Part 6: What ingredients to avoid

When I first started with the series I was so charged up about having so much posts to write about, keeping me busy with writing for weeks on end. Ideally, this would be the case but when life happens and your laptop goes in for repairs and you’re forever busy with something more important than writing a post on how to treat your high porosity hair, you lose track and you end up with only 5 posts instead of 25.

Yeah, 25 sounds a bit much but when you’ve been wearing your natural hair for as long as I have and you’re raising 3 curly headed kids with 3 different hair textures, you can in fact write 25 posts about natural hair.

I’ve started this series with a simple post about getting to know your hair following with an explanation of the anatomy of human hair. Once you know what your hair is made up of, a good place to start when you decide on wearing your hair natural would be the porosity thereof. You can also learn more about high and low porosity hair here and here.

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Now that that is sorted, we can chat about products. Product ingredients to be exact.

For those who regularly read my (hair) posts, you’ll know that I don’t always stick to products specifically formulated for natural hair. While it is good to do so, it is not something I do all the time. I won’t say that I’m a “lazy” natural but I hate that some people make you feel that you will burn in hell if you don’t use sulfate free shampoo. All of these rules and regulations can make wearing your hair natural, complicated. And who wants more complications than what we already dealing with on a daily?

I hope you’re not getting the idea that I’m trying to convince you to be a rebel and use anything and everything on your hair because that is definitely not what this post is about. The aim of my post is to tell you what ingredients to look out for and why you should try your best to steer clear from it.

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Here’s my list of what ingredients to avoid

Isopropyl
Is an alcohol that has a harsh and drying effect on our natural hair. Healthy hair equals moisturized hair and any ingredient with a drying effect, is a no-no.

Mineral oil and petroleum
Is an oil made from petroleum which can often suffocate your hair. This simply means that while we’re trying to add moisture, this product can prevent moisture from entering your hair strands.

Sulfates
Is common in shampoos and while it can easily get rid of dirt, it can also strip your hair from its’ natural oils leaving it dry and lifeless. Common examples are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate.

Parabens
Is a preservative to make products last longer on the shelves. According to research, parabens disrupts hormones and can carry a cancer risk. Look out for ingredients such as propylparaben and benzylparaben.

Silicone
While silicones pretends to make your hair smooth, it really doesn’t penetrate the hair shaft. This is commonly found in conditioners and is not soluble in water. This means that it just sits on the hair, preventing anything from going in to provide actual moisture to the hair.

Like I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I regularly get sent products to test and review and if it contains any of these product, I’ll still give it a go. Continuously using products containing ingredients that might be harmful to your hair may cause damage in the long run but that doesn’t mean that you can’t give it a try. This brings me back to my first post in this series where I encourage each and every one to build a relationship with their hair so that you know what will and will not work for your hair.

Do you strictly use products that are specifically formulated for natural hair only? Have avoiding these ingredients made a difference to the health of your hair? I would love to know your thoughts.

Till later

 

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