if all ingredients in hairspray are safe for human use. That alone should make you wonder if you should be using this stuff at all! What makes things worse is that even ingredients that we do know cause harmful diseases and birth defects are still being used in hairsprays all the time!

First developed in 1940, conventional hairspray formulations have remained highly volatile, dangerous, and virtually unchanged. The only exception was a government mandate to remove CFC’s (Chlorofluorocarbons) in 1980 due to the depletion of the ozone layer.





(just another name for plastic!)

FUNCTION: Gives structural support to the hair.

CAUTIONARY TALE: One polymer often used, polyvinylpyrrolidine, is also used to bind the layers of wood in plywood together. Do you really want this on your hair?!

NOTE: there are natural polymers available (ex. silk, wool and cellulose).




FUNCTION: Used as a carrier for the active ingredients in hairspray.

CAUTIONARY TALE: Most often ethanol alcohol is used because it dries fast (and is VEYR drying to hair) and doesn’t corrode in the can. Ethanol use has been restricted because it is a volatile organic compounds (VOCs), contributing to air pollution, and is deadly when it comes into contact with an open flame.

SEEN ON INGREDIENT LIST AS: Usually ethanol alcohol. There are no acceptable replacement solvents approved to date.



FUNCTION: Gasses, mainly butane and propane, responsible for propelling the hairspray out of the can.

CAUTIONARY TALE: Propellants have been linked to allergic skin reactions, asthma and breathing difficulties. They are highly flammable, so just think how harsh this would be on your hair if you blasted a blow dryer on hair coated with a flammable substance?

SEEN ON INGREDIENT LIST AS: propane, butane.



FUNCTION: Added to make hairspray more flexible and perform better.

CAUTIONARY TALE: Additives are just a bunch of chemicals that make the product work better, but serve no other purpose, exposing us to chemicals for no reason.

SEEN ON INGREDIENT LIST AS: Isopropyl myristate, diethyl phthalate, and silicones. (Plasticizers: added to make hairspray more flexible).


Aminomethyl propanol (AMP), ammonium hydroxide, morpholine, cyclohexylamine, borate esters). (Neutralizing and anti-corrosion agents: added to control resin solubility and help prevent the inside of the can from rusting).



1. FINISHING HOLD: A natural pump hair spray as this eliminates:

  • Propellants
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • Lauryl alcohol
  • Replaces ethanol alcohol solvents with fatty alcohols (healthy for hair)  derived from nature Cetyl alcohol



  • Hair serums
  • Sea Salt Spray


3. FOR OILY HAIR: Dry shampoo.


4. TO VOLUMIZE: Dry shampoo.

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