TOP 11 MOST TOXIC INGREDIENTS IN HAIR PRODUCTS TO AVOID
May 16, 2021
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1. Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate/ Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)/ Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
These chemicals are emulsifiers, foaming agents, surfactants, and known irritants that are often contaminated with the carcinogen 1, 4-dioxane. This chemical is also linked to liver damage, skin rashes, depression, diarrhea, and eye damage.
What to avoid: SLS, SLES, sodium laurel sulfate, sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium laureate sulfate, or sodium laurel sulfate.
Formaldehyde a know carcinogen as has been proven to be absorbed through the skin. It’s added directly to products as a preservative or can be released over time by other products. It goes by many sneaky names, but here’s a list of some of the most common to avoid:
- DMDM hydantoin
- imidazolidinyl urea
- diazolidinyl urea
- polyoxymethylene urea
- sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
- 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol)
Parabens are a preservative known to be harmful and many manufacturers have become removing them from their products. They can mimic estrogen and have been linked to to increased growth of breast cancer cells. And remember, there are many chemicals in this list (and even more than that) so just because an item is listed as “paraben-free” does not make it non-toxic.
What to avoid: Parabens come in many forms and names, including chemicals ending in “ethyl,” “butyl,” “methyl,” and “propyl.”
4. Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)
DEA and TEA are emulsifiers that when used with certain preservatives, can form nitrosamines that are linked to possible and known carcinogens. The European Commission has banned DEA in cosmetics.
What to avoid: Any chemicals with a name containing “DEA,” “TEA,” and “MEA.”
Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors with links shown to an increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects. Dimethyl phthalate is often found in hair spray and these chemicals are also hidden in “fragrance” as well.
What to avoid: Dimethyl phthalate, dimethylphthalate, fragrance
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