9 Toxic Hair Products Ingredients to Avoid

Many toxic hair products ingredients are easy to avoid if you know what to look for. Since the selections of products today are far greater than ever before, you've definitely got more options!

That means you’ll have an easier time finding products that promote a healthy shine - and won’t leave your hair looking frazzled! Yeah!





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It’s easy to understand why most people treasure their hair and do whatever they can to make sure it looks and feels shiny and silky. However, when you use the wrong products and ingredients, your hair can go from scrumptious to scraggly!

Even with the advancements of making botanicals more stable, many products on the market today still contain ingredients that are known trouble makers. Unfortunately, there are toxic additives in the products you find on the shelf at your local superstore. Knowing which ingredients help and which ones harm, is truly beneficial for the life of your hair. These chemicals can be avoided if you know what they are.

If you find that some of the products you’re currently using contain some of the bad hair products ingredients, you don’t need to panic and throw them away, especially if you’re on a strict budget. Just be mindful when you run out and shop for them again. Fortunately, in most cases, toxicity only happens over a long period of time. However, if you can afford to chunk them, better to be safe than sorry, right?

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Bad Hair Products Ingredients to Avoid




Isopropyl alcohol - Can be found in a multitude of hair products, especially hair rinses and finishing sprays. Isopropyl alcohol is used to give hair more shine but over time, it can be very drying. (It’s a petroleum based substance that is commonly used in wood lacquer and antifreeze.) It can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and coma.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES - A base surfactant which makes shampoos lather, and can be found in approximately 90 percent of all shampoos and even in some conditioners. The protein of your hair is affected by SLS and SLES. Both can inhibit growth, cause hair loss, and lead to unhealthy hair.

DEA (diethanolamine) and MEA (momoethanolamine) - Often referenced as Cocamide DEA/Mea and Lauramide DEA. These chemicals disrupt hormones and have been shown to form cancer causing nitrates and nitrosamines. They are fairly common in most shampoos. A study at the University of Illinois found that repeated use of DEA detergents may increase liver and kidney cancers.

Propylene glycol - Propylene glycol is a surfactant or wetting agent and solvent. It’s used as an emulsifier in creams, body washes, shampoos and conditioners. It is a synthetic petrochemical that initially, makes hair look smoother. Over time, it can completely obliterate hair.

Polyethylene glycol - A petroleum based product that's also typically used in oven cleaners.

Fragrance – Hair product that list 'fragrance' on the label can contain up to 4,000 different ingredients, most of which are synthetic. Symptoms of fragrance toxicity include headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discolorations, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation. Studies have shown that repeated exposure to fragrances can affect the central nervous system, cause depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes.

Formaldehyde - Probably one of the worst offenders of all hair products ingredients, it is commonly used in shampoos, and conditioners as an inhibiting agent against carcinogenic nitrosamine production. Yet, formaldehyde is carcinogenic by itself. It can easily penetrate the skin and can cause serious long term health concerns and hypersensitivity to other chemicals. It can seriously weaken immunity and can cause cancer. It also causes allergic reactions, headaches, and chronic fatigue.

Imidazolidinyl urea & DMDM Hydantoin - Are preservatives that release formaldehyde. Nearly all hair products contain these chemicals, and are terrible hair products ingredients!

Parabens - Preservatives used to inhibit microbial growth in hair care products and are known to be highly toxic.

How Hair Products Ingredients Are Listed

All ingredients are listed from most to least. If a product lists water as the first ingredient, (which isn’t always bad!), you know that there’s more water in the product than anything else. If parabens are listed last, you understand that there is only a small amount of paraben in the product, which may or may not be a bad thing. It all depends on your perspective. If it’s a product you’ve just gotta try, it probably won’t hurt your hair in small quantities.

Organic products typically do not have bad hair products ingredients. Your Mother did a fantastic job supplying us with a variety of ingredients that are good for you to use on your hair.

Remember though, simply because a product claims to be organic doesn’t mean that it is. You’ll still need to look at the ingredients to know for sure. Look for ingredients such as aloe vera, oils (and other natural humectants), coconut, mint, rosemary, protein, etc., which are all natural. If you find ingredients but can’t pronounce their name, you know they’re chemicals, which are bad hair product ingredients.

Some organic companies that come to mind are Aubrey Organics, Jason Hair Products, Bentley, John Masters, Aveda, Matrix Biolage, and Pureology... but there are certainly more out there!

Because these products are all natural, using them means you can regain vibrancy, bounce, shine, and life to your luscious locks, while avoiding bad hair products ingredients that can rob your tresses of its luster. You also won’t be subjecting yourself to the potential side effects from using chemically laden products. *Sigh of relief*






Related Pages on This Site

Taking Care of Chemically Treated Hair – Before and After

Dry Hair Remedies – Tips to Correct Brittle Hair

Get Rid of Frizzy Hair – Steps to De-poof Your Hair

Hair Facts and Fiction – Separating Truth from Myth

Shiny Hair - Best Methods to Create More Shine

Healthy Hair - No Magician Required!

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