Did you know that many people are at risk for developing cancer from using various toxic materials in hair products? These toxic materials are often carcinogenic, which means they cause cancer in the human body. How can this be possible?
The hair is composed of 80% protein. Protein molecules are held together by an acid-base. In order to keep your hair healthy, keep it clean and free from breakage, you need to keep it from being broken down. Unfortunately, as we use various hair products every day, these substances can break down into small pieces, called peptides. Peptides then join together with amino acids (such as aloe vera and nettle root) and cause damage. By using what is called “shampoo and hair masks” to protect our hair, we are not only protecting it, but we are also reducing the risk for cancer from these chemicals.
Not only are shampoo and hair masks made from certain harmful ingredients dangerous for the health of your hair and scalp, but they contain toxins that can also be absorbed into the body through your skin. One toxic substance often found in these products is PBB (para-ammonium bentonite). It’s a mineral that, despite its name, does not naturally occur in the environment. Although PBB is toxic, some manufacturers still include it in their products.
Another common ingredient is sulfate-based premixes, such as sodium Laureth sulphate or sodium lauryl sulphates. These chemicals are widely used because they are less costly than other chemical mixtures. However, many of them are extremely toxic. They are believed to be responsible for the development of cancer in lab mice. Even when ingested, large quantities can accumulate in the body over time. They eventually begin to block the pores of cells, which leads to an accumulation of toxins within the body.
You may have heard about parabens in shampoo and conditioners. This is another chemical that can be toxic in large doses. Parabens are commonly used as preservatives, but there is no evidence that they are safe. In fact, the FDA has deemed them a drug and have targeted their use to women who are pregnant or likely to become pregnant. Since they are also found in toothpaste, researchers have warned against their use in personal care products, including shampoos and conditioners.
The ingredients found in dyes and fragrances are another group of toxic substances found in hair products. Although they do not usually cause health problems on their own, when combined with other chemicals, they can create problems that range from temporary irritation to cancer development. Dyes contain lead, zinc and mercury, while fragrances include SLS and SLES.
Even when used in moderation, you can avoid the problems that can be caused by toxic substances in hair products. When purchasing shampoo, always read the label carefully. Look for natural or organic ingredients. Shampoo that contains aloe vera, green tea, coconut oil, shea butter, horsetail ginger or tea tree oil may be beneficial for your hair.
Sodium laureth sulphate
Always read the label on conditioner products too. Some contain high levels of sodium laureth sulphate, a chemical degreasing agent that is linked to hair loss. Others contain ingredients that have been shown to inhibit DHT, the hormone responsible for causing male pattern baldness. In addition, look for plant-based oils like olive oil, grape seed oil and jojoba oil. These oils are full of essential fatty acids that are necessary for a healthy scalp and follicles.
Be careful about hair styling products that contain alcohol. Though most alcohol-based hair products claim to be hypoallergenic, research has shown that it increases dryness. In addition, it leaves behind a residue that can clog hair follicles. If you are going to use alcohol-based dyes, choose one that is made from vegetable or plant sources. These types of hair products are safer than their petroleum-based alternatives.
Many shampoos contain sodium laureth sulphate as an ingredient. Although this ingredient is effective in cleaning and conditioning hair, it can also cause dryness and flakiness. Other substances that are commonly found in hair care products are parabens, sodium lauryl sulphates and fragrances. Parabens, which are derived from liquid propyl esters, are considered toxic substances in hair products because they can interfere with a person’s thyroid function.
Other substances that are considered toxic substances in hair products are dyes, preservatives, coloring and fragrances. Dyes are made from plant or animal extracts. These extracts may contain harmful chemicals that can irritate the skin, cause rashes and allergies, and alter the natural pH level of the scalp. Preservatives, on the other hand, are added to provide long shelf-life and protection from UV radiation. However, excessive exposure to these chemicals can cause dermatitis, eczema and certain types of cancer. For this reason, it is always good idea to lower the usage of toxic ingredients and focus on natural hair products that are much better for our health and hair.