Hair care has always been a critical topic for black women. From 2A to 4C, natural hair comes in various form and need a little extra love when it comes to managing and moisturizing those curly tresses. When people discover a product that works for them the chances of them switching to something new is slim to none. Most women us the same product for years unless the formula changes so much that it alters the performance of the product.
The time and effort black women spend on achieving healthy hair shows how much we care about our curls. However, not all of the products that we love so dearly are good to our hair. In actuality, several popular “black” hair care lines use ingredients in their products that could be very toxic! These toxic black hair care products have been marketed to black women for years, with many not knowing how harmful their ingredients are. What’s even scarier is that most of these toxic ingredients are not listed on the labels.
So, which black hair care products are toxic?
Products such as conditioners, hot oil treatments, gels and anti-frizz serums are some of the common products that have toxic chemicals. The chemical methylparaben can be found in many hair lotions like the popular Luster’s Pink Classic Light Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion. Parabens have been linked to endocrine system problems that could cause later health issues such as breast cancer. Parabens can be found in many conditioners as well so before you pick up that next bottle make sure it is paraben free.
The popular product Eco-styling Gel has been under fire recently as new findings show some of their ingredients are linked to a wide variety of health issues as well. The gel contains the chemical triethanolamine, a chemical known to cause severe skin and eye irritation. Consumers should also know that when this chemical is combined with others, it increases the risk of breast cancer and organ toxicity with long-term use. Scientists still are unclear about the long-term effects of this chemical in beauty products, but researchers have an idea considering the chemicals history. Eco-Styling Gel also contains Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, a chemical that works by slowly releasing formaldehyde. The effects of this product over long-term use usually harms the respiratory system and cause cancer. Tetrasodium EDTA is also found in the product and with its effects after long-term use cause organ toxicity and cancer as well.
Many of these hair care lines are mass produced and very cheap for most people to buy. This is one of the main reasons why the products are so popular, to begin with. Most of the companies that make these products are not black-owned either. When compared to black owned hair companies, their products are safe and carcinogen free. Just because a product is cheap doesn’t always mean it has the best interest for the consumer. Reading the labels and doing the right research before you buy a new product can potentially save you from health problems in the future.
words by: Sydnee Evans