What hair products should I use?

  • It's about the composition


In terms of just how far we’re behind when it comes to all-natural ingredients in beauty products, specifically hair, the US Toxic Substances Control Act, which controls the use of chemicals in consumer products, went 40 years without being changed. It was first passed in 1976 and was not overhauled until the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was proposed in 2013 and later passed in 2016. That’s long enough for thousands of new chemicals and ingredients to run rampant on the market without any regulation or research into how they affect us as humans and the environment. Keep in mind, even with the bill passing in 2016, it takes years to implement any new regulations. All of that means that while the natural beauty revolution is incredibly popular right now, it’s also very new.

  • Ingredients that you should absolutely avoid


Sulfates

Sulfates are chemicals used as cleansing agents in shampoo. The most common are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.

Sulfates offer a deep clean and cause the lathering effect in shampoos. 

However, the harsh cleansing quality of sulfates may cause skin irritationskin dryness, and inflammation.

Sulfates may increase skin sensitivity and worsen existing conditions, such as rosacea, eczema, and contact dermatitis. They may also irritate sensitive skin.

Sulfates strip hair of natural oils and cause dryness. They may also damage hair by disrupting natural sebum production.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a chemical compound used in household products, building materials, and as a preservative in some consumer products, including shampoo.

Formaldehyde is known to cause contact allergy and has been shown to induce dermatitis. It’s also been shown to worsen existing allergic dermatitis and eczema.

The Department of Health and Human Services lists formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen. Studies of workers exposed to high levels of the chemical compound found it can cause myeloid leukemia and rare cancers, including sinus and throat cancer.

Parabens

Parabens are chemical preservatives that have long been used in beauty products to increase shelf life.

Studies have shown that parabens can quickly be absorbed through the skin and penetrate into bodily tissues. This can cause allergic contact dermatitis and skin issues such as redness, irritation, itchy skin, flaking, and hives.

Evidence also suggests that parabens can have estrogenic effects. They may interfere with the body’s normal hormone regulation, which can affect pregnancy and menstruation.

Parabens have also been shown to affect breast cell tissue and increase susceptibility to breast cancer.

Hexachlorophene

Hexachlorophene is an antiseptic agent used in cosmetic products for its antibacterial qualities.

The compound can cause eye and skin irritation and, if swallowed, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.

Other side effects may include skin redness, dryness, scaling, skin swelling, and sensitivity to light.

Phthalates

Phthalates are a group of chemicals commonly used to make plastic more flexible. They’re used as a binding agent in cosmetic products, including shampoo.

Phthalates have been linked to disrupted hormones and infertility, lower sperm count, and reproductive and genital defects. Studies show that exposure may increase risk of pregnancy loss and gestational diabetes.

Further research suggests that phthalates may harm the kidneysthyroidimmune system, and liver.

Triclosan

Tricolson is added to many haircare products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. It's a skin irritant and suspected carcinogen. 

Why should you ditch it? 

It's a known endocrine disruptor which can be associated with infertility, depression and weight gain.

Polyethylene Glycol aka PEGs

PEGs are included in most haircare as a thickening agent. They tend to strip the hair of it's natural moisture and then need to add a silicone to make the hair feel soft again.

Why should you ditch it?

It's been classified as a “developmental toxicant,” which means that it may interfere with human development. 

Triethanolamine

Is used to alter the pH of the products and act as an emulsifier to help other ingredients mix together better. 

Why should you ditch it? 

It's highly absorptive and can lead to irritation of the skin and eyes. Continuous exposure has also been linked to asthma and allergic reactions.

Alcohol

Almost all hair-care products contain some form of alcohol as it's used for it's evaporation qualities.. Short chain alcohols are the ones to steer clear of - SD Alcohol 40, Ethanol, Propyl, Porpanol, Isopropyl

Why should you ditch it? 

It can really dry out your hair causing split ends and breakage.

PVP/ VA Copolymer

Is a synthetic vinyl polymer used in haircare as a filler or binder. It is another toxic chemical derived from petroleum and is used as it's considered the ‘ideal’ styling aid.

Why should you ditch it? 

It's been known to cause irritation to the scalp. The particles can also lead to respiratory problems in some people.

  • Controversial ingredients

SILICONES

Silicones are inert, heat-resistant and rubber-like polymers derived from cristal quartz. Silica (silicon dioxide) common in sandstone, beach sand, and similar natural materials, is the initial material from which silicones are produced.
Silicone isn’t a toxic chemical. In fact, it’s completely safe to apply to your hair and won’t harm your physical health in any way.

The only thing it can affect is the strength and appearance of your hair. A weighty feel, dryness, and hard-to-remove build-up are common silicone concerns.

Many brands are advocating for the use of silicones. But we absolutely do not support that. We prefer to use plant derived oils to protect hair. 
  • Be aware of this

Unless you’re making your own products in your kitchen, you’re unlikely to find 100% natural hair products. The good thing is, brands are working towards are more natural future by eliminating ingredients that are harmful for both people and the environment—that’s the very theory behind “clean beauty.” 
ICI CARE is very unique in that sense as our products are all made with 100% raw natural ingredients.

  • Think about the impact of your choices

It turns out your beauty routine can have a negative impact on the environment. From toxic chemicals to plastics that end up in the landfill, it's time to identify some of the least sustainable parts of your beauty routine.

From plastic tubes to glass jars, there are several components of cosmetics packaging and containers that should be recycled. Otherwise, these items will end up in the landfill where they will take hundreds of years or more to degrade.