6 haircare ingredients that could be sabotaging your health

And what you should use instead 

Silicones
Silicones
25 Oct 2017

Silicones

These silky polymers are used in most hair care products as they coat the hair cuticles, making hair look and feel silkier and shinier. But that’s all only on the surface. Silicones don’t actually have any benefits for the hair, and it also tends to accumulate (especially the non-water soluble ones), resulting in dank hair and clogged follicles on the scalp. Most leave-on hair serums are made mainly of silicones and require more aggressive cleansing to rid the buildup on the cuticles, which kicks off a vicious cycle as hair is stripped of essential oils and moisture, making it drier and more hay-like. Opting for silicone-free haircare, especially for leave-in conditioners and styling products, will mean less buildup and healthier hair.

We recommend:
Syoss Silicone-free Moisture Shampoo, $18.60
Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo, $14 for 60ml
Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner, $35
     

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
25 Oct 2017

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)

This coconut-derivative is commonly added to all kinds of household, personal care and beauty products (think shower gels, toothpastes and, yes, most shampoos) as a foaming agent. Not only is it very drying and an irritant to the skin and hair, it is also commonly contaminated with a possible carcinogen, 1,4 dioxin. Some SLS-free products actually contain other coconut derivatives like sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) and sodium coco sulphate, which are similar but slightly less irritating to the eyes and skin. Luckily, there are now tons of sulphate-free formulations that might not lather up very much, but leave your hair and skin in a healthier state.

We recommend:
L’oreal Evercreme 6-in-1 Sulphate-free Cleansing Balm, $25.90
L’oreal Everpure Sulphate-free Volume Shampoo and Conditioner, $15.90 each
 

PEGs (Polyethylene glycol)
PEGs (Polyethylene glycol)
25 Oct 2017

PEGs (Polyethylene glycol)

This petrochemical derivative is found mainly in hair colours, where it functions as an emulsifier or emollient. It also functions to help other chemicals penetrate deep into the skin and hair cuticles, which is where the problem with it lies as it is often found to have carcinogenic contaminants such as ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane. Opt for PEG-free hair colour wherever possible, and avoid products that list PEG high up in the ingredient list as this means that the percentage of this harmful chemical is very high.

We recommend:
Human Nature Natural Moisturising Shampoo Lush Vanilla, $18.90 from RedMart
Sukin Baby Shampoo, $18.90 from Lazada.sg

  

Parabens
Parabens
25 Oct 2017

Parabens

Commonly used as a preservative in personal care and beauty products as well as foodstuff, parabens have garnered a reputation as a possible endocrine-disruptor (which means that it can affect your body’s hormone levels by mimicking estrogen when metabolized in the body) with long-term exposure. This in turn can lead to hormone-related disorders like infertility and, potentially, hormone-related cancers like breast cancer. In the absence of long-term scientific research on parabens though, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when there are lots of paraben-free hair care alternatives now on the shelves.

We recommend:
Ouai Wave Spray, $39 for 150ml from Sephora
Ouai Curl Kit, $74 from Sephora

  

Artificial fragrances
Artificial fragrances
25 Oct 2017

Artificial fragrances

Artificial fragrances are rampant in haircare, and manufacturers aren’t obliged to list the hundreds of chemicals that make up the fragrance in your shampoo or hairspray. Artificial perfumes are known to be a common trigger of allergic reactions and nausea, so it’s best to do away with them if possible and go for products that are fragranced with natural botanical oils instead.

We recommend:
L’Oreal Botanicals Fresh Care comes in four ranges powered by a key botanical ingredient – strengthening coriander, radiance-enhancing geranium, smoothening camelina and hydrating safflower, from $15.90 to $23.90

 

Paraphenlyenediamine (PPD)
Paraphenlyenediamine (PPD)
25 Oct 2017

Paraphenlyenediamine (PPD)

Yet another potentially harmful chemical found in permanent hair dyes, PPD is known to cause allergic reactions from skin irritation and nervous system disorders to a (sometimes fatal) anaphylactic attack. Unfortunately, there aren’t many alternatives to exposure to PPD when dyeing hair, as even the more ‘natural’ hair colours contain some amount of PPD. Just remember to always do a patch test first before applying a new hair colour to test for sensitivity, wear gloves when applying the hair dye and don’t leave it in the hair (and scalp) for longer than directed.

We recommend:
Original & Mineral CCT Permanent Hair Colours does not have PPD in its formula and is available in very selected salons here including Focus Hairdressing and Ecorganics. 


  

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