This Post was Contributed by our Guest Author: William
You’ve already gotten used to checking your food and drink for preservatives and potential health hazards so maybe you think you have things firmly under control. But there are some products you probably don’t think twice about checking – your hair care products.
Even though you’re not ingesting these products, you are rubbing them into your scalp and hair and letting them sit there for a while. With styling products, they’re being sprayed onto your hair, soaking into your skin and probably making their way into your lungs unless you’ve become especially good at holding your breath. That’s why understanding what potential problems could be lurking into bottle and cans is just as important as the ones in your cupboard.
There are bound to be ingredients you don’t immediately recognize on the back of your shampoo, conditioner or styling products, but that doesn’t automatically mean those are a concern. But there are some common ingredients that should raise a red flag. We’ve brought together seven of the most common to help you and your family have healthier hair and a healthier body.
Parabens – These are one of the most common ingredients and can be found in a number of personal care products. Parabens essentially mimic estrogen since they bind to estrogen receptors on cells. Why is this a problem? It’s been linked to early onset puberty for children, including inducing puberty before they hit 10 years of age, as well as early onset menopause for women.
Phthalates – Phthalates are another common ingredient in personal care products since they act as softeners. Phthalates are also found in plastics, including toys, and are considered endocrine disruptors because they, too, mimic hormones. This ingredient has been linked with both reproductive and neurological damage in clinical studies.
Petrolatum – This ingredient gives you a clue to its source in its root word – petrol. Yes, that means petrol as in oil. Side effects of petrolatum include coating and suffocating the skin to being linked to breast cancer tumors.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) – SLS is typically found in products that foam, including toothpastes and shampoos. It was originally made as a pesticide as well as an industrial cleaner for garage oil stains. If you ask me, that’s reason enough to keep it off of your body. Always use SLS Free Shampoo for Hair Loss
Proplene Glycol – If this name rings a bell, there’s good reason. It’s antifreeze. Chemists and cosmetic companies claim it’s non-toxic in low doses but it has already been linked to minor issues such as dry skin as well as concerns about what happens when it soaks into your body. Since it’s designed to be absorbed, this is a pretty major concern. Leave it out!
Dioxane – Dioxane is another ingredient found in many products designed to foam. The ingredient isn’t always listed as outright Dioxane, so be on the lookout for names like PEG, polysorbates, laureth and ethoxylated alcohols. No matter what it’s called on the label, the ingredient has been linked to eye irritation, headaches, liver damage, hair follicle minaturization and cancer.
Formaldehyde – Chances are you don’t need an explanation for this one. Formaldehyde is found in many hair styling products, particularly anti-frizz sprays. This ingredient is connected to watery eyes, burning sensations, wheezing and nausea.
While this list can be pretty intimidating, don’t let it discourage you. As more and more people take an active role in their overall health, a number of companies are stepping up their all-natural game and creating all-natural products that perform just as well as their chemical laden brothers.
Reading labels and reaching out to companies is the first step. If there’s a product you love that uses one of these ingredients, take to social media and ask that their formula be reworked to be healthier. Alternatively, check out completely all natural solutions for your biggest hair care concerns and you’ll soon find there’s a wealth of options that can keep you looking good without putting your health at risk.