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The 5 Scariest Ingredients in your hair products

The 5 scariest ingredients in your hair products

They live amongst, undercover by attractive perfumes and fancy ingredients. Names you don’t recognize and chemicals you’ve never heard of, or maybe you have, this is the true story of the scariest ingredients we find in our daily hair products.

1. The twin sisters:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

Sulfates are harsh detergents that are very good at stripping the oils from the hair. Both of them are surfactants and they are present in almost every shampoo, detergent, and soap you can think of. Why? Because these are the ones in charge of creating the lathering foam that we love so much.

Why you should be scared:

Even though they cleanse your scalp and hair, they are harsh and will eventually damage your hair, making it brittle and dry. They can also trigger allergic reactions on your skin and trigger a dandruff problem.

2. Para(normal)bens

Parabens such as methylparaben and propylparaben, other creepy ingredients that we know are bad for us and we rarely avoid because they’re everywhere. They are used to preserve products preventing bacteria to grow in cosmetics and hair care products.

Why you should be scared:

They are found in 85% of self-care products and canned products, and they have been linked to increased growth of breast cancer cells.

3. Dr. Formaldehyde

This is not an ingredient that you most often find in hair products, and there’s a good reason why…it’s the scariest one. It is used as a preservative and is usually activated by heat. It is so dangerous that The European Union has restricted its use in personal care products, and in Sweden and Japan, it is entirely banned from cosmetics and toiletries. You can mainly find it under the name of quaternium-15.

Why you should be scared:

It is a known carcinogen proven to be absorbed by the skin. In fact, in 2013, hundreds of American women sued Unilever after experiencing hair loss, burnt scalps, and broken or discolored hair after using an at-home hair-smoothing product. (CNN)

4. Dimethicone

Is a silicone that makes your hair look nice and shiny, after cleansing it with shampoo. On the other hand, it’s the ingredient that contributes the most to build up and making your hair greasy and lifeless after one day of not cleaning it.

Why you should be scared:

It is basically plastic that clogs your pores and causes irritation and acne.

5. The one in disguise: Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic fragrances are sneaky. Manufacturers do not need to specify the ingredients under the term “fragrance”. Smart, but not good for us consumers.

Why you should be scared:

Some ingredients in products that contain synthetic fragrances can irritate the skin, cause hair loss, and even disrupt the reproductive system. They can also cause cancer, asthma, and make their way into women’s breast milk.

It might not be easy these days to find a hair brand that really cares for your hair and your health. But trust me, it is worth it to invest both time and money into self-care brands that do. Let me know in the comments if you know any and which natural brands you love.

’till next time.

Lucía.