More people are turning away from synthetic, to more natural based hair care products. People are becoming more aware of the ingredients in products. Ingredients containing water insoluble silicones, parabens, SLS/SLES and harsh synthetic preservatives are becoming less welcome now a days. Below is a more in depth look at some of the ingredients people are taking note of.
Benefits of Using Natural Products
Using natural hair products you may find that your hair is able to grow faster (so by default longer), have less breakage, your hair may become more manageable and your curl pattern can become more defined. This is because no ingredients are “suffocating” your hair and your hair can breathe properly. The more you are consistent with using natural hair products, the healthier and better your hair will become.
Here is some information on ingredients to avoid if you want to use all natural products:
Silicones are often used in hair care products to add shine and gloss to hair, decrease combing friction and tangling, provide conditioning and act as a humectant. However, silicones only give the appearance of healthier hair by coating it to make it appear sleeker, frizz free and healthier. They are also known to add weight and give fine and fragile hair a heavy feeling.
Silicone hair products are also generally not water soluble, which means that they can build-up in your hair over time, especially if you don’t use a proper cleanser to wash them out. In order to get rid of the build-up that silicone hair products can create, you will have to use a shampoo containing surfactants. Some people do find their hair behaves better with silicones in their products. If this is the case for you, it is best to try and use products with silicones that are water soluble. So using natural cleansers and conditioners, that don’t build up, is key.
Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in many hair products. Brands should be careful about its usage. However, recent studies have shown that parabens are potentially dangerous and a possibly carcinogenic. Parabens have been found to be hormone disrupters, able to mimic estrogen and have been linked to many medical conditions. Fortunately, many companies are addressing these health concerns by developing and offering paraben-free products at all price points. The wide variety of paraben free hair products today is good news, its just not necessary for cosmetics companies to use such ingredients.
Natural preservatives including tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract and potassium sorbate are more acceptable to many users who object to some of the potentially toxic effects of some synthetic preservatives. Guaranteeing a healthy, microbe-free product that will last for more than a few weeks or months takes R&D that because of the cost, means, only committed brands will even try to achieve this.
Many products contain harmful chemicals that can be damaging to your hair. Both sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are common ingredients in many soaps and shampoos and can be damaging to your scalp and hair. Though they do clean, they also strip your hair of their natural essential oils which leaves the hair dry and damaged. Overuse of sulfates can also make the hair become extremely unmanageable and frizzy.