Wait shhh can you hear that? Its the NHF fairies come to remind us that today is all about our healthy natural hair! Blow them a kiss, wish them good fortune and lets dive right in!
We all know that there are bad ingredients out there, lurking in our favorite and most cherished beauty products. We know that we are living in the age of toxicity and many of us take strides to live as naturally as possible. We want to stay away from that which causes unnecessary harm; we want to be conscious consumers. But sometimes ingredients are wolves hiding in sheep’s skin (queue the ominous music!).
By rule of thumb I like to keep it as natural as possible, opting for products with natural oils and plant- based goodness. I also only buy from companies that I have taken the time to research. Most importantly I like to know what ingredients to avoid and why. Want to join me on this quest to keep the hair as healthy and undamaged as possible? Read on!
Naughty Ingredients to Avoid
SLS aka Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and SLES aka Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Ewww! This is first on the list because it is the worst thing you can put on your precious fibers. First and foremost these are degreasers, commonly found in products to clean cars, floors, and engines. Some genius (hope you didn’t miss the sarcasm) thought it suitable to add these to many of plenty of hair products like shampoos and ever since it has been a common practice. For too long women and men have been sudsing their hair in something that not only hinders growth but also dries and completely damages the follicles. Do yourself a favor and just say no. I personally stay away from all sulfates.
Mineral oil and Petroleum. No thanks! Both of these tricky substances prevent the skin from releasing toxins and that is because, quite frankly, they clog pores. Using products with either of these increases the chance of product buildup and really, when is clogged pores ever a good/healthy thing? No good for the skin and no good for the hair so steer clear of both of these.
Alcohol. Well the bad alcohol! There are alcohol’s that are anything but awful: cetyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, myristyl alcohol, lauryl alcohol- these are fatty alcohols that come from plants and animals :(and can be very beneficial to the hair for different purposes including detangling. Curly women will find 1 or more of these alcohols in curly- friendly products and they are totally ok! However, by all that is good and great stay away from:
- SD Alcohol 40
- Propanol Alcohol
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Ethanol Alcohol
- SD Alcohol
- Propyl Alcohol
These simply are drying agents and they serve no purpose but to cause mischief and serious injury to hair.
Parabens. Bore us later! How many posts have I written on these nasty buggers? They are in everything and there is no sign that they are buggering off! They are hormone disruptors and because everything that goes on our body makes its way inside, do we want any of this nonsense close to our brain? None for me, thanks. If any item with paraben is listed in the ingredient list put it back on the shelf and walk away. If it isn’t good for the skin, it is not good for the hair.
Fragrance. Ummm what does that mean exactly? Exactly! Fragrance has no meaning whatsoever! It’s a way for product makers to get away with not listing something. Sketchy product makers are not for us or our hair. Honest product makers will list everything in a product and since we cannot be sure what is in something listed as only “fragrance” it is a red flag and a definitely not. Not on this hair!
Propylene Glycol and PEG- Polyethylene Glycol. I stay away from all glycols and if unsure of an ingredient look it up on EWG.org which is a brilliant site that gives you the low down on all in cosmetic ingredients. Propylene glycol is found in products like antifreeze…??? Yeah, does not seem logical to me either! It is known to break down protein which is not helpful for a healthy head of hair. PEG is a developmental toxicant and also has no place on the hair.
The Bottom Line
These are not for us! And we don not have time for any of these unnecessary, oh- so- harmful nasties in our hair. Pay attention when you shop, especially when it comes to your hair. Remember that you are the keeper of your garden and you have the power to nourish it right! Always know the ingredient list and make conscious choices based on what you see. Remember even if it’s not Friday, the NHF fairies are always watching!
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