ATTITUDE met up with Virginie Goudreault and Sarah Fortin, founders of the Blond Story blog. Their online wellness magazine aims to inspire women to adopt a healthy lifestyle and balance in their every day! These two passionate women like to give their readers tips and tricks so they can be the best versions of themselves and live a healthy life. They were thrilled to take part in our “what's in my shampoo” campaign to help consumers understand what goes into their favorite hair products!
What are you passionate about and what gets you out of bed in the morning? Virginie: I'm a huge foodie! I love browsing the grocery store, checking everything out, choosing good ingredients, leafing through my cookbooks and taking the time to cook. I also like trying out new lunch spots when I've got a break between meetings with Sarah, and having my friends and family over for dinner. The kitchen inspires me – it's a big part of my personality! That and exercise! If I don't move, I pay for it. And because of my temperament, I've started practising yoga to relieve anxiety – I'm basically an addict! I also like not having a full schedule so that I have time to be creative. I'm really spontaneous and I like living in the moment! Sarah: I don't have one single passion – I’m more of a renaissance woman. I'm always setting something in motion or organizing something: weddings, family events, renovations, dinners... I'm a planner – both in work and in life! But I do love to read. I like to curl up with a good book when I need some me time.
What does healthy living mean to you? Sarah: For me, healthy living means eating a balanced diet and leading a healthy lifestyle, both in terms of physical activity and sleep. It's really personal! My version of a healthy exercise routine means working out three times a week, not every day like Virginie! [laughs] And generally speaking, it's as simple as finding out what works for you, according to your personality and your values. Virginie: I agree with Sarah. Eating healthy, moving regularly, taking time for yourself. That's something we often forget. When it comes to healthy living, people tend to forget that they should take time to do things and take time for themselves. For me, it's key! When you realize the importance of living in full consciousness you do not want to go back. You do not want to run anymore, you want to integrate the "slow" movement into your everyday life.. That's why getting to know yourself, finding out what's good for you and knowing how to manage stress is so important. Healthy living means setting your own routine and listening to your body!
Love/hate – What's your relationship with your hair? Virginie: I have a great relationship with my hair! There are some things I worry about in life, but my hair has never been a problem! I've always had long, healthy hair that I don't need to style! I can go to bed with wet hair, and the next day, it'll look fine. Sarah: Same here. Sometimes I have to style my hair to make it straighter, but it's never bothered me. Some days are better than others, but overall, it's good!
How do you choose your hair products? Virginie: I've never really had to think about it, because I don't need to style my hair. I test out new products, especially because I get a lot of free samples for work! Sarah: I look for volumizing shampoos, because I find my hair a bit flat. But for a few years now, I've been seeking out the most natural shampoos possible. I look for terms like "paraben free," "natural," etc.
Why did you decide to use natural shampoo? Sarah: For as long as I can remember, I've always used ATTITUDE cleaning products, because I don't want to add any more toxic chemicals to the environment. Later, I realized that the same applies to the shower! Our products get into the sewer system and, ultimately, our rivers. I don't know why I didn't realize this earlier, but once I did, I made the transition to more natural personal care products. Environmental concerns are really the reason why I changed my habits. Virginie: I decided to make the change because of the effects chemicals can have on our hormones. Last year, I had to stop taking a medication and all my hormonal problems came back. But I decided to go to the source of the problem instead of taking new drugs. I read up on hormonal deregulation and I realized that conventional cosmetic products have a huge impact on our endocrine systems. So I started paying attention to what I was putting on my skin and in my hair.
Do you read the ingredients for your shampoos and cosmetics? Sarah: Yes, but I find it difficult and I rely mainly on what is written on the label. I make sure that it has the words "environmentally friendly," "sulfate free," and "paraben free," but beyond all that, I get lost in lists of ingredients with long scientific names … Even in natural products, scientific names are difficult to pronounce, like essential oils! To make things easier, I look for environmental or organic certification logos, or terms like "not tested on animals" and "vegan." Virginie: As for me I do watch out for false promises and I look at the first and last ingredients on the label. If jojoba oil is in bold on the front of the bottle, but it's at the end of the ingredient list, something's not right! I often look for the shortest possible ingredient lists, and if there are any ingredients I can't pronounce, it stresses me out a bit!
Tell us about the shampoo you had analyzed by ATTITUDE Virginie: When I got this shampoo, I was drawn to the fact that it's made with coconut oil. It's a micellar solution, and it's free from sulfates and parabens. I'm not expecting it to be all natural at all! I'm excited to see your analysis! Sarah: I chose this shampoo because it's a brand that I trust. It also says that it's 98% natural, free from parabens and sulfates. I figured it must be a good product!
What's in Virginie's shampoo? 24% of this shampoo's ingredients are of concern according to ATTITUDE's health-based criteria and approach*. That's less than any shampoo we analyzed before. However, it includes: allergens (linalool, citronellol), synthetic ingredients and carcinogenic contaminants like cocamide MIPA and brassicamidopropyl dimethylamine, which are both contaminated with nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are recognized carcinogens. They've been classified as Group 2A carcinogens (probable carcinogens) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
What's in Sarah's shampoo?
38% of this shampoo's ingredients are of concern. The most worrisome is cocamidopropyl betaine, which is also contaminated with a human carcinogen: nitrosamines. It also contains tocopheryl acetate, a modified version of vitamin E, which is contaminated by hydroquinone, a recognized carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, irritant and allergen. This ingredient is being banned from an increasing number of cosmetics*.
*According to EWG
Photo credits: Torontrealaise.
Read all the articles in the “What’s in Your Shampoo” series: What’s in Une Parisienne à Montreal’s Shampoo? In Emily’s shampoo (Our Nest in the City) What’s in the shampoo of the HappyFitness girls?
Participate in the “What’s in my shampoo” challenge!
- Like ATTITUDEliving on Facebook or attitude_living on Instagram.
- Take a photo of the list of ingredients on your shampoo bottle.**
- Post your picture with the hashtag #whatsinmyshampoo on Facebook (tag us with @ATTITUDEliving) or on Instagram (tag us with @attitude_living).
- Challenge your friends to do the same by tagging them!
- Our experts will analyze the composition of your shampoo!**