We want to care for our hair the best way we can and so we splurge on a variety of hair products. Investing in hair products is always a good idea, but we have to be careful not to buy the wrong ones.
A lot of hair products contain toxic ingredients which could pose a danger to our health in the long run. And even though these products often give us lovely results we desire, there are other alternatives. So to be safe, we need to learn about these harmful ingredients in hair products so we can avoid them next time.
Dea (diethanolamine), Mea (monoethanolamine), Tea (triethanolamine)
These ingredients are commonly found in most personal care products that lather like shampoos, facial cleansers and body washes. They are chemicals which disrupt hormones and form cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines. When you want to purchase any hair product you can look out for ingredients like Cocamide DEA or MEA, TEA, Lauramide DEA etc.
Silicones are almost like rubber or plastic. They are listed as dimethicone and Cyclomethicone in hair products. Silicones simply coat the hair strands to make them look smoother and shinier. Over-time, they cause a build up on the hair shaft leading to greasy, weighed down, and unhealthy hair.
You’ll find phthalates in hairsprays and some other hair products. It is not usually disclosed and can be found hiding under the term ‘fragrances’. If you also find DEP, DBP, DEHP listed in your hair products, they equally refer to phthalates. Please avoid them because they disrupt the endocrine system and increase the risk of breast cancer.
Parabens are included in shampoos, deodorants facial cleansers and other beauty products as a preservative. They are mainly used to reduce the growth of bacteria, mould and yeast in the product. Parabens have estrogen-mimicking properties which increase the risk of breast cancer. You will find them labelled on products as propylparaben, benzylparaben, etc.
Propylene Glycol is a humectant that helps the hair absorb and retain moisture. It is considered by some beauty specialists to be an irritant and harmful ingredient in the long run. However, some other beauty specialists have argued that it is safe for use in small quantities. While it seems like there are arguments for or against this ingredient, we think it’s a good idea to just avoid it altogether.
Better to be safe than sorry right?
This is a famous shampoo ingredient. It makes the shampoo lather and helps it to effectively rid your hair of oil and dirt. However, sulfates deplete the naturally produced sebum that moisturizes the hair. They also irritate the skin, lungs, and eyes. Basically, avoid shampoos and washes that contain ingredients that end with sulfate. E.g sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.
Now that you know of these harmful ingredients in hair products, we hope you won’t be product shopping in a hurry.
In the meantime, check out these Nigerian brands that make awesome natural hair products you can try.
(Featured image: T’keyah B)