While every hair type is different and has its own specific set of needs, there are certain products that everyone should keep far, far away from their heads. Read on for some of our worst hair offenders and what to use in their place to keep your hair happy, vibrant and healthy.
Anything with Alcohol
Alcohol is added to hair products to preserve their quality, refine their texture and help fight off bacteria. Unfortunately, alcohol can dry out the hair and leave it more susceptible to damage. Although you should try to avoid alcohol-based hair products whenever possible, pay special attention to what products you are spraying on your strands when using hot tools, because heat can react with alcohol and burn your hair.
The most common culprits are sprays, gels and mousses, so always check the label when purchasing those products. Avoid hair fragrances containing alcohol as well and opt for a yummy-smelling dry shampoo or a product infused with essential oils. Alcohol can also be labeled as “methanol” and “isopropyl,” so be sure to keep your eye out for those when scanning the ingredient list.
While we know that buying all natural or organic products isn’t always feasible, it may be a good idea to invest in high-quality, paraben-free products. Parabens can be found in almost any type of beauty product, ranging from facial cleansers to shampoos to lipsticks.
Although there is no concrete evidence to prove their damaging effects, parabens have been linked to breast cancer. They can act similarly to estrogen in the body and high estrogen activity is often associated with breast cancer. If you are not willing to take the risk, try to limit the usage of beauty products that contain parabens. Unsure how to identify parabens? Look for “butylparaben,” “methylparaben,” or“propylparaben” on the ingredient label. When searching for an alternative, keep an eye for ethylhexylglycerin, a substitute derived from plants.
Everyone who has ever picked up a curling iron has most likely experienced burning themselves with that same hot tool. In order to avoid this painful encounter, the hair wizards invented air curlers that magically spin your hair in sultry locks. While the thought of effortless waves seems like a dream come true, hair can often get caught in these tools and leave you with a tangled, painful mess. Want to avoid ripping out a chunk of your hair? Stick to your conventional curling iron and avoid this accident waiting to happen.
The thought of never having to blow dry and straighten your hair again sounds pretty tempting, right? That sentiment is most likely the reason why flat irons that double as hair dryers were invented. Although these tools seem like a great time-saving fix, they can have unbelievably damaging effects on your hair. Hair should be completely dry when using a flat iron, because strands are in their weakest state when wet. Do yourself (and your hair) a favor and take the extra time needed to blow dry your hair before styling. If you’re short on time, use a paddle brush to help the strands dry as straight as possible.
Cheap Shampoo and Conditioner
While it is not always necessary to splurge on beauty products, you should try to avoid cheap, low-quality shampoo and conditioner at all costs. Cheap shampoos are loaded with ingredients that damage your hair and can also potentially have harmful effects on your health— the most common being sulfates. If you have to purchase drugstore shampoo, try to avoid those formulated with ammonium laurel sulfate, as they are the harshest on your hair.
Although you think you are being frugal by purchasing inexpensive shampoos and conditioners, this might be the worst idea when trying to save money. In reality, cheap shampoos are made with more water than higher quality alternatives. Because they are filled with water, as opposed to cleansing ingredients, you will end up using up to twice as much shampoo in order to clean your hair.
Stay Away from Silicone
Silicone is a plastic-like substance that gives our hair a shiny appearance. Truly shiny, radiant hair can only happen naturally when the hair is healthy enough for the cuticle layer to be sealed, which allows the hair to reflect light. When the hair is loaded up with silicone-based products, it becomes unable to absorb the nutrients and moisture needed to make hair healthy and shiny.
If you have curly hair, you will want to pay special attention to silicon-based products. Because of their slippery nature, silicones can slide down to the end of the hair shaft and get trapped in your coils. The result? Weighed-down ends loaded with product buildup that leaves your curls looking lifeless.
Well, this was our review of the 5 ingredients we should avoid in hair products. As we see, the main principle we should keep in mind when caring for our hair is as old as the hills: “Do no harm”. Stay good and beautiful!