You may think the most difficult decision you’ll have to make when picking your shampoo and conditioner is choosing between Vivacious Vanilla and Marvelous Mango scent, but in reality you should be looking for the 7 worst ingredients for your hair. Keeping your locks lustrous and full of body can be as easy as switching the products you use on your hair. Look out for this list of the 7 worst ingredients for your hair and start a healthier routine today!
1. Sodium Laurel Sulfate
You’ve probably heard of this one before as one of the 7 worst ingredients for your hair. Also known as SLS, it’s what gives your shampoo that foamy lather, and your eyes that tearful burning sensation. It’s usually tested as an irritant on lab animals where it has been found to cause eye damage (as well as in human children), severe skin irritations/corrosion, and immune system problems. It’s found to be absorbed easily, and stays in your body for up to 5 days after use. But what’s worse of all, is that leaves residual traces in the heart, liver, and lungs, and brain. Who knew that one wash could hurt you so much?
2. Sodium Laureate Sulfate
SLES is kinda like the little brother to SLS. Still part of the same carcinogenic nitrate family, but with a twist... SLES likes the drink. Sodium Laureate Sulfate (note the slight difference in name) is the alcohol form of SLS. This meaning (take note curly girls) it can dry out your hair. Ah, but if dry hair wasn’t enough, it also dumps large amounts of dangerous nitrates into your blood stream after only ONE shampooing. Who knew dry hair could be the worst of your problems?
3. Mineral Oil and Petrolatum
I’m sorry to tell you this, but your Nana has lied to you, Vaseline is NOT good for your hair. In fact it can prevent your hair from growing and cause ugly/painful acne on your scalp. Mineral oils and petrolatum are common ingredients in haircare products. They are a derivative of crude oil - you know the stuff your car runs on and we wage wars over? It also creates a barrier over skin, preventing it from being able to detoxify itself and breathe, leaving all the bad in your body. Cut it out and let your skin breathe and your hair grow.
4. Isopropyl Alcohol
We all know alcohol is delicious mixed with Coca-Cola in a glass, and that too much of it is bad for your liver and your skin, but what most people don’t know is that it’s common in your shampoo, and it’s just as bad. Name isopropyl alcohol sound a bit familiar to you? That’s because it’s also found in anti-freeze. The vapors are also known to cause symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and vomiting. It can also cause your hair to dry out and break off. No thank you.
5. Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin
I had to literally double-check the spelling OUT LOUD to make sure this was correct. Point in case - if you can’t spell it or at least pronounce it, it’s probably bad for you. Other point in case - these ingredients are preservatives that release formaldehyde. You know the stuff your high school biology frog was covered with? Known to cause symptoms ranging from fatigue, dizziness, joint pain, heart palpitations and even CANCER, it’s safe to say formaldehyde belongs in the science lab. This is no way to preserve your hair.
Remember when I said that your current problem in choosing a shampoo/conditioner was choosing between the scents Vivacious Vanilla and Marvelous Mango? Well actually it shouldn’t be... at all. "Fragrance" can actually be a few hundred unlisted synthetic chemicals all coming together to create that "vanilla" scent. Those synthetic chemicals can cause skin reactions, depression, and headaches just to name a few. Your safest bet is to buy haircare products that use essential oils, or buy un-fragranced versions and add your own. May I suggest lavender, rosemary, or peppermint to brighten your shower?
7. Propylene Glycol
This chemical is also known as PE. Who regularly calls it PE you ask? Oh just the industry workers who use it to break down cellular structures and proteins that are the same as human skin. But don’t worry those workers wear required protective gear due to the product’s carcinogenic nature and ease of skin absorption. But Alyssa you ask, doesn’t my shampoo contain the same amount of carcinogenic PE levels? Where is my protective gear? Sorry kitten, you don’t have a warning label either.
This can be a lot of scary information to take in, especially since these are just a FEW of the dangerous chemicals that can not only damage your hair, but your entire body as well. Take my advice, step away from the commercial shampoo and conditioners, and opt for all natural options. If all of this upsets you even more, write to your local government officials and fight to keep these chemicals off the shelves and other consumers educated. How does this make you feel, knowing all the dangers you regularly wash into your hair?