6 Ingredients to avoid in hair products

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Our Beauty Editor Lerato Seuoe spoke to Beauty and Hair Blogger Kavuli Nyali about hair damaging ingredients you should avoid in your hair products.

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“You have half the job done when purchasing basic products for your natural hair. If your main goal is to find a shampoo or cleanser with helpful and healthy ingredients, here are a few ingredients to steer clear of, next time you go shopping. Notice how most of these ingredients may be hard to pronounce and virtually unrecognisable if you aren’t a scientist. If you can’t read the word, don’t buy the product!” says Kavuli

  1. DEA (Diethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine) – The pH of your personal care products is very important, and these two ingredients are used to stabilize the pH. Very important! The problem is that DEA and TEA may cause dry hair and skin, and also cause an allergic reaction and eye irritation.
  2. Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl) – Keeping funky microbes out of your shampoos, conditioners and other styling products is key to extending the shelf life of your products for two to three years. Using a preservative, which parabens are the most commonly used, helps to extend shelf life. Studies have suggested that these chemicals could possibly lead to breast cancer.
  3. Lanolin, Petroleum and Mineral Oil – These are inexpensive fillers used in many hair foods, greases and pomades, manly formulated for black hair but offering zero moisturising benefits. In fact, these ingredients often block moisture from penetrating the shaft of the hair and weighing it down unnecessarily.
  4. Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea – These are the next common preservatives after parabens. Under certain circumstances one could develop contact dermatitis when exposed to urea.
  5. Propylene Glycol – Most women who have gone natural, rant and rave about a product having “slip”. This means that fingers and combs are able to glide through the hair with minimal effort. Propylene Glycol provides this slip in a lot of hair products; the problem is that it’s also the active ingredient in anti-freeze, airplane de-icer and brake fluid. YIKES! Recent studies have shown that this chemical may cause allergic reactions, dermatitis, eczema, hives and severe dry skin.
  6. Formaldehyde – This chemical is used as a cheap preservative in water based products in order to prevent the growth of bacteria. Formaldehyde is also suspected of being a carcinogenic and could cause skin reactions, trigger heart palpitations, lead to joint pains, allergies, headaches, ear infections and dizziness. As if that weren’t enough, it’s an ingredient in embalming fluid!
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