Parabens and Other Chemicals to Avoid in Shampoos and Generally - in Hair Products
There are so many ingredients used in personal care, cosmetics, beauty, and hair care products, toothpaste, food, and detergents to avoid. Many reliable researches and studies have shown the negative impact of some chemicals on our health.
It is not enough to buy paraben free shampoo to go green and natural.
When you see hair products labels saying “paraben free” or “sulfate free”, check for any of the following ingredients: petrochemicals, phthalates, DEA, MEA, TEA, synthetic dyes and fragrances. These are not so safe chemicals and you should think about whether it is worth risking yours and your family's health.
Even though the harm of some of those ingredients, used in personal care products, is not clearly proven, I just don’t want to take the risk.
Parabens - Methylparaben, Benzylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, are used as preservatives in hair shampoos, conditioners and so on, I don’t even know if there are any conventional personal care or beauty products free of parabens.
Simple DIY Paraben Free Hair Wash
You will need:
3-4 tablespoons bentonite clay
4 oz chamomile or nettle infusion
5-10 drops of almond oil
Mix the ingredients in a non-metal bowl to the consistency of yogurt. Apply on wet hair to the scalp, massage for a couple of minutes, then work to the strands.
Rinse after 10-15 minutes.
Sometimes, while in a hurry, I just mix clay with water, cover my scalp and hair with the mixture and leave it for a couple of minutes while in the shower. Than wash and dry as usual.
I swear by bentonite clay. It helped me get rid of dandruff, and as a side effect, my hair is full and shiny again. Honestly, I think, I will never buy a regular shampoo again.
Parabens mimic estrogenic activity in human body. This leads to hormonal balance disruption. The hormonal imbalance may cause chronic fatigue, depression, weight gain, fertility problems, etc.
These chemicals are linked to: increased risk of breast and skin cancer, allergic reactions, skin problems, premature aging.
Other thing to consider is the fact that the parabens have a cumulative effect. This means that the more products containing parabens we use and the longer we use them, the bigger the negative impact on the body is.
The good news here is that there are actually natural and safe alternatives to the parabens as preservatives – natural Vitamin E, potassium sorbate, grapefruit seed extract, sorbic scid.
Petrochemicals - propylene glycol, ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, oxybenzone, benzophenone, benzoic acid. Presumably, some of them could cause cancer, hormonal imbalance, allergies, asthma, obesity, etc.
Sulfates are damaging to the skin, irritate scalp, may cause hair loss and premature aging skin.
Cocamide DEA, TEA, MEA - carcinogenic activity.
Synthetic fragrances and dyes - if you see the words fragrance and dyes listed on the label without any explicitly specifying that those are all natural, consider avoiding them. They could be toxic or to act like allergens.
This is not a complete list of ingredients to avoid in hair products. That's why, I recommend you to do a little research before buying. If you see some ingredient that bothers you, simply check it. There are many trusted online sources like Skin deep.