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5 Common Ingredients in Hair Care Products To Avoid

One key to great hair is the use of good hair products. A single bad ingredient in a hair care product can make that product dangerous for your hair and health. Here are some of the ingredients to avoid if you want to maintain great hair:

       1. Sulfates

Sulfates are so effective at their job that they remove the naturally produced sebum that should moisturize your hair. It is usually found in hair cleaning products as it is mainly a foaming agent. It is particularly unhealthy for curly hair and should be avoided completely.

Avoid all variants of sulfates including Ammonium Lauryl sulfate, sodium Laureth sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate.

       2. Parabens

Parabens often serve as preservatives in shampoos and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mold. Studies have shown that parabens actively imitate the activity of the hormone estrogen and interferes often with estrogen production. This ingredient is also believed to cause cancer although it has not yet been proven.

      3. Formaldehyde

The international Agency for Research on Cancer has classified Formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. Most hair straightening or smoothing products release formaldehyde gas into the air during the straightening or smoothing process and this poses considerable threats to your health.

Exposure to formaldehyde gas can cause short-term health issues like irritation, headaches, dizziness, cough, scratchy throat, wheezing and more. Some long-term health issues caused by this exposure range from contact dermatitis, to asthma, and cancer.

      4. Silicone

Silicones are polymers gotten from crystal quartz and used in hair products like conditions, shampoos, and other products used for smoothing frizzy hair. According to Allure ma, Silicones give the hair an instant shiny and luxurious feel, but that’s just about it.

This product simply gives your hair the appearance of conditioning when in reality, it simply sits on the shaft without penetrating your hair to offer any real moisture.  Worse still, because silicone is insoluble in water, you’d need a sulfate-based shampoo to wash the product out and as you’ve already learned, sulfate is an ingredient to avoid!

      5. Toluene

This ingredient is a toxic chemical used primarily to dissolve paint and in paint thinners, but it is also used in hair dyes. While it gives you that stylish appearance you seek, it also causes some short and long-term health issues.

Toluene has been found to affect the respiratory system and cause skin irritation in the short term. The California Environmental Protection Agency Proposition 65 listed Toluene as a possible human developmental toxicant stating that a mother’s exposure to toluene vapors during pregnancy may result in developmental damage in the fetus.

Hair products are just like food products, if we are selective about what we feed our bodies, we must be selective about what we put in our hair. Avoiding these ingredients will be sure to make you feel good the next time you look at your hair in the mirror!

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