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The 5 Scariest Ingredients in your Hair Care Products

Scariest ingredients in your hair products

They live amongst us, under the name of “fragrance” or other complicated ingredients. Names you don’t recognize and chemicals you’ve never heard of, or maybe you have. These are just a few of the ingredients that we use on our scalp daily without being conscious of the damage and consequences.

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

Sulfates are harsh detergents that work to strip 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 you should be scared:

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. Sulfates will surely deep cleanse your scalp and strands but they will also dry out your skin completely and are closely related to some diseases.

2. Para(normal)bens

Parabens such as methylparaben and propylparaben are creepy ingredients 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:

We find them in 85% of self-care products and canned products, and they have been linked to increased growth of breast cancer cells. VERY SCARY!

3. Dr. Formaldehyde

This is not an ingredient that you’ll find often in hair products, and there’s a good reason for it: this is the scariest of them all. It is used as a preservative and most commonly 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’ll 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

It 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 can clog your pores, cause irritation and acne.

5. The one in disguise: Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic fragrances are sneaky. Manufacturers don’t need to specify the ingredients under the term “fragrance”. Smart, but not OK for the rest of us.

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!!!

Horrifying, right?

’till next time.

Lucía.