10 Toxic chemicals you should avoid to keep your hair healthy

We feel that self-care is something that everyone should commit to, and caring for your hair organically is one way to do so. This commitment comes with the ongoing obligation to be more conscious of the types of hair products you use and how they impact your health and the environment. Hair products are frequently laced with harmful chemicals that provide instantaneous and short-term satisfaction, but these compounds can be incredibly detrimental to your hair in the long term use, inflicting more harm than good. 

But how do you pick the right hair products for yourself? Do you rely on a brand's advertisement, online reviews, or the ingredients list to make your choice? Developing the practice of reading hair care product labels is a smart idea. At the very least, it is safer than relying just on advertisements or reviews. Several hair care products include dangerous chemicals with toxicity levels that can not only damage your hair but also put your life in danger. Here is a list of 10 toxic chemicals in your hair products that you should avoid protecting your hair and your life. 

1) Sulfates 

Sulfates are low-cost cleansing agents that are widely featured in shampoos since they are quite effective at dissolving oil and leaving your scalp and hair feeling clean. They are utilized in shampoos to help them lather up. SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), SLES (sodium laureth sulfate), and ammonium lauryl sulfate are all harmful surfactants. Sulfates are responsible for our identification of foamy lather with cleanliness. Sulfates are an intense chemical that dries out your hair by removing all of the natural oils from your hair and scalp. Your hair may weaken over time, appearing dull and subject to damage, breakage and split ends. 

2) Parabens

Another prevalent and potentially harmful ingredient is parabens. Many branded shampoos and conditioners contain them, which primarily serve as a preservative to extend shelf life. They protect your shampoos against microbial contamination. Parabens, also known as xenoestrogens, can disturb your natural hormone balance, irritate your skin, disrupt your reproductive health and cause neurotoxicity. Parabens including butyl, propyl and ethyl parabens are known to imitate the activity of estrogen and have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. 

3) Mineral oil 

Mineral oil is a hydrating, low-cost oil that is utilized in a variety of cosmetic compositions. Mineral oil can restore luster, minimize tangles, and prevent split ends when used in hair treatments. Mineral oil works effectively as a detangler or hair conditioner because of its smoothing characteristics. Mineral oil is useful as a protective glossy coating for the hair, but it cannot penetrate the hair fiber and hence is ineffective in healing existing damage. It has high quantities of PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons), which may be linked to nonmelanoma skin cancer. 

4) Alcohol

Haircare products containing alcohol might make your hair excessively dry. Avoid alcohols such as propanol and isopropyl alcohol. Shampoos contain alcohol as a thickening agent. When generated from palm oil or coconut oil, they are sometimes utilized as emollients. Alcohol can make your hair fragile. 

5) Phthalates 

Phthalates are utilized in hair care products to help them penetrate more evenly. They are utilized to keep the perfume on your scalp and hair. They aid in the formation of a flexible coating in products such as hairsprays by reducing stiffness. But on the other hand, phthalates have been proven to interact with the endocrine hormones which are bad for the hair. Changes in the endocrine hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, testosterone, insulin, and thyroid hormones affect the hair growth cycle. 

6) Formaldehyde

Even though formaldehyde is a well-known carcinogen, it's found in a lot of shampoos and conditioners. This harmful preservative can be absorbed through the scalp as well as leach out of the package and into the air over time. This additive has been associated with cancer and has the potential to induce toxicity. Formaldehyde is deemed safe to use in cosmetics when used in extremely small doses, but it can still be irritating to the scalp and skin. 

7) Triclosan 

This carcinogen is banned from antibacterial soaps, but it can be found in shampoos, toothpaste, deodorants and other products. It has been proven to be a hormone disruptor. Triclosan is thought to accumulate in fat cells and cause toxicity in the body. The chemical appears to be an endocrine disruptor, which can have the same negative consequences as xenoestrogens. Infertility, immune system problems, weight loss or gain, depression, uncontrolled cellular reproduction, and cancer have all been linked to the substance. 

8) Dimethicone 

Dimethicone is a silicone that is found in hair care products. It functions as a protective covering for your hair shaft, however, it accumulates residues on your scalp with time. Dimethicone adds to product accumulation by acting as a protective coating on the surface of the hair and preventing moisture and nutrients from entering. Instead, it gathers dirt and residue, clogs scalp pores, and irritates the skin. 

9) Polyethylene

Polyethylene glycol is a petroleum derivative that is utilized as a thickening agent in hair care products. Although there isn't enough evidence to back up claims about PEG's toxicity, hair care professionals feel it can harm your scalp.

10) Synthetic fragrances and colors 

Colors and fragrances are dreadful in every aspect. These ingredients are not only unnecessary, but they are also toxic to your skin and can cause a variety of health problems. The manufacturers avoid disclosing the chemicals and other ingredients used to generate the fragrance. The majority of the chemicals used in fragrant production can cause infertility, inflammation, hair loss, asthma and cancer. When synthetic colors are found in your shampoo and conditioner, they can be harmful. Petroleum and coal tar are used to create color. These two factors have been linked to a variety of health problems.