What’s on Your Natural Hair Product Labels?

What’s on Your Natural Hair Product Labels?

Understanding how to read your natural hair product bottles will evolve your regimen. Typically, we look at the things that marketers want us to see. The clever way the labels are designed can make you miss common red flags or misunderstand the product’s purpose. The chance of you misusing a product is pretty high if you don’t follow the instructions correctly. The natural community often suggests “alternative uses” of products that were only meant to achieve a specific result. This leads to misinformed and frustrated naturals who can’t seem to get the hairstyle they want. A prime example is not setting the gel used in a wash-n-go. The results can include a lack of curl definition, frizziness, intense shrinkage, and dry hair.

If you want to interact with your products in a meaningful way, keep reading!

Read the Ingredients 

Let’s begin by discussing the ingredients. Although the list may seem overwhelming, it’s crucial to recognize that scientific terms are necessary for easy identification and regulation by the FDA and EU. Understanding the ingredients you’re using can help ensure that you’re comfortable with exposing your body to them.

Companies utilize popular buzzwords in the natural hair community to help sway consumers. These may include “organic,” “natural,” “sulfate-free,” “paraben-free,” “cruelty-free,” “vegan,” and “eco-friendly,” among others. Using buzzwords is a marketing tool that highlights a product’s benefits or positive attributes. However, it’s important to know that not all buzzwords are regulated or have clear definitions. Therefore, it’s crucial to read your natural hair product labels carefully and conduct research to verify the claims made. You shouldn’t base your purchase on the words the company wants you to see. Think of the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Reading and understanding the label will tell you the true story of the product.


Review Usage Directions

It’s always a good idea to follow the usage instructions when using a product. These guidelines can provide valuable information on how to use the product properly. This includes how much product to apply, how often to use it, and any specific instructions to follow, such as shaking the product before use or avoiding contact with the eyes. Products will not work effectively or optimally if you skip a step. A prime example is shampoo. Some shampoos require emulsification before they’re used. Failing to do so will result in poorly cleansed hair.

Keep in mind that a company has invested time and resources into creating the formula for its natural hair product. Following their instructions greatly increases your chances of achieving your desired results. Not following the instructions can lead to problems like a lack of hair definition or moisture, flaking, and product buildup from using too much product. The overuse of products also hits another place—your wallet. Frequently replacing your products will quickly add up.

To avoid these issues, it’s crucial to use products as directed and not deviate from the instructions.


Heed Safety Warnings

Safety warnings are typically included on cosmetic product labels to inform users about any potential risks or hazards associated with using the product. These warnings may include:

  1. Keep out of reach of children. Commonly included in cosmetic products to prevent accidental ingestion or use by children.
  2. For external use only. The product should not be ingested and is intended only for use on the skin or hair.
  3. Avoid contact with eyes. Included on products that could cause irritation or harm to the eyes.
  4. Discontinue use if irritation occurs. Advises users to stop using the product if they experience any adverse reactions or irritation.
  5. Do not use on damaged or broken skin. The product could further irritate or harm damaged or broken skin.
  6. Test on a small area first. Commonly included on products that could cause allergic reactions or irritation, advising users to test the product on a small area of skin before using it more widely.
  7. Flammable. Indicates that the product is flammable and should be kept away from heat sources or flames.


Mind the Expiration Date

The expiration date of a cosmetic product indicates the date after which the product may no longer be effective or may be unsafe to use. This information is often listed on the packaging of the product and typically takes the form of an expiration date or a period-after-opening (PAO) symbol, which looks like an open jar with a number followed by the letter “M” (e.g., 6M for six months.) It’s essential to follow these guidelines to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the product, as expired cosmetics can harbor harmful bacteria and lose their potency.

One great way to remember when you opened a product is to use a permanent marker to label the month and day. You can also write a note on your phone.


Check the Contact Info

Contact information is usually included on cosmetic product labels for several reasons.

The law in many countries requires readily available contact information for consumers.  The contact information allows consumers to reach out to the manufacturer or distributor of the product in case of any questions, concerns, or adverse reactions.

Second, contact information can be helpful for consumers who need additional information or assistance with using the product properly.

Finally, contact information can also be a way for the manufacturer or distributor to receive feedback from consumers, which can help improve the product or address any issues that arise.


Use Your Products with Confidence

When it comes to choosing the right natural hair product, it’s essential to understand its features. This knowledge can give you the confidence you need to make an informed decision. It’s important to know what your product is capable of, how to use it safely, and when it expires. This will help keep your hair healthy and happy. If you’re curious and want to learn more about natural hair and the science behind it, consider joining our online community.  We built our Curlfamily on the foundations of kindness, acceptance, and a willingness to learn. Members can access our living natural hair dictionary, practice rooms, and more!

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