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August 21, 2010

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Home remedy for shampoo scare stories

RECIPES for shampoo and hair conditioner have become popular online after recent cancer scares involving some commercial products.

Making shampoo at home ensures that the user knows it is natural and free from harmful additives. Most recipes being shared online contain herbs. Beer, fruit juice, essential oils and even vinegar are also included in some.

"I've read many tips in newspapers and on the Internet," said Zhang Qian, a saleswoman working for a chemical company. "For example, vinegar may make hair soft and smooth, while beer can prevent hair loss."

Zhang said she was still a beginner at making her own shampoo and hair conditioner but recent media reports involving BaWang herbal shampoo caused her to try making her own.

Last month, the shampoo was found to contain dioxane, a carcinogen, by Hong Kong quality authorities. Although it was later decided that the amount of dioxane wouldn't harm people's health, the news still scared some consumers.

"This is not the first time for shampoo to be exposed to contain such bad substance," Zhang said. "I don't know which brand I can trust fully."

Doctors say making shampoo is a good idea. Ancient Chinese people made shampoos of raw egg white, asparagus juice and plant material.

"Such shampoos wouldn't have any side effects," said Wang Jiayuan, a doctor at Shanghai Yueyang Hospital.

But not everyone is convinced. "I found that such shampoos didn't have enough bubbles," said Huo Youqi, an accountant. "I didn't feel comfortable with it. Besides, I don't think it's worth all the energy it takes to collect herbs just for shampoo or hair conditioner I can easily find at a supermarket."


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