Have you ever thought about what's in your hair products? Maybe you've heard that you should avoid parabens and sulfates, but do you know why?
So you know to check the ingredients on a snack bag in the grocery store, but when you find a word you don't know, you mentally think to yourself "well, that's probably just a preservative." That may be the case, but wouldn't you prefer to eat something that has a shorter shelf life with less chemicals in it?
The same thing goes for hair products! You might go to Ulta, or (God forbid - the grocery or drug store). You're browsing the aisles thinking "That Insta girl said to buy Not Your Mother's, I'll try that". You find it, and if you're anything like I used to be, you throw it in your basket without thinking about it. Well girl, it's time to think about it.
Hidden dangers lie in the ingredients label.
Maybe you already read the labels, and you know to look for "no parabens or sulfates" thats as far as you go, because you don't know what else to look for. Here's a list of a few things to keep an eye out for:
- parabens & sulfates
I don't want to overwhelm you, so let's start with these & why they're not great.
Sulfates: usually found in shampoo & conditioner & is basically detergent mixed with salt, and is a known carcinogenic... so, yeah... They create a thick lather in shampoo, and girl, I know I was sad about it too. It feels like your hair gets *so* much cleaner when your shampoo lathers a lot! But #Monat shampoos make your hair legit squeaky clean when you're done washing. It's THE BEST.
The problem is: they're known to cause scalp irritation & cause allergic reactions.
Parabens: usually found in shampoos & is a preservative. It's used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus (ew). Can we all just agree to use our shampoo quick enough so that it doesn't grow gross stuff in it? Great, glad that's over with. Parabens are also proven to have estrogenic effects, and have even been found in female breast tumors. (for more in-depth info: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618656).
Butane/Propane: usually found in dry shampoo and is used as a propellant (pushes the product out of the bottle into your hair) oh, and p.s. keep an eye out for aluminum in your dry shampoo, too. But in case you didn't know, butane is basically lighter fluid (so, uh wicked flammable) and if you use a curling iron or flat iron on your hair afterwards... the thought makes my skin crawl. Propane is the actual propellant, but is also unnecessary. You know we use propane to light a grill, right? The Champ Dry Shampoo by Monat doesn't have any of these ingredients & is my favorite that I've tried to date.
Phthalates: found in all kinds of things like toys, vinyl flooring, detergents, and beauty/personal care products. Phthalates are used as a plasticizer in products, but in hair spray it's used to form a film on the hair. yeah, really. So basically it's plastic and can alter your hormonal balance, um what?
PEG: found in some beauty creams, but also used as laxatives...just let that sink in for a sec. PEG is a petroleum based compound and can contain trace chemicals such as ethylene oxide which is a known carcinogen. If cosmetics containing PEG are used on broken skin, it can cause irritation and systemic toxicity and can harm the nervous system as well. Yikes.
DEA/MEA: found in things like shampoo & conditioner, mascara & eye shadows, etc. DEA (Diethanolamine) is used as an emulsifier in shampoos, cleaners & detergents. It makes stuff bubble. MEA (monoethanolamine) is now restricted by the FDA in beauty products, but old bottles of products found in places like the grocery store and pharmacies may still contain them, so check your labels!
The good news: the FDA is paying attention to how much of each of these ingredients are in products we use, and are constantly testing new products on the market to ensure their safety.
The bad news: there are still a lot of products available on the market that haven't been tested yet, and have some or all of these ingredients in them. Be diligent and check the labels on the products you use!
I just realized how overwhelming all of this is, and I'm sorry but not really sorry. You have a right to know what's in the products you're using, and what to look out for!
Now you're an informed consumer, no excuses!
Here's a link to my favorite clean haircare products:
If you're like me and you get all "kid in a candy shop" around hair products, take the quiz & we'll tell you what your hair needs!
Either way, I hope you enjoyed my first blog post!! Thank you for reading it, and if you did enjoy it, I'd love to hear from you!
If you have any suggestions on blog topics you'd like to hear from me, send me a DM or email me! I love hearing from you!