Whether you’re rocking your natural hair or wearing extensions to switch up your look, there are some ingredients you want to avoid using to keep your strands looking their best. If you’re shampooing and styling frequently as someone with an active lifestyle, choose products for our regimen that support your look, not fight it.
In this blog post, we’ll share five products to avoid using on your hair.
Parabens are a type of preservative used in cosmetic products, foods, and pharmaceuticals to protect the integrity of the ingredients. Parabens help prevent the growth of fungi and yeast that can cause products to spoil. This is good for many reasons, including prolonging shelf life.
However, parabens can also have negative side effects. They have been linked to an increase in estrogen and may be cancer-causing. Parabens on the skin can also have negative side effects, including potentially causing eczema, scalp irritation, and in some cases, hair loss.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sulfates have been getting a bad rap recently in hair products, and often for good reason. Chemical sulfates like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) are the ingredients that cause shampoo to lather, helping to remove oil and dirt from hair and scalp.
However, sulfates can be drying and cause irritation to hair and scalp. SLS can even be damaging to some types of hair and can wreak havoc on hair that is already damaged by heat or color.
Dimethicones are a silicone-based ingredient often found in hair products that helps keep products from separating. It also helps lock in hydration, creating a barrier around the hair follicle to prevent frizz and loss of hydration. This chemical ingredient can also contribute to product’s smooth or silky texture.
Research suggests that dimethicones aren’t innately “bad” for your hair. They can, however, be unhealthy if they lead to irritation, including itching, redness, or burning. Be mindful of products with this ingredient and, if you have textured hair, consider alternatives.
Found in many hair products to create smooth, thick consistencies, Cetearyl Alcohol is a commonly-used chemical in hair products. From hair gel to shampoo and many other products, Cetearyl Alcohol are often used to keep oil and water-based products from separating. This binder can help seal products into the hair as well.
Like alcohol used on the skin, Cetearyl Alcohol can be drying to hair and scallop. Using this ingredient can lead to ithiness, flaking, or even peeling in some instances. This may not impact everyone who uses this ingredient, so if you start to experience these symptoms with a new product, consider if this ingredient may be to blame.
Silicones are a moisture-locking ingredient often used in hair products to reduce frizz and give hair a silky, soft look. This can be great for layering on moisturizing products to seal in moisture and help protect against humidity.
Too much silicone, however, can certainly be a bad thing. Silicone build-up can leave hair dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. For the very same reasons that silicones help lock in moisture, they can also prevent more moisture from being absorbed into the hair. This can lead to dryness and increase the opportunity for damage.
Be mindful of these five ingredients and you’ll be well on your way to healthier, more luxurious hair.