When was the last time you read through the ingredient label on your hair care products? When it comes to hair care labels, much like food labels, the simpler the ingredient list, the better. If you’re looking for hair care products with safe and healthy ingredients for yourself and your family, it’s time to understand what’s really inside those bottles. Let’s take a look at five common additives that you can probably do without.
Since the 1950s, parabens have been commonly used as a preservative in hair care and cosmetics. Their benefit is that they prevent the growth of bacteria and some promote hair growth. The problem is that they can also act as an “endocrine disruptor” in the body. Research has linked parabens to breast tumors and breast cancer.
Phthalates are a diverse group of chemicals that make plastic more flexible and have been used extensively in toys, vinyl flooring, detergents, food packaging and some cosmetic and personal care products.
Because they have been used so frequently, phthalates have been studied extensively for safety. While not all phthalates are harmful, certain types have been associated with disrupting the way hormones function, premature births and even cancer.
Sulfates are a “surfactant” that make things like soaps, detergents and shampoos sudsy. The most common sulfate found in shampoos and conditioners is sodium laurel sulfate (SLS).
The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database has rated it as an environmental toxin and an irritant. There is also some concern that sulfates may be carcinogenic, but more research is needed.
Consumers can’t rely on labels that contain the word “fragrance” to know whether hazardous chemicals exist in that container. This is because the manufacturer has added any of 3,000 potential chemical ingredients commonly used to add a scent to their products. To make matters worse, the chemical concoction used to make “fragrance” are protected as trade secrets.
Fragrance secrecy is legal due to a giant loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which requires companies to list cosmetics ingredients on the product labels but explicitly exempts fragrance.
Triclosan is another chemical that is used as a preservative in water-based formulations such as shampoo, conditioner, bath products, shaving products, sunscreens and more. It has antibacterial properties and combats the growth of bacteria.
Recent research has shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation in animals, may contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs and might be harmful to the immune system.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDT) issued a rule in 2016 that “over-the-counter consumer antiseptic wash products containing many potentially harmful antibacterial active ingredients — including triclosan and triclocarban — can no longer be marketed to consumers. These products include liquid, foam and gel hand soaps, bar soaps, and body washes.”
Because of this, consumers may wish to steer clear of hair care products containing triclosan as well.
What Can You Do?
Use Good Guide
The GoodGuide website and free mobile app are used daily to help consumers decode product labels, research ingredients, and make informed product-purchasing decisions. GoodGuide provides consumers with product information to help guide more informed buying decisions. They believe that educated consumers make better choices and will help drive the development of safer, healthier, and more sustainable products. Their team comprises over 50 scientific and regulatory professionals with deep expertise in chemicals and chemical-containing products. The team includes: chemists, toxicologists, life cycle assessment and regulatory experts.
Shop Gone to Green Market
We at Gone to Green believe that everyone has the right to have access to full and transparent information about every product that you wish to purchase. Knowledge is power and this power enables you as the consumer to be able to decide if a product is good enough for you and your family.
We have sourced products that we believe are earth-friendly and safe enough for your personal use. Our suppliers have self-certified that they do not test their products on animals and that their ingredients are fully listed for your review.
Here are a few of our favorite natural hair care alternatives:
Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Almond Oil are added to J.R. Liggett’s original shampoo formulation to moisturize and aid in the healing and restoration of damaged dry hair. These ingredients help to add back some of the natural oils that have been lost along the way for those who have colored, permed, or otherwise damaged their hair. This bar of shampoo is also great for cold winter climates. Where through lack of humidity everything dries out. It has a sentimental earthy fragrance that is reminiscent of times gone by.
What do we love about it? Less packaging make this a great natural shampoo option!
A balanced blend of salicylic acid, aloe vera, tea tree, chamomile and essential oils work in harmony to treat and prevent dandruff. This shampoo relieves scalp dryness, itchiness and flakiness caused by contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. It condition and nourish hair from follicle through entire shaft for hair that is soft, flake-free and healthy-looking.
What do we love about it? This sulfate-free shampoo is a great option for treating dandruff!
Beauty by Earth deals with drab, drained or dirty hair in a gentle way with their organic dry shampoo.This powder spray absorbs oil, sweat, and odor to leave your hair light, lively, and effortlessly clean. Plus, the special blend of essential oils keeps hair smelling sweet and clean.