Do you know what your hair products are made out of?
Few industries have faced more criticism for their ingredients than the cosmetics industry. Shampoos and conditioners, in particular, contain a lot of toxic ingredients.
Hair care is hard enough to get right using conventional products—and it’s notoriously difficult to transition to natural hair care. Silicone is a key synthetic ingredient used in conventional products that’s difficult to mimic naturally but it can eventually cause buildup and damage to the hair. If you’re reading your label, a silicone is anything that ends in -cone. For example, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and phenyl trimethicone all count.
While silicones do make hair look shiny and healthy for a little while, it’s essentially the equivalent of coating your hair in plastic, which is difficult to remove. Plus, most silicones are not biodegradable and are therefore harmful to the environment. That’s just one ingredient to consider! Another is SLS, or sodium laurel (or laureth) sulfates, which have been known to cause irritation.
While shampoo is meant to make your hair and scalp fresh and clean, a dirty little secret is that the ingredients that create that crowd-pleasing foaming action are the same ones used to rid your car of gunk and grime. Not only do some of these ingredients like sulfates and formaldehyde stripping hair of its natural oils and proteins, but also some could lead to bigger health issues. Our hair follicles are rich in blood vessels close to the scalp. When warm water hits these follicles, they open up and the ingredients in our products are easily absorbed by our system, affecting our cells, tissues, and organs.
Sulfates are cheaply produced chemicals often found in floor cleaners, oven degreasers, and other products to create foam, including shampoo. The most common sulfates are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES).
Ethyl & Isopropyl Alcohols
This active ingredient is found in engine coolants and antifreeze, airplane de-icers, tire sealants, rubber cleaners, polyurethane cushions, paints, adhesives, enamels, and varnishes, and in many products as a solvent or surfactant. These petroleum-based alcohols are drying to the hair shaft and can lead to breakage of the hair and irritation on the scalp.
DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine)
These hard-to-pronounce chemicals are hormone disrupters and irritants. Hormone disruptions can form cancer-causing agents—research indicates a strong link to liver and kidney cancer. They are commonly found in shampoos, soaps, bubble baths, and facial cleansers.
Formaldehyde is a preservative that irritates the skin and can cause allergies, joint pain, inflammation, chronic fatigue, and dizziness. It’s considered a carcinogen and is also found in nail polishes and other beauty products.
Fragrance sounds harmless and lovely, right? Unfortunately, it’s actually highly toxic and can cause headaches, rashes, and dizziness and is linked to hormone disruption and sperm damage.
If you want a lovely, effective shampoo that won’t coat your hair in plastic try this plant-derived ingredients including Guar Bean and Pro-Vitamin B5 soften and clean your
hair, while a special blend of essential oils leaves it fresh-smelling. Natural extracts of
Sugar Cane and Orange Fruit cleanse away daily build-up, promoting healthier hair and
scalp, while Bilberry Extract adds powerful antioxidant protection.