Guest Post by Lynn Power
Most people know that there’s a growing “clean beauty” trend: clean skincare, makeup, or haircare. They may not fully understand it (and we don’t blame them, as there is no clean beauty standard in the U.S. or the rest of the world). But they get the concept that there can be things like formaldehyde in mascara or parabens in skincare that aren’t good for them. It seems like when it comes to skincare or makeup, it’s a bit more intuitive for people to understand why it needs to be clean. You are putting products on your skin where they can be absorbed into your body.
Did you know that clean haircare is just as important? Even though you wash your shampoo and conditioner out, your scalp is extremely absorbent. Four times greater than your forearms for example. So when you rub your shampoo into your scalp or let your conditioner sit for a few minutes, you are giving chemicals the opportunity to infiltrate your body.
Shampoo is also likely to have sulfates (at least here in the U.S.). Some industry estimates suggest that over 90% of shampoo formulations contain sulfates – specifically the cleansing agents SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate).
The challenge with sulphates in your haircare is that they can cause irritation, redness and allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin, you can develop red bumps or rashes. Or if you have dyed red hair, the color will fade faster. Moreover, some people report hair loss as well, which can be traced back to harmful ingredients.
But it’s not just about sulphates, many haircare products also contain parabens or phthalates.
Parabens can be harmful to your health. These chemicals can enter through your body via your scalp, which can lead to serious complications with hormones. An in extreme cases even cause cancer. However, it’s important to note that not all parabens in your haircare and beauty products are bad. Many cosmetics brands use such small quantities that the EU and FDA do not deem them harmful and they can still be considered clean.
The main purpose of phthalates is to create a fragrance in the product. Phthalates are also well known endocrine disruptors. They can cause severe damage to the reproductive system for individuals of all genders. And they can stay in your body for up to two days. Phthalates are found in most shampoos, conditioners, mouses, and hairsprays. They can lurk in fragrances where the FDA and EU regulation does not require brands to disclose ingredients. For a clean haircare routine is better to avoid fragrances if you can.
Clean Haircare Conclusion
Given how much many of us use our haircare products, it’s important to get conscious about what goes in them. Education is the best defense against harmful ingredients. Taking a few minutes to read the ingredients that are in your products can prevent health issues and potentially save your life. There are a lot of products on the market today that don’t require you to sacrifice your health for your beauty. You can find salon quality haircare that’s filled with natural and good for you ingredients.
About Lynn Power:
Lynn was formerly the CEO of J. Walter Thompson NY and has worked on advertising and marketing for many iconic brands throughout her career including L’Oreal, American Express and Clinique. Lynn is the Co-Founder and CEO of MASAMI, a clean, premium haircare brand with a Japanese ocean botanical that’s all about hydration and also the Founder of the Conscious Beauty Collective, a group of 30+ indie beauty & wellness brands creating experiences to educate and spread the word about conscious beauty.
You can find MASAMI at lovemasami.com or @lovemasamihair.
What do you think about the clean haircare concept? Did you knew you should avoid those ingredients? Please let me know your feedback in the comments below.