Hair products from your local market can make your hair feel smoother, silkier, fresher, and shinier. In some cases, these products promise to give your hair long-term benefits due to the high concentration of active ingredients. Additionally, they are cheaper and easily accessible to the general public.
But did you know that these products are slowly harming you? Yes, the ingredients found in shampoos, hair relaxers, conditioners, serums, etc., can lead you to develop various side effects. The continuous use of such products can increase cancer risks, allergic reactions, hair issues, and more.
In this blog, we will discuss three ingredients that you should avoid when buying hair products.
The cosmetic industry uses parabens as a preservative for hair products to give them smoothening properties. However, some parabens release formaldehyde, which causes hormone disruptions, skin irritation, and cancer.
Consumer Notice highlights that parabens are mostly used in keratin masks for straightening or smoothening. Recently, researchers have linked the use of hair relaxers and straighteners to an increased risk of cancer and other health issues. More than 33,000 women who used such products are now susceptible to life-threatening diseases like uterine, endometrial, and breast cancer.
These victims hold the manufacturers responsible and have filed a hair relaxer lawsuit for failure to warn of potential risks. Anyone who has received a straightening treatment and developed cancer is eligible for this lawsuit. To win, they need medical proof, receipts of purchase, and witness statements.
According to TorHoerman Law, the average settlement for each plaintiff in this lawsuit can be between USD 100,000 and USD 1,500,000. However, the exact compensation will depend on the extent of side effects and medical proof.
In the last few years, you’ve probably seen various articles discussing the side effects of sulfates in cosmetic products. Yes, sulfates are a chemical ingredient that you should stay away from. Ideally, these are used as a foaming or cleansing agent in toothpaste, shampoos, etc.
Cosmetic companies use this ingredient to ensure their products create lather. These surface-acting agents also help scrub dirt, oil, and dry skin cells from your scalp.
However, prolonged use can lead to frizzy hair and eye irritation. In some cases, sulfates can also trigger allergic reactions that can sometimes become fatal. This ingredient can also strip away your scalp’s moisture and make your hair unhealthy.
Even though they don’t cause cancer, sulfates aren’t good for your hair either. Prolonged sulfate exposure can damage your skin and affect your hair’s texture.
Dermatologists believe you should avoid sulfate-rich shampoos when you have sensitive skin or underlying skin conditions. People with frizzy or dyed hair should also stay away from sulfates.
#3. Synthetic Fragrances
Usually, you’ll buy a product based on its scent because you want your hair to smell good throughout the week. According to Business News Daily, scent marketing is a strategic way to use fragrance to influence customer decisions. For instance, you would rather buy a shampoo that smells like lavender than one that doesn’t have any aroma.
But did you know that these are synthetic scents made from chemicals? Approximately 95% of hair products list fragrance as an ingredient. Unfortunately, these can lead to skin reactions like hives, redness, dermatitis, etc.
Such an artificially fragranced formulation could contain an array of irritants. The most common is a synthetic ingredient called phthalates. It’s normally used as a solvent or preservative in shampoos, styling products, and conditioners.
Phthalates can impact human endocrine systems and cause reproductive issues. Each year, exposure to this chemical leads to 100,000 premature deaths in older Americans.
3 Alternatives to These Harmful Ingredients
After reading about the side effects of sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances, you must be overwhelmed. Now, you might wonder about the kind of products you should purchase.
Well, you must look for the following trustworthy ingredients when buying hair products. These include:
- Mild surfactants: These help boost your scalp’s natural oil production and do not cause heavy product buildup.
- Unrefined shea butter: It adds moisture to your scalp without flattening the volume or clogging the pores.
- Humectants: The presence of coconut oil or aloe vera in the products will help lock moisture, repair damage, and reduce split ends.
Furthermore, you can choose a product with avocado or jojoba oil to ensure a natural softness and luxurious shine. All these ingredients are natural and won’t cause any damage to your skin, hair, or overall health.
Pro Tip: Before buying, remember to research the product. Check customer testimonials or reviews and the ingredient list to spot troublesome components and potential allergens. Similarly, when visiting a saloon, ask the hairdressers to use natural products without harmful elements.
The Bottom Line
According to Mordor Intelligence, people have started to realize the importance of avoiding hair products with harmful chemicals. Much research has come to light stating that continuous exposure to synthetic ingredients in hair products can lead to cancer and other diseases.
That’s why people are demanding natural, plant-based, and premium ingredients in their products. For instance, the sulfate-free shampoo market is expected to reach USD 6.2 billion in the next ten years. Similarly, the paraben-free product market is growing at a 3.4% CAGR.
These statistics prove that it’s time for you to ditch your chemical products and look for alternatives. Ensure to look for natural ingredients like oils, mild surfactants, etc. Only then can you be safe from exposure to carcinogenic elements.