You buy the shampoo, mask, conditioner and other hair products you like best. You use them without paying attention to what's in them and that's it. You and most people follow this routine. But what about the ingredients in hair cosmetics that are harmful to the health of your hair?
The chemical components of hair cosmetics is a current issue that raises a number of opinions. That's why we're going to explain to you which ingredients are harmful (or not) most controversial for the health of your hair and why.
However, we don't want to scare you or make you rush to read all the bottles in your bathroom one by one. Keep calm! and read on to find out what's really being said and circulated on the Internet.
When we are informed we can decide how to act and if it is necessary to look for other alternatives that are more respectful of the health of our hair.
Harmful ingredients in hair cosmetic products for hair health
What they are: Sulfates are detergents that are present in many shampoos, soaps, bath gels, and toothpaste.
Function: they are excellent cleaners that dissolve dirt. They make the foam and this is usually liked because we associate it with cleaning. We think that the more foam, the cleaner the hair will be, right? It's not really like that.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), ammonium lauryl sulfate (ASL) and sodium chloride are the most common.
You'll find them on labels with these names: "lauryl sulfate", "sodium lauryl sulfate", "ammonium laureth", "sodium coco", " cocoyl", "laureth" or "myreth".
Debate: not only do they remove dirt from hair and skin, but they also carry off their natural fats. That is why it is recommended to use a small amount of shampoo, wash the hair by massaging it and then rinse it with water.
Sulfates can cause dryness and irritation in people with sensitive scalps or those who are allergic to them.
What the studies say: to date there is no clear evidence that sulfates are harmful to our hair beyond the specific cases we have mentioned.
And now what I do: if your hair looks healthy, you can continue with your favorite shampoo. And if you prefer a natural alternative, try a sulfate-free shampoo. If you have any doubts or questions, consult a hair specialist.
What they are: Parabens are preservatives found among the ingredients of shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, creams, and many other cosmetic products.
Function: they prevent the appearance of microorganisms, fungi or bacteria and thus ensure proper preservation of the product.
You will find them on the labels with these names: sodium benzoate, "sodium (and ammonium) laureate sulfate", propyl, isobutyl, and butyl plus the suffix -paraben.
Debate: The paraben alarm was raised in 2004 following studies by Dr. Philippa Darbre of the University of Edinburgh. The studies focused on analyzing cancerous tissue from the breasts of women in which traces of parabens were found.
Extensive new studies sought to discover whether parabens might be a contributing factor to breast cancer because of their ability to mimic the female hormone, estrogen, which drives breast tumor growth.
What the studies say: There is currently NO conclusive research on the relationship between parabens and cancer.
In the words of Dr. Philippa Darbre:
“The fact that parabens were detected in most breast tissues does not imply that they caused breast cancer in the 40 women studied. However, the fact that parabens are present in so many breast tissue samples justifies further investigation.”
And now what I do: if you are going to feel more relaxed, you can opt for hair products that do not contain parabens.
What they are: Silicones are a chemical compound formed by silicon and oxygen atoms. They are odorless and colorless. They are present in many hair cosmetic products such as shampoos, masks, and conditioners.
Function: they provide shine, softness and thickness to the hair. There are hydrosoluble silicones, those that when mixed with water melt, and the insoluble ones that due to their chemical composition are difficult to eliminate.
You will find them on the labels with the endings in -xane, -cone or -conol.
Debate: the light and soft effect of hair are only external. Silicones do not really improve the health of the hair because they act as a mask. On the other hand, although they help to protect the hair from the aggressions of the cold, the sun and the environment, working as a protective layer, they prevent other cosmetics or hair treatment from penetrating the hair.
What the studies say: despite the voices of disagreement with the use of silicones in hair, entities such as the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) in Europe guarantee the safety of the components of the hair cosmetic products we use every day.
So what do I do now: as long as your hair is healthy you can continue to use water-soluble silicones or switch to non-silicone ones. If you have very oily hair, it is better to use products without silicone because it can cause more natural sebum to appear.
It is also important to note that all cosmetic products on the markets are governed by regulated by proper authority. The regulation guarantees the safety, quality and effectiveness of the ingredients, composition, packaging and manufacturing process.
What should we look for to have healthy hair
People should, at the outset, look for a shampoo that does not have aggressive surfactants and, if they have a sensitive scalp, they already had allergies, or if the scalp gets irritated, they should choose shampoos without dyes, perfumes and with a balanced pH (more for acid and not alkaline).
With regard to shampoos formulated from natural ingredients, they can be a good choice for excluding surfactants. In addition, the pH is not alkaline. However, be careful, because these shampoos also have preservatives, so they may not provide security in relation to allergies.
The team of the seredipityhouse believes that it is decisive to know the condition of our hair in order to use the shampoo or other hair cosmetic products with the ingredients it needs. You can check out our hair products about the ingredients of the shampoo we recommend.
Now, you want to use the hair products which are natural ingredient made and free from harmful chemicals.