Harmful Chemicals in Hair Products
Strong and healthy hair is every naturalistas goal. However, to achieve this, one needs to pay special attention to small details including the ingredients contained in the products you use in your hair care regimen. A surprisingly large number of hair products in the market contain chemicals that do more harm than good to our curls and kinks. That's why you should be able to spot these ingredients and stay away from them. The common culprits are alcohols, sulfates and mineral oil.
If you take a look at most hair care products in the market, you'll note that they contain alcohol. There are two main types of alcohols with one type being good and the other one bad.
Unfortunately, most products contain the short-chain alcohols which are really bad for your hair. These short-chain alcohols should be avoided under all circumstances. They include SD alcohol, Isopropyl, Ethanol, Isopropanol, Propanol, SD alcohol 40, Propyl alcohol and Ethyl. Short-chain alcohols contain less than 3 carbons in the tail thus making them light. As a result, they evaporate quickly hence leaving the hair dry and frizzy. They also strip off the oils and moisture from hair leaving it brittle and prone to breakage.
On the other hand, if you must use a product that contains alcohol, make sure it is the good kind. The good alcohols are commonly referred to as fatty alcohols or long-chain alcohols. They contain 12 or more carbons per molecule this making them oilier. Their fatty nature leaves the hair soft, glossy and easy to manage. However, excess use of fatty alcohols can make the hair look greasy. Examples of these alcohols are Myristyl alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol, Luryl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, Behenyl alcohol and Cetyl alcohol.
2. Sulfates and Surfactants
Sulfates are a common ingredient in hair products. Its purpose is to aid in the cleansing process. However, they are too harsh to use on natural hair. They strip off the natural oils from your scalp and hair strands leaving behind a lot of damage resulting from dryness. These sulfates are normally listed under names such as ammonium Laurel, Sodium Laureth, sulfuric acid, akyposal SDS, Aquarex methyl and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. According to this CIR report, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, can lead to hair loss and baldness.
Since we are aware of harmful effects of sulfates and surfactants, we only use mild versions of them in our products. You'll notice that our shampoos contain cocobetaine which is a mild surfactant derived from coconut oil. It plays the same role as the other harsh surfactants but it is gentler and does not cause damage to the hair and scalp thus making it an ideal substitute.
3. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is the most commonly used byproduct of petroleum. Its purpose in hair-styling products is to make the hair slick, reduce frizz and preserve moisture. However, it normally coats the scalp and hair shaft like a plastic wrap. This blocks the hair pores for unhealthy durations and also encourages product buildup. Eventually, it leads to scalp irritation and even slows down normal cell development. There is also a huge concern about the carcinogenic effects of continued use of mineral oil on the hair and body in general. Instead of using mineral oil, you're better off using products that contain natural oils such as coconut oil, rosemary oil, castor oil, argan oil and jojoba oil.
All in all, the end goal is to ensure that your hair stays healthy and vibrant. This can be achieved by using natural hair products like the ones we have here. Always remember that your hair is your crown, take good care of it!
By Winnie G