We get it. It’s 2020, and everything seems so much more involved. Now, you might have to check your hair products, too? It’s a lot, wanting your dream body, has become achieving your healthiest self. You’re buying almond milk. Reading health blogs. Looking for the right-empowering-community. That was the beginning of the journey, but now; like we said, 2020 has become so much more involved. We have to trust that the brands we use; actually, help us achieve our goals. Apparently, that could be asking a lot.
“Shockingly, 84% of chemicals detected were not listed on the product label.” -Silentsprings.org
The question was and is: Could your hair care products be harming you? The answer is: It’s very possible. If you use any of these products listed below (or really any long-shelf life product) you’re pumping your system full of chemicals. Chemicals that can build up in your body over time, altering the endocrine system and imitating natural hormones. I’ll warn you, it’s a pretty all-inclusive product list.
- Hot Oil Treatments
- Anti-Frizz, Hair Polishes
- Leave-In Conditioners
- Hair Lotions
- Hair Relaxers
Parabens. Fragrance chemicals. Phthalates. Cyclosiloxanes. This is a short list of your biggest offenders found in almost all of the products above. We’ve added a list for your consideration, below. Telling you why, the FDA, should rethink what is considered safe for human-use. Current, ‘safe-product-use labels,’ are dated and further testing is need. Up-to-date labels would show us the actual effects of these chemicals on our bodies, allowing us to impose higher standards on our cosmetics companies.
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Keeping products hypoallergenic for longer shelf lives. They are in many household,
beauty, and self-care products. They aren’t necessarily bad, at first, but parabens build up in our bodies. They act like a hormone and closely resemble estrogen. Disrupting our endocrine system and estrogen levels. Stimulating the growth and division of cancer cells. In animal studies, built-up levels of parabens led to breast cancer. Researchers recommend lowering your level of exposure to parabens by lowering the number of products you use containing parabens.
Commonly found in breast implants, Cyclosiloxanes, produced fatal liver and lung damage in animals; found one study. D4 Cyclosiloxanes carry a hazard warning in the European union of suspected fertility damage. As well as causing aquatic damage. They aren’t good for animals or the environment—
They’re probably no good for you, either. Look for this chemical in ‘leave-in’ products.
Proven in animal studies, that phthalates disrupt the reproductive systems. Causing fertility issues. Phthalates leave a lot of unknown long term side-effects. Try switching from plastic to glass personal care packing. Phthalates are used commonly in shampoos, detergents, nail polishes. If the label tells you this item contains “fragrance,” know this most likely contains phthalates.
We know what you’re thinking. “These products are all in my daily routine. I can’t walk out the door with frizzy, brittle, hair...” While, that may be true, you could also just limit your chemical load exposure. Like switching to a homemade hot oil treatment. Switch to sew-ins and not glue-ins. Taking vitamins, to help you have healthier and stronger hair and skin- without cosmetics. Along with searching for ethical green beauty companies, you've got options. We’ve provided a link, here to a good resource. You’ll be on your way to paving yourself a natural lifestyle.
But before you go, here’s yet another reason to get you to take a look at your hair regime.
Did you know that if you are a woman of color, chances are you have higher levels of phthalates and parabens in your body than a white counterpart? Well according to the U.S. centers for disease control and prevention; black women simply shop and use more hair products than every other group sampled. Our bodies are loaded down with dose after dose of poorly researched chemicals and outdated safety labels.
If we’re going to keep our high hair care standards, shouldn’t we use purpose-driven brands to cleanse and care for our luscious manes?
Invest more into your health with quality products and trustworthy companies. Challenge beauty culture. Think outside of the box about the way things are done. Taking a step toward a healthier you, means an all-encompassing regimen. You get to challenge everyday what you thought you knew about your body. Ask tough questions. Have even tougher standards. Look for a company who believes in transparency. It’s an exciting time to try out quality products and achieve your best life.
--- Klarrisa Arafa, BCRX Content Writer