What to Avoid in Your Natural Hair Product

What to Avoid in Your Natural Hair Product

Selecting the right natural hair product can be overwhelming. With hundreds of products on the market that promise to do the same thing, it can be tough to know which one to choose. Unfortunately, not all products are created equal. Some may not be created with our tight curls in mind at all. That’s why Brown Skin Women offers a guide of products we personally recommend, but we also want to teach our curlfriends how to recognize high-quality products. Below, you’re going to find common ingredients that you should watch out for when selecting your next products.

The Average Natural Hair Product Label

You probably have seen products in the marketplace that advertise themselves as being “sulfate-free,” “paraben-free,” “silicone-free,” “phthalate-free,” “drying alcohol-free,” “propylene glycol-free,” or “mineral oil-free.” While these are great ingredients to avoid, it’s important to understand that a product can avoid these ingredients and still be low-quality. Companies understand that naturals are more likely to try a new product if the label ticks common ingredient concerns.

So, keep in mind that these buzzwords are not the only criteria that determine whether a product is high-quality or not.

The standard natural hair product may include silicones, resins, plastics, and other synthetics that add a slick coating or a slippery feel to the hair. These may give the illusion of moisture and shine, but over time, they build up and create dull, dry hair. Therefore, it’s best to avoid these ingredients and opt for products that are made with natural ingredients.

Another thing to look out for is products with high concentrations of key ingredients. While it may seem like a good thing, it actually means that there is less water in the product. And since water is what our hair needs to stay hydrated, this can lead to dry, brittle hair. Therefore, it’s important to use products that strike a balance between key ingredients and water.

Common Ingredients to Avoid

  1. Phthalate: Phthalates are often used as fragrance stabilizers to make the scent last longer. On the downside, they’ve also been linked to reproductive and developmental issues.
  2. Artificial Color and Fragrances: cosmetic products containing artificial colors and fragrances are known to be the leading cause of sensitization and allergic reactions.
  3. PEG Compounds: These synthetic plant glycols serve a variety of functions in cosmetic preparations, including binders, solvents, emollients, plasticizers, bases, carriers, emulsifiers, and dispersants. However, they are known to cause many allergic reactions and may contain dioxane, a carcinogenic contaminant.
  4. Propylene Glycol is a petroleum-based humectant, surfactant, solvent, and carrier that has been linked to a wide range of allergic reactions, including contact dermatitis. Additionally, it has been classified as a neurotoxin.
  5. Deionized Water: To prevent contamination of cosmetic products, it’s important to use sterile water. Deionized or demineralized water has had most of its mineral ions removed. However, this ingredient has been linked to health issues and is considered a carcinogen.
  6. Methylchloroisothiazolinone or Methylisothiazolinone: These antimicrobial agents are used to kill harmful bacteria in cosmetics. However, they are known to cause allergies and may have dangerous neurotoxic effects.
  7. Parabens: These non-irritating preservatives are used to control microbial growth in cosmetics. However, they have been linked to toxicity and health concerns. Note: It is important to clarify that parabens are not a “known toxin,” but rather have been associated with some health concerns and their safety is still debated in the scientific community.

What is the EU Standard?

Keep in mind that this is only a glimpse into identifying a product formula that will help, not hurt your hair. Feeling a little overwhelmed after reading the shortened list above? Selecting products that meet the EU Standard is a great way to eliminate the stress of reviewing every single ingredient.

The EU Standard is a set of regulations that govern the production and sale of cosmetics and hair products in the European Union. It was established to ensure that these products are safe for human use and do not pose any health risks. The standard sets out guidelines for the ingredients that can be used in cosmetics and hair products.

For consumers outside of Europe, the EU Standard can be a useful tool for checking the quality of their hair products. This is because many American hair product manufacturers also sell their products in Europe and must comply with the EU Standard. By looking for products that comply with this standard, American consumers can be sure that they are purchasing safe hair products.

In addition, the EU Standard also prohibits the use of certain harmful ingredients in cosmetics and hair products. This means that products that comply with the standard are less likely to contain harmful chemicals that can damage hair or cause health problems. The EU Standard is a valuable resource for consumers who want to make informed choices about the hair products they use.

Brands We Support

At Brown Skin Women, we choose the brands and products we recommend carefully. We prefer companies that are transparent about their ingredient list and focus on optimal hair health. Some of the brands we mention below do not follow the EU Standard but still create high-quality products. They can still work wonderfully in your hair regimen.

  1. Innersense
  2. Briogeohair
  3. The Doux
  4. Uncle Funky’s Daughter
  5. TGIN

    The companies above all have specific products that we recommend to our Curlfriends. We don’t suggest every product line a brand creates. Instead, we choose to spotlight the products that have created successful, defined hairstyles at home and at the salon. Want to know the products we recommend from the brands above? Sign up to receive our natural Hair Product Guide.

    Learn More Within Our Community

    You can make informed decisions about your hair products by understanding what ingredients can harm your hair and health. Remember to read your labels thoroughly and use what you’ve learned here to make the best decisions for your hair. If you want to learn even more about products you can do so within our community.  We review natural hair products, have interactive live streams, and so much more! We love to share knowledge and offer support to each and every member of our Curlfamily. Our goal is to educate our community members so they can make informed decisions for their hair and health.

    P.S. If you’ve ever been confused about what’s on your product label, check out this blog!

    Back to blog

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.