How To Make Healthier Beauty Choices: 9 Ingredients To Avoid In Your Hair Care Products

by Bold Support on May 30, 2018

More and more consumers today are living lifestyles focused on health and wellness. This should go beyond just food and diet and be incorporated into choices for beauty and hair care products. 1 out of every 3 Americans suffers from an allergy or intolerance that is in our everyday beauty routine. As a result, beauty brands have researched ingredients so that consumers can make healthier choices when choosing a cosmetic brand and its products. 

With the growing demand for transparency regarding the ingredients in the hair care products we use every day, information is now readily accessible via digital technologies and social media. Consumers can research products and individual ingredients with a simple click.

Reputable groups, such as Think Dirty and EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, have emerged to help consumers define the toxicity of cosmetic products and highlight potential hazards and health concerns. Their scientists compare ingredients to published journal articles and government regulations to provide the consumer with an easy to understand toxicity rating for a cosmetic product.

We have done our homework and compiled the 9 most toxic ingredients you want to avoid that you can find in your everyday hair care. 

1: Synthetic fragrances are a common addition to cosmetic products, including hair care and body care products, since they add a pleasant scent to the products.Synthetic fragrances are also cost effective and minimal amounts are required to give the product a strong and long-lasting scent.

Why should you avoid synthetic fragrances (even the ones that smell really good): 
Government regulations require companies to provide an ingredient declaration for each product. However, since fragrances are considered trade-secret formulas they are not required to list each component of the fragrance on the ingredient label. So many cosmetic products containing synthetic fragrances also likely contain phthalates.

2: Phthalates are a common industrial chemical used in synthetic fragrances to stabilize the fragrance. They are also found in PVC plastics and are often referred to as plasticizers.

The science behind avoiding this ingredient:
Phthalates have several potential health effects and have been linked to asthma, allergies, and problems of the reproductive system, such as decreased sperm motility.

FUN FACT: There are alternatives to using fragrances containing phthalates that your hair and body will thank you for: natural fragrances! NIUCOCO’sfragrance is composed of natural, organic coconut aromatics and is phthalate free.

3: Parabens are a widely used inexpensive preservative and have been used in cosmetic products since the 1920s.They are primarily used to extend the shelf life of the products and protect the products from fungal and bacterial contamination.

The truth about parabens is scary:
Many studies have linked parabens to the disruption of reproductive hormones (since parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen). The push to remove parabens from cosmetic products came when a study showed the presence of parabens in 19 of 20 breast cancer tumors.

4: In the cosmetic world, sulfates are designated to anionic surfactants and specifically to sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate.These four detergents are powerful degreasers and are typically used at very high concentrations in shampoos due to their cleansing and foaming capacity.

Why sulfates are to be avoided:
Sulfates can be too harsh on the hair and scalp and can strip away your hair’s natural oils causing dryness and skin irritation. As hair is stripped of its natural oils it becomes vulnerable to breakage. To avoid this, most people apply a heavier amount of conditioner to replace the natural oils they just stripped out. It’s a vicious and expensive wash, rinse, and repeat the cycle. 

5: Formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors (urea and DMDM Hydantoin) are used as a preservative in cosmetic products such as hair straightening systems, hair serums, shampoos, and an endless list of other hair care products.

Here’s the dirty secret: 
You may experience watery eyes, skin irritation, coughing, and nausea with this ingredient. It is also a known animal carcinogen. They are no studies linking cancer to humans, but it is best to avoid it all together.

6: PEG (Polyethylene glycol) is a petroleum compound typically used as a humectant or stabilizer in cosmetic products. PEGs have a penetration enhancing effect; this helps the other ingredients in the products to easily penetrate the skin.

Why is this bad, you ask?
PEG allows the ingredients in the products to easily penetrate the skin but also allows the potential impurities PEG carries from petroleum to also easily penetrate the skin.

7: Synthetic colours are typically derived from petroleum or coal tar and are suspected to be a human carcinogen. Yuck! The words “coal tar” requires no further need to explain why you should avoid this.

8: Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), and Triethanolamine (TEA) are known to form cancer-causing chemicals and are commonly used as foaming agents in shampoos, bubble baths, and body washes.

9: Mineral oil is a derivative of crude oil (petroleum). It is inexpensive, can be found in many hair care products, and is most popularly used in baby oil. (Yup! You read that correctly!)

Mineral Oil = Bad News: 
This is not a sustainable oil in the long run. And, since it is derived from crude oil, it can be contaminated with carcinogenic materials.

NIUCOCO and our team of health conscience scientists avoided these dangerous ingredients that have been part of hair care for so long. Scientists in the industry have developed alternatives to phthalates, parabens, and sulfates due to the demand from consumers for safer, non-toxic ingredients. There are more health conscious choices on the market for cleansers, preservatives, and fragrances. Additionally, an increasing amount of ingredients derived from natural and sustainable sources have emerged.

NIUCOCO only produces non- toxic products that focus on performance but also have a low environmental impact. Everyone deserves great hair.