5 Common Ingredients to Avoid in Your Hair Care Routine
Although most reputable hair products and shampoos seem to be switching to a “sulfate-free” way, there are still some products out there with these chemicals that just are no good for your hair! Sulfates help shampoos to make a better lather in the shower to remove dirt and oils, which sounds great, however these can have a plethora of negative effects. For people with sensitive skin or scalps, these sulfates have been proven to cause irritation and even allergic reactions. In addition, unless your hair is incredibly healthy and oily, sulfates simply strip the hair TOO much of the natural oils and moisture it needs to be healthy and grow. Sulfates also will strip out any color you had put in your hair, and most of us beauty-obsessed folks have some sort of coloring in our hair!
- Silicone Ingredients
This one may be more of a personal choice and preference to an extent, as many people and brands will claim that silicone ingredients add shine and silkiness to hair. The silicone ingredients work by covering the hair with a thin, waterproof coating, which blocks out humidity, in turn helps smooth and straighten hair. This coating also locks moisture in hair and makes the hair have more of a slippery feel. However, with this coating comes the overload of locked-in oils and other unwanted things in your hair that are trapped in with the moisture. Not to mention that some types of silicones have been proven to be less effective at evaporating, therefore building up on the hair follicles over time and damaging your hair! These silicones and dimethicones that build up over time also will attract dirt and pollutants from the air to weigh your hair down and that is the opposite of what most people want! If you like the effects these ingredients have like the silk and shine, you can consider trying lighter silicones like cyclomethicone and dimethicone copolyol, which are much lighter and more likely to evaporate/dissolve than dimethicone or silicones with protein named attached, but for some it may seem wisest to just avoid them all!
- Isopropyl Alcohol
This one seems pretty obvious as you have probably been advised against using even skincare products with alcohol in them for- you guessed it- the fact that they pull all moisture and oils out! If you pick up a product and alcohol is one of the first ingredients, you know that that product has chemicals that will strip your hair far too much of what it needs to be its healthiest, and that will simply damage your hair!
Once again, most hair care brands are starting to rebrand their products to “paraben-free,” but there are certainly some still out there from the drugstore to the high end hair care world. The goal of parabens in products is to disrupt microbial growth in the products, but they have been proven to disrupt the body’s normal hormonal cycle, as they mimic estrogen and can reduce the production of this hormone which can cause so many problems for the body. It is easiest to choose products that are proud to be “paraben-free” as labeled on the bottle, but ingredients to look for and avoid include butylparabens, propylparabens and methylparabens, and parabens can also be found in the term Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates.
- Mineral Oil
At first glance or first thought, this term may not sound so bad. Similar to the way that silicone ingredients work, mineral oils coat the hair and add moisture and conditioning, leaving the hair more silky and shiny. Sounds great, right? Well, unfortunately mineral oil is very comedogenic and can lead to skin and hair dehydration and irritation of the scalp! Products will claim that this ingredient helps treat hair and provide important effects, when really it is only a temporary, appearance-improving situation. This oil is a liquid paraffin and it comes from petroleum, meaning it is heavy and will coat the hair, suffocating it and weighing it down. Although one use of products with this ingredient may cause an immediate result, overuse of the product will actually DRY OUT and damage hair. Consider using a more natural form that is loved widespreadly- argan oil!
Many of these ingredients DO have a short term or immediate result that many argue is worth the risk of the possibilities of effects they can have on the hair with continued use, however, as a personal opinion, I like to avoid them as much as I can, especially with drier, color-treated hair! We always suggest you do your own research and see how you feel personally about these things, but sometimes knowing the negatives of popular hair ingredients can help you narrow down the playing field of infinite hair products out there!
Happy Hair Care!
MACs Lash & Skin Studio