There are so many hair care products on the market today and it can be very overwhelming. If you're anything like me, you walk down the beauty isle of your local drug store and stare like a deer in headlights at all of the options. I have to admit that for a while all I really looked at was price. How many ounces of shampoo can I buy for less than $10? I have long, super thick hair so getting the most bang for my buck is a top seller for me. All the while I was damaging my long blonde hair and stripping out all of the nutrients from my scalp. The result was irritation, pain and dandruff... UGH!
I stated doing research on what all went into hair care. Why do we use shampoo? What does conditioner really do for your hair? What ingredient is 19 letters long? What am I putting onto my hair?!
Out of everything I have learned, these are the top 4 things that you need to know about protecting your hair.
Look for shampoos that do not contain ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. These are surfactants used in many cleaning products that reduce the surface tension. They act as detergents, emulsifiers and foaming agents. The real issue with these is they have been linked to skin and eye irritations and non-reproductive organ toxicity. Yes they clean things, but is it work the risk?
Look for shampoos that use a milder form of a cleanser such as sodium lauryl sulfoacetate and disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate. These shampoos may not foam as much as those containing harsher SLS or SLES compounds, but they can efficiently cleanse the hair and scalp without over-stripping your hair. There is no connection to environmental or physical toxicity.
Look for a conditioner that does not contain dimethicone. This is a silicone-based polymer used in conditioners and detanglers to give hair that silky smooth finish. It works by adding a top coat to hair that seals in moisture. The concern with dimethicone is that it locks in bacteria, oils and sebum which can cause hair loss.
Find a conditioner that utilizes 18-methyleicosanoic acid (18-MEA). This is one of the naturally occurring lipids our hair extrudes and coats itself with. 18-MEA acts as a natural sealant that helps balance the hair shaft’s moisture. Too much moisture causes stretching and swelling of the hair shaft, and too little moisture causes hair to become brittle and prone to breakage.
These are just some of the things to look for when selecting hair care products. But we have so much more to share! Check out our other blogs posts for more tips to healthy hair, ingredients we love (and hate), and more about the clean beauty revolution!
Be well! ;)