We have all heard many of the hairdressing disaster stories resulting in significant hair damage or loss. Here we have put together a list of chemicals commonly found in hair shampoos and conditioners that really should be avoided when possible.
When using a shampoo or conditioner that you have never tried before, start with a using a small amount on your hair to begin with. Test the product to make sure that it is compatible with your hair type. Not all shampoos and conditioners are the same and not all will be a good match for your hair, even when the label say’s it is. The risk of premature hair loss can be devastating to a women’s looks and self esteem.
1. SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE
Known simply as sulfate or SLS, this harsh soap is what makes your shampoo produce all that foam and bubbles. And while some people think the amount of suds is a very important indicator of quality, I know it’s one of those chemicals for hair to avoid! And now you do too, although I bet that, by now, this pretty much falls under common knowledge. Due to its harsh ingredients, a shampoo containing SLS will probably remove more product buildup, leaving your hair fresh, clean and significantly less oily (because this chemical is also used as an engine degreaser) than before. What you don’t know is that exposing your hair to this chemical actually destroys it in the long run, stripping it off essential oils it needs to stay healthy, breaking down protein and halting healthy hair growth!
2. PERFUME (FRAGRANCE)
Speaking about bad chemicals in hair products – can you believe that a nice-sounding word like “perfume” or “fragrance” actually stands for hundreds of highly toxic synthetic ingredients that can cause everything from nausea and allergic reactions to behavioral changes! And guess what? The manufacturer doesn’t have to specify the exact names of the ingredients used. Yup, that “oh, by the way” approach is completely legal. The solution? An unscented formula with a clear “Formulated without” label.
3. DEA AND TEA
Used to bring the pH level down and turn alkaline products into pH neutral, acidic ingredients Triethanolamine or TEA and Diethanolamin or DEA are easily absorbed and can cause many awful illnesses such as cancer or hormonal disruptions. But let’s translate that into hair care and determine why products containing these chemicals should end up on your list of harmful hair products you’ll avoid. Well, first of all, they can cause scalp irritation and even bad allergic reactions and second – they also destroy all the good stuff in your hair (such as keratin) making your hair dry, brittle and lifeless!
Add Propyl, Methyl and Butyl paraben to your list of chemicals for hair to avoid and your hair will live a much happier, healthier life! Used to prolong shelf life of an average hair care product, these chemicals are known for their toxic nature. And yet… I bet at least one of your hair care or skin care products contains it! In fact, I’m sure that if I go to my bathroom right now, I’ll come back carrying about three to five such products. The solution is pretty simple here – look for paraben-free products!
5. FORMALDEHYDE DONORS
Chemicals such as Imidazolidinyl and Diazolidinyl Urea as well as many other ingredients of common hair care and personal care products are known for their ability to release formaldehyde, an extremely toxic matter that can seriously mess with your immune system. Now, I bet they aren’t the worst chemicals in hair products but, honestly, I also bet they rate pretty high!
Now, let’s speak about something that makes your favorite strawberryshampoo so deliciously red! And, no, it’s not strawberries… Not really! As for the smell, well, you might want to go up and re-read #2 so you don’t get too surprised when I tell you the color is just as fake and just as harmful. Synthetic colors used to make our shampoos “fancy” can also lead to cancer, cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems and what not so the next time you decide to go shopping for a new shampoo, think about all those awful chemicals in hair products and opt for a more natural solution.
7. PROPYLENE GLYCOL
Sounds familiar? Well, you might have seen this name on your shampoo and, believe it or not, it’s also one of those chemicals for hair to avoid! Check the ingredients of your shampoos, conditioners, lotions and I’m sure you’ll find it sitting there, looking as natural and at-home as a cow on a green pasture. The only problem is that it’s not natural, nor normal, especially when knowing that it doesn’t provide any long lasting benefit but serious harm instead.
Can you think of any other chemicals for hair to avoid and does this concern you? I am pretty eager to find out which harmful hair products are hiding it my bathroom so do excuse me for a second and feel free to comment while I go to scrutinize the lists of ingredients.
What are your thoughts about the use of these chemicals? We would love you to leave your comments below to share with other readers. Also, click the FB “Like” button and the leave a comment on Twitter to spread the word.
Image: The Philip Kingsley Blog