We’re always told that if we can’t pronounce an ingredient on the back of a shampoo bottle, then it’s no good–that ideology isn’t always the best. Yes, we are cautious, but many hard-to-pronounce ingredients are harmless. What we need to do is watch out for, specific ingredients that cause more damage to the hair than benefits. If you discover any of these ingredients in your hair care products, it might be time to move on and find a replacement.
As mentioned prior, if you can’t pronounce it, then don’t buy it. It’s no wonder this chemical is at the top of the list. Phthalates, pronounced “thah-lates”, make ingredients adhere to the surface while remaining flexible. They’re also responsible for that fragrance that lingers after you wash your hair. So, what’s the big deal? For starters, phthalates, known as endocrine disruptors, can interfere with your natural hormones. Studies suggest that hormone disruptors can lead to various reproductive issues. Such issues include birth defects, infertility, asthma, or lung difficulties. As always, it’s best to consult your doctor about specific ingredients that may be harmful to you. As a safety precaution, always check the ingredients before purchasing and avoid any that include or end in “-phthalate”.
The saying goes, “All things in moderation” and, of course, it relates to ingredients, too. Sulfates are excellent for deep cleaning and eliminating greasy residue but, at high quantities, they strip the hair of its natural oils. Those with skin sensitivities should be cautious. If you notice any skin irritation or excessive dryness after use, you should stick to sulfate-free products.
3. Polyethylene Glycol
Like the effects of Sulfates, polyethylene glycol [PEGs] can strip hair and skin of its natural oils causing dry, brittle strands. PEGs are a thickening agent and help ingredients to better absorb into the hair or skin. The danger lies in their absorption powers, where harmful, carcinogenic chemicals are easily absorbed into the skin. What you need to worry about the most, is the number that follows the PEGs. For example, a PEG-2 is more powerful or potent than a PEG-100. Smaller numbers mean penetration is easier and greater. Always be cautious of the ingredients found in your hair care products.
We can’t stress this enough–educate yourself on harmful ingredients and read the back of your shampoo bottle before you buy. Potentially hazardous chemicals may be lurking in the ingredients and they are being applied directly to the hair and scalp. For your best health, avoid products that contain phthalates, sulfates, and PEGs. Your hair will thank you!