What? A Tear-Free Natural Shampoo? Yes Please!

What? A Tear-Free Natural Shampoo? Yes Please! | Growing Up Herbal | Are you looking for a tear-free natural shampoo for your kids? Today I'm sharing a funny story that involves guinea pigs, tears, and what I found that finally works for us.

Have you ever had soap in your eyes before?

If so, you’ll remember that it instantly burns, making you clamp your eyes shut tight. You’ll remember how your eyes become red and bloodshot and how the burning sensation returns each time you blink long after the soap is rinsed out of your eyes.

It’s not a fun memory, is it?

Imagine how it makes your kid feel when in happens to them? They don’t understand what’s going on. All they know is that it’s really painful.

Today I want to tell you about one of my “not-so-fine” natural mama moments. About a time when I thought I knew a whole lot about something when, in fact, I knew very little. Yes, it involves natural shampoo, lots of tears, and a “no duh” moment.

My Quest For A Tear-Free Natural Shampoo

A few years ago, I made and sold herbal skin care products for children on Etsy. My shop was full of things like baby powder, diaper cream, herbal body oil, all-purpose salve, etc..

I had decided to add an all-natural, gentle baby wash and shampoo to my existing product line. I researched how to do it, bought books to help me learn, and practiced over and over to get it just right.

Finally, after many batches and a good bit of tweaking my recipe, I had a thick, creamy soap. It was beautiful, and I couldn’t wait to add it to my shop! All that was left to do was test it, write up my product description, and photograph it.

To test it, I looked around and grabbed the first two guinea pigs I saw… my kids!

I threw them in the bath, and let them play for a while before washing their hair. When it was time, I wet their hair and slathered them up with my new homemade natural shampoo.

It spread through their hair well, sudsed up like a soap should, and smelled divine! I was so pleased until…

Now, let me just interrupt my reminiscence to quickly say… I know how to wash a child’s hair properly.

You see, kids aren’t big fans of having water get into their eyes so I always tell my boys to look up at the ceiling, and I pour water from a cup over their head so that the water runs down the back of their head.

Okay, back to my story.

I was so pleased until I began to pour water over their heads to rinse the soap out.

You see, I didn’t bother to tell them to close their eyes tight and not open them, or to look up so the water would run over their backs instead of their faces. I mean, this was homemade natural shampoo without chemicals. It was tear-free, right?

Well, apparently it wasn’t. You should have heard the whining coming from my bathroom! Oh my word! I felt awful, and I was confused about why it had burned their eyes. I quickly worked to wash it out as best as I could.

Once I got them out of the bath and calmed down, I decided that I needed someone else to test my soap to see if it burned their eyes. 

Later that evening when my husband came home from work, I handed him a pretty bottle of my new baby soap and shampoo and pointed toward the shower. I asked him to let it get in his eyes and let me know if it burned or not.

Seeing how he’s a good husband, he obliged me. And yes, it burnt his eyes too. What a bummer!

My “Oh Duh” Moment

Unfortunately for me, my big plan was to market this baby wash and shampoo as “all-natural” and “tear-free.” Now that I knew it wasn’t even close to being tear-free I had to change my game plan.

I began to do some research to figure out what was going on, and come to find out… soap is alkaline and is what burns the eyes – not the chemicals in commercial products! Johnson & Johnson can claim their baby shampoo is tear-free because they put chemicals in it to keep it from burning the eyes.

Did you hear that?! It’s the soap that’s doing the burning, and it’s the tear-free chemicals that prevent that from happening!

Talk about feeling dumb! I totally did! I don’t know what had me thinking that the strong chemicals in store-bought soaps were what caused soap to burn the eyes… not the other way around.

Now I felt bad for experimenting on my kids and for thinking they were whiny.

It was a “bad mama” moment for me for sure, and it’s when I started testing all new things out on myself or my husband before trying them on our kids.

Continuing The Search

Now this new revelation (figuring out that soap, no matter how natural, will still burn the eyes) didn’t send me running to the store for chemical-laden, tear-free baby shampoo.

I continued to use my soap on my kids and to sell it in my Etsy shop because it was a good product that was all-natural, gentle on the skin, and homemade. However, I was more careful about how I washed my kid’s hair, making sure to not get the soap in their eyes, and to specifically point out to my customers that my soap was NOT tear-free.

Finally, A Natural Shampoo That’s Tear-Free

Over the years, I’ve gotten really good at keeping soap out of my kid’s eyes when I wash their hair, but I’ve always thought it would be nice to not really have to worry about it at all.

I’ve always wondered if there was a way to make a natural shampoo that didn’t burn the eyes, but unfortunately, that can’t happen if soap is involved.

Thankfully, there are other options when it comes to natural shampoos.

Using a clay-based shampoo is one of those options.

Clay-based shampoos don’t contain soap so if they get in your kids eyes they don’t burn the way a soap-based shampoo would.

They work to cleanse the hair and scalp from excess oil and dirt without stripping the hair or leaving a residue that can build up over time like synthetic shampoos can do. Not only that, but they balance your hair and bring it back to its full potential.

Now you may be wondering if clay-based shampoos work well.

Well, I can tell you that they’ve worked for us! We’ve been using Morrocco Method shampoos for a while now and love them! I’m not sure if their natural shampoos can be classified as “clay-based” as they contain a lot of other great ingredients like healthy oils, herbal extracts, and essential oils. No matter, our hair always looks and smells clean, and my kids never complain about it burning their eyes. We love them!

If you happen to be in the market for a new natural shampoo, especially one that works great for kids, and you haven’t had any luck with homemade versions, check out Morrocco Method’s website. There’s so much information there. I’m sure you’ll walk away feeling inspired and ready to try one of their natural shampoos today! (FYI: They offer a great starter pack!)

The Bottom Line

The more I read about how damaging and harmful synthetic shampoos are to our hair and scalp, the more often I choose to use a natural shampoo of some sort.

Did you know that the scalp has anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 hair follicles? This means that more chemicals can be absorbed into the body through the scalp because it’s so porous. These toxins can then accumulate in the body’s tissues and organs, like the brain, and contribute to long-term damage to our health.

I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to avoid that for myself and my children.

What do you say?
Have you found a natural shampoo that works well for you? If so, what is it? I’d love to know what you use for yourself or your kids in the comment section of this post.

logo-2This post was underwritten by Morrocco Method. All opinions are mine. Morrocco Method Int’l has provided the world’s finest in raw, vegan and paleo hair care for more than 40 years. All of our products are sulfate free, gluten free, and all natural. Each product, from our line of all natural shampoos and conditioners to our natural henna hair color, is created using a synergistic blend of live, wildcrafted ingredients that detoxify and nourish your hair and scalp. Begin detoxing and enjoy beautiful, naturally luxurious hair with Morrocco Method products.

  1. Julie S. says:

    Hi Meagan, I want to try this shampoo you are using. I have been taking steps to live and eat better…now I have food fermenting on my counter and use coconut milk in my body wash! For years I have been using the products from a company that promotes their products as natural. However, they have only recently gone to “sulfate-free” shampoo. Now their shampoo label says it contains “sodium lauryl sulfoacetate.” Sounds like a cousin to sulfate to me! Do you know what the difference is?

    • Meagan says:

      Hey Julie! Morrocco Method is a great shampoo and it works well for my husband and my kids. I have really long hair so it’s not the best fit for me personally, but it’s worth giving it a try to see if it works for you. I love the ingredients and their hair care protocol. Anyway, as far as the sodium lauryl sulfoacetate goes. It is considered safe, natural, and environmentally-safe. It’s also been given a number “1” rating on the SkinDeep Database which is pretty good. However, there are some things to keep in mind. First, it’s not necessary. It’s basically used to help your shampoo suds up. Suds in shampoos are not needed… they’re just preferences. Next, it is a natural product as it’s derived from coconut and palm oils, but “natural” doesn’t always mean “safe.” You’d have to know where the company sources their SLSA from to find out if it’s chemical-free and sustainable. Anyway, as far as ingredients in shampoos go, it’s not the worst thing for your body if you can find a good, safe source. Hope that helps!

      • Julie S. says:

        Thanks for the explanation, that makes me feel a little better about using it for the past year or three! 🙂 I too have really long hair and my homemade shampoo made my hair feel so heavy and damp.

  2. Mina says:

    I tested all the so called organic/natural “tearless” shampoo for babies out there on myself and deliberately let it run down my eyes and they all sting. I checked out the products by Morrocco Method and I’m unsure of which one to get. I seen the ones for kids starting with baby. Which shampoo by Morrocco Method do you use for your kids? Thanks.

    • Meagan Visser says:

      We’ve used the various ones they offer in their 5 Element series, but we’ve recently switched to shampoos from Just Nutritive. They’re all natural, and we’re all liking their products at the moment!

  3. Madhu says:

    Hi Meagan… am madhu from Florida… is there any way to add chemicals in cold process soap so that it won’t burn our eyes? Especially in baby soap recipe

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