Let’s be honest, we’d all love glossy, luscious locks!! But can we achieve beautiful hair if we forgo the products we have always used that we now know contain ingredients that may not be the best for our health?
With our growing awareness of chemical exposure, many of us are led to question the ingredients in the products we put on our skin and hair. Our digestive system, lymphatic system, liver, kidneys and skin all play a part in the detoxification of the toxins we ingest. However, with the exposure to synthetic chemicals being an inherent and dominant part of modern life, our body can be working overtime to rid itself of these toxins that are not so great for our health.
If we are able to make informed choices on the types of products we put on our hair and skin, then we can take a step towards supporting our body’s natural detoxification processes to work more efficiently.
Which particular chemicals should I watch out for?
There are over 100 chemicals that can be found in hair care that may have negative implications for someone’s health, but there a few particularly nasty offenders to watch out for…
Sodium laurel/lauryl sulphate (SLS) – known to give hair care products their foaming quality, SLS can dry your scalp and damage the PH by breaking down your moisture barrier. No thanks!
Phthalates (DBP, DMP) – used as setting agents in hairspray and gel products, these are potent hormone disrupters and may contribute to lung, liver and kidney damage.
Synthetic fragrances and colours – these can refer to the thousands of artificial chemicals used in hair care that can affect scalp quality and trigger allergies.
Parabens (Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Butylparaben) – these preservatives may exacerbate eczema and psoriasis on the scalp as well as drying out your hair. Bye bye lovely, luscious locks.
Proplyene glycol (PG) – this one can be found in almost every supermarket hair care product and is one of the highest known scalp irritants. It has great potential to impact health with overexposure. Steer well clear of this one!
What should I look for in a natural hair care range?
The great news is that we can nourish our hair and scalp, have fabulous looking, healthy hair, reduce our exposure to harsh chemicals AND do our bit for the environment, all at the same time.
When shopping for natural hair care….
- Look for products that use natural oils such as argan, shea, olive, jojoba and avocado. These oils will provide shine whilst also balancing out the PH of your scalp. Citric acid and vitamin B (panthenol) are also safe bets as they are added to thicken follicles and retain moisture and prevent frizz.
- Read your ingredient list carefully. Like with food products, its best to avoid products with a long list of scary sounding, unpronounceable words or acronyms that generally point to chemical or artificial sources.
- Look for ingredients that are Certified Organic and/or derived from natural, chemical free sources. By doing this, you are also helping the environment by only letting biodegradable ingredients down your drain pipe. Let’s keep Mother Nature on our side.
- 100% organic hair care products are a rare find so the next best thing is to look out for hair care products made with natural, unrefined ingredients.
Ingredients regularly used in natural hair care are:
Oils such as Macadamia, Almond, Avocado, Coconut, Jojoba and Safflower
Herbs that include Rosehip, Burdock, Calendula, Chamomile, Rosemary, Lavender
Essential Oil Extracts of Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Rosemary and Lemon
Natural preservatives such as Witch Hazel and Citrus or Grapefruit Seed Extract.
We have a few ranges of natural hair care products that our staff are happy to chat with you about and figure out the best product for your needs:
- Organic Selections
- PPC Herbs – Wild Range
- Melrose Hemp Products
- Gypsy Rose
- Tints of Nature (natural hair dyes)
written by Emma H for go natural foods