25 May 2009

The Natural Organic Debate

This is an article I read in UK magazine 'Black Hair' April/May issue.

"Would you wash your hair with washing powder or washing up liquid? Well, if your shampoo contains sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate, that's essentially what you're doing! Yes, sodium lauryl sulphate gets the hair and scalp clean, but at the same time it strips the hair of its natural 'good' oils and can often irritate the skin. This is why a shampoo must be followed by a conditioner, to help restore the moisture lost. So why is this chemical found in almost 90% of shampoos? Because it's a cheap foaming agent and we've been trained to believe that foam equals clean! Below are four more ingredients that do more harm than good to your hair..."

Diazonlindinyl/Imidazolidinyl Urea
Found in: Shampoos, conditioners, styling products and hairsprays
Used: As a preservative
Consequences: It can potentially release formaldehyde which can be toxic

Propylene/Polythylene Glycol (PPG/PEG)
Found in: Shampoos, conditioners and moisturizers
Used: As a humectant to give the product a firmer consistency. It also keeps the product from melting in high heat or freezing when it's cold
Consequences: These chemicals are known as eye irritants and possible carcinogens. Some are safe but some are not. The problem is, you never know which one was used!

Mineral Oil (often described as petroleum, or the fancier 'Paraffinium Liquidum')
Found in: Many haircare products, especially moisturizers
Used: As a moisturizer and a chap 'filler'
Consequences: It actually coats the hair shaft and clogs pores, thereby preventing toxins from being released. mineral oil can also prevent other ingredients from penetrating into the hair shaft, so you don't get the full benefit of the product

Parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl)
Found in: Moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, gels and other styling products
Used: As a preservative to prevent the growth of mould and mildew
Consequences: There is an ongoing debate as to the harmful effects of these parabens and whether or not they are carcinogens. The fact remains that they accumulate in the bloodstream.

"So why go natural? With natural products you have the peace of mind that every ingredient is doing its job to help your hair and not hurt you. With this in mind, make it a habit to always look at the ingredients before you buy a product. Just because it says 'natural' or 'organic' does not necessarily mean that the product is chemical-free."

So what do you think girlies? I'm completely sold on the natural thing and if I'm going to stop relaxing my hair because I don't the chemicals, then I definitely don't want the chemicals in my shampoos, conditioners o r whatever else! I'll be trying out some 'natural' products and let you know how my hair reacted. It may end up being that my hair likes the chemicals. :-)

Let me know what your thoughts are on this.

Till next time,