Most curls can’t go a day without hair products, unless you want a big poof of untamed frizzy coils on your head ;-). For curly girls, hair products are lifesaving. Hair products moisturize, tame and make your curls shine. But you should never forget to check what ingredients are in your hair products. Some products contain ingredients you might want to avoid. They do not only damage your hair or create frizz, they can even cause health problems. It’s important to carefully consider not just the brand of hair products you’re using, but also the ingredients. Too many popular commercial brands are guilty of using ingredients that, initially, give your hair a wow factor, but will eventually strip your hair of moisture, breakdown hair proteins and lead to severe damage.
Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. Sounds good, right? Well it isn’t… They do more than preventing growth of bacteria. Parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. They can be found in makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers.
#2 Synthetic colors
If you take a look at your product label and notice FD&C or D&C, they represent artificial colors. F — representing food and D&C representing drug and cosmetics. These letters precede a color and number (e.g., D&C Red 27 or FD&C blue 1). These synthetic colors are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. Synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. The European Classification and Labeling considers it a human carcinogen and the European Union has banned it.
#3 Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
Stay away from sodium laurel / laureth sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium laurel sulfate, sodium dodecylsulfate, sulfuric acid, sodium salt sulfuric acid, A12-00356, Akyposal SDS, Aquarex ME, and Aquarex methyl. While SLS is a key ingredient in industrial detergents and cleansing agents — including engine degreasers and garage floor cleaners — it is also shockingly found in a high number of leading shampoos! This surfactant can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products (think foaming products). SLS’s are known to be skin, lung, and eye irritants. A major concern about SLS is its potential to interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen. These combinations can lead to a host of other issues like kidney and respiratory damage. They can be found in shampoo, body wash/cleanser, mascara and acne treatment.
Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRP’s) preservatives are used in many cosmetic products to help prevent bacteria growth. This chemical was deemed as a human carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) and has been linked to occupational related cancers: nasal and nasopharyngeal. It is known to cause allergic skin reactions and it may also be harmful to the immune system. It can be found in nail polish, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers, eye shadows, nail polish treatments.
#5 Isopropyl alcohol
Avoid isopropyl alcohol at all cost. Used in antifreeze, wood finish and shellac, isopropyl alcohol is designed to dissolve oils, which can strip the hair of moisture. Many hair gels, root lifters, volumizers and hairsprays use this substance to help you hold a hairstyle’s look. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients warns that inhalation or ingestion of vapor from isopropyl alcohol may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis and even coma.
#6 Proplyene glycol
Proplyene glycol (PG) is perhaps to blame for scalp irritation. The United States Environmental Protection Agency lists proplyene glycol as one of the top 10 ingredients used in hair-care products that can potentially impact health with overexposure. Found in conditioners, shampoos, hair dyes, and styling gels and lotions, this offender breaks down healthy hair proteins and cellular structure while giving the appearance of shiny, smooth hair. In the world of hair care, proplyene glycol would be the proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
So….. go for natural! Use seeds, avocados, oils, shea, argan to make your own hair mask and conditioner! Read my top 3 favorite diy hair masks!