You Should Avoid These Ingredients In Your Hair Products

5 hidden chemicals that are added to our every day beauty products
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Source: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Beauty and hair health are directly related to each other. A survey done by Harvard Health Publishing showed that the average woman uses 12 beauty products a day! That’s a lot of chemicals that come in direct contact with your body, and when it comes to it, do we really pay attention to the ingredients in them?

You don’t have to be a chemist to understand what every product does to your body, but a little research goes a long way, and what’s more, you owe it to yourself. We can’t ignore the harsh chemicals that surround us every day, so once you understand what these chemicals are and how they affect your body, you can actively avoid them when selecting your beauty products. 

Here are 5 ingredients that are commonly used in your hair products and why you should avoid them:

1. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a gas that can be found in beauty products such as body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, and baby shampoo. The formaldehyde is either directly added to the product or it’s formed by other compounds in the product reacting with each other, and subsequently releasing the gas.

Formaldehyde is added to the products to prevent microbes from growing in water-based products, and prolong shelf life. A reason to avoid it is that it has been directly linked to cancer and skin irritation.

2. Parabens

Parabens are a group of chemicals that have been added to cosmetics in order to increase shelf life and minimize the risk of growing microbes and mold in the products. You can find it mostly in high water-based products such as shampoo and conditioner.

Parabens are hormone-altering and have been linked to numerous hormonal imbalances such as infertility, affect birth outcomes, harm the reproductive organs, and even increase the risk of cancer. 

3. Triclosan

Another antibacterial used to preserve water-based products such as shampoo and conditioner. Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. It’s mostly used to control bacterial odors when our cosmetics start growing mold.

4. Triethanolamine

Triethanolamine is the ingredient base used for cosmetic products. You can find it mainly in gel products in the hair industry as it’s used to adjust the pH in the ingredients, which helps turn watery substances form into a gel and strengthen the hold.

Triethanolamine has a considerable amount of alcohol in its molecules and can cause dryness to your scalp and hair. Sometimes it can also lead to thinning problems because of how it prevents the natural oils to form in your scalp. Such oils help create a healthy “environment” for your hair follicles to grow in.

5. Phthalates

Crazy enough, phthalates are some of the most used chemicals in the world. You can find them in food and beverage containers, detergents, and beauty products. More specifically, you can find them in hair products like mousses, conditioners, and hairsprays. 

Phthalates are synthetic ingredients used to soften or avoid products from drying and cracking, it helps with the spreadability of the products and it helps fragrances last longer. The constant use of this chemical has been linked to malformations and damage to the reproductive male system. 

The good news is that the big companies have no more choice but to pay attention to the consumers who demand cleaner products and transparency with the ingredients in their makes. Also, consumer awareness is the reason why we find more green products in the market, which are not only good for our health, but for the environment too.

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