Are the Chemicals In Your Hair Products Damaging Your Hair?




It seems no one is satisfied with the hair he or she was born with, so we spend countless hours coloring, relaxing, perming and changing it in every way imaginable. However, the chemicals in your hair products could be doing some serious damage, especially if you are already suffering from hair loss or thinning hair. Maybe it’s time to make the switch to all-natural hair products.

Chemicals in hair products

Chemicals are found in almost every type of hair product: relaxers, hair dyes, hair extension adhesives, and even many shampoos and conditioners. These chemicals can cause immediate damage — such as when a relaxer, bleach or hair color is used improperly or kept on the hair for too long. Overprocessing can result in burning, itching, redness, irritation and, unfortunately, hair loss. Some hair products can cause slow-developing issues instead, such as when a shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils, leaving it looking and feeling damaged and unhealthy.

Here are some of the more damaging chemicals found in common hair products:
Alcohol. Many hair products, from hair color to hair spray, contain alcohol. Some forms of alcohol can be very damaging to your hair, causing it to dry out and break off. Ethanol, SD alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and isobutane are some of the types of alcohol ingredients to avoid. There are some alcohols that are actually good for your hair. These alcohols help the cuticle lie flat and make your hair more smooth and soft. Stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol and lauryl alcohol are considered good alcohols when it comes to the health of your hair.

Ammonia. Everyone knows the smell of ammonia. This chemical is used as a reducing agent in relaxers and perms. If you leave ammonia on your hair for too long, it can cause the hair to fall out or break off. As expected, this is especially true for thinning hair.

Hydrogen peroxide. High amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is used to create the chemical reaction that allows hair color to penetrate the hair, can leave the hair dry, damaged and brittle.

Metallic salts. Many home hair color products contain metallic salts that can change the wave pattern and cause uneven curls. These salts leave a coating on your hair, which causes breakage and other damage.

Sodium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as lye or caustic soda, is the same chemical you’ll find in drain cleaner. Unfortunately, it is often used in hair relaxers and can cause significant hair damage and scalp inflammation.

Thioglycolic acid. When perms are used on thinning or damaged hair, the thioglycolic acid in the solution can cause your hair to break off completely. People suffering from hair loss should never use hair color, permanent solutions, hair straighteners or other hair products containing thioglycolic acid, and no one should leave such products on their hair for very long. People suffering from hair loss should never use perms containing thioglycolic acid, and no one should leave such products on their hair for very long.

Benefits of natural hair products

When it comes to hair care products, generally all-natural formulas are more gentle and less damaging to hair than their chemical counterparts, which is very important when you are experiencing hair loss or thinning hair. You can find many of the ingredients in all natural hair products right in your own kitchen — olive oil, honey, milk and avocado. Some products also use fruit components, plant botanicals and essential oils to add color, shine or fragrance to the hair.
Many men and women stick to their favorite chemical hair products despite the damage these cause. The main reason for product loyalty is effectiveness, and the problem is that natural hair products have a reputation of being less effective than the chemical-laden variety. When it comes to hair, people want results. Fortunately, you can now find a number of natural hair relaxers, hair-coloring products, permanent solutions and shampoos and conditioners on the market today that can deliver the results you are seeking.

“I recommend the Fresh Look Bodiphier Hair Relaxer,” says New York stylist Racine McDonald. “It relaxes hair without the use of chemicals, so there’s no scalp burning or risk of over-processing. The result is hair that is more manageable, healthy and beautiful.”
Try the Organic Curl Systems line of products for perming your hair without ammonia, thioglycolates and other harmful ingredients. These products use certified organic ingredients such as wheat and soy protein to deliver soft curls and waves full of volume and movement.
When it comes to hair color, you can find a variety of nontoxic permanent hair colors, such as EcoColors Hair Color or Advanced Cosmetic Technologies Act Naturals Vegan Hair Dye, that deliver all the beautiful color and shine you are looking for without the chemicals you are trying to avoid.

Your hair gets enough damage from styling tools, the weather and pollution. You don’t need to contribute further to the problem with poor choices in hair products. When selecting your hair products, read the labels carefully so you know what you are putting on your scalp and in your hair. If you are suffering from hair loss, talk to your dermatologist as well as your hair professional about natural hair product options.