Every women (and even men) love to go for hair treatments regularly to keep their hair beautiful and refreshing. Whether it’s for a new hair perm, or a change to the newest and trendiest hair color, or maybe just for straightening the curly hair, hair business is big business.
Regular treatments are not a cause for hair loss and do not contribute to hair thinning but when you or your hair stylist applies certain chemicals in some of these treatments, it can be shockingly dangerous for your hair and health as well.
The Common Hair Treatments
I am not sure how to actually detail the list of all types of treatments available as there seems to be just too many kinds of new treatment methods and procedures practiced today. But whatever the treatments are, it’s either to compliment or a part of these common hair treatments which are
- Hair Perms
- Hair Coloring
- Hair Straightening
Newest or as old as it can be, most treatments break down into one of these 3 categories of standard treatments and the main issue that lies with these treatments are often related to the chemicals used in the process.
When you are facing hair loss, it’s best to avoid harsh chemicals that can damage your hair. Why? Because there is simply no difference in appearance between hair breakages and hair loss.
Although a broken hair can grow back up, it will take months and probably years for it to get back to its original length. Furthermore, brittle and dry hair can amplify the look of hair loss. So it is double trouble for you if you overdo yourself with hair chemicals especially when you are facing hair loss. Now, let us look at one of the most commonly used and overlooked chemicals in hair treatments:
Brazilian hair straightening (also called Brazilian Keratin Treatment, BKT, Brazilian Blowout, Keratin cure or Keratin straightening) is a method of temporarily straightening hair by sealing the hair with a liquid keratin and a preservative solution with a flat hair iron. The Brazilian Keratin Treatment is a long-term blow dry for hair that lasts about three months. Pioneered in Brazil, the Brazilian Keratin Treatment is performed on all types of chemically-treated hair (bleached, hi-lights, coloured, permed, relaxed or previously straightened). The technique of the application is similar to the Japanese Yuko System in the way that the straightening irons are used to close the product into the hair cuticle. The system aims to eliminate frizz, unruly curls and waves.
Have you ever read the ingredient listing on a hair care product and wondered what all those big, complicated words really mean? This article will provide you with the information you need to make educated decisions about the products that you put on your skin. We will consider just 7 of the most common ingredients used in skin and hair care products and explain why they are so hazardous.
This information may sound unbelievable, but bear one thing in mind. In 1938 the FDA granted the personal care industry the power to regulate itself. Therefore, products can be marketed without government approval of ingredients, regardless of what tests show. Pre-market safety tests are not required and with the exception of a small amount of banned chemicals, manufacturers can add almost any ingredient to a personal care product.
Here is a small sampling of ingredients commonly used in skin, hair, and oral care products. Here’s what the labels don’t tell you.
1) Fragrances. Don’t be fooled. Just because it smells good, doesn’t mean it is. Often one of the first things a consumer does when trying a personal care product is to smell it. If the product smells good the consumer is much more likely to want the product. Often the label on the product will give the illusion that the scent is natural. A picture of a flower or fruit leads the consumer to think that the jasmine scent must be from real jasmine. More often than not, this is simply not the case. Most fragrances are of synthetic origin. Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic (causing or contributing to cancer). Manufacturers are not required to disclose the individual ingredients as they are considered “trade secrets.”
2) FD&C Color Pigments. Again, don’t be fooled. Just because it looks pretty doesn’t mean it is. The only purpose color pigments serve is to make the product look attractive. It serves absolutely no beneficial purpose for your skin. These color pigments are actually synthetic colors made from coal tar, containing heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic. These are often labeled on a product with a number following, such as FD&C Blue No. 1.
3) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). You will find these ingredients in almost all cleansers that foam. These chemicals are even used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers. Research indicates that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate causes inflammation of the skin and can weaken the immune system. Young eyes may not develop properly if exposed to SLS because proteins are dissolved. Be especially alert for these ingredients in Baby Shampoo.
4) DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), & TEA (triethanolamine). These ingredients are again found in most products that foam. These hormone-disrupting chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects. On February 23, 1998 the CBS talk show “This Morning” reported on a Federal government study that revealed DEA and DEA-based detergents to greatly increase the risk of cancer, especially liver and kidney cancer.
5) Triclosan. The EPA registers Triclosan as a pesticide and is classified as a chlorophenol, a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans. Triclosan is so toxic it is measured in parts per trillion. To illustrate—one drop of Triclosan in 300 Olympic-sized swimming pools can cause hormonal disruption! This chemical is a synthetic “antibacterial” ingredient and is therefore found in most antibacterial soaps, lotions, and toothpaste.
6) Mineral Oil. A petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. It interferes with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. It slows down skin function and cell development. Note: Baby Oil is 100% Mineral Oil!
7) DMDM Hydantoin. Just one of the many preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep.
Does this information surprise you? Remember the primary reason a cosmetic company is in business is for profit. These synthetic ingredients are plentiful and inexpensive therefore allowing more room for profit. Even products claiming to be natural often bury the few natural ingredients in a long list of synthetic chemicals. There is no legal definition for the word natural, so don’t be fooled. Read the labels carefully and verify for yourself.
The argument often heard when questioning the use of these and other harmful ingredients is that they are only used in small amounts. Even if this is so, think of the long-term harm of repeatedly exposing your skin and hair to these ingredients, day after day, year after year. And what happens when you combine in a product SEVERAL ingredients that are supposedly used in small amounts? Many products list a synthetic chemical as the first ingredient on the label, meaning it is the single most prevalent ingredient. As previously mentioned, Propylene Glycol is often used in concentrations of up to 20%. Certain ingredients only require a tiny amount to do any damage. Remember, the toxicity of Triclosan is measured in parts per trillion—think back to those 300 Olympic sized swimming pools.
Contrary to popular opinion, it is possible to create personal care products without the use of any harmful ingredients. This includes preservatives. The answers and solutions can be found in nature. All it takes is study, research and a sincere desire to meet the health needs of consumers equally with profit needs.
Consider very carefully the health risks associated with needlessly exposing yourself to harmful chemicals and make it your resolve to no longer buy questionable products from companies that have little regard for your health. While change on a large scale is not likely to happen soon, you can individually make changes and use this information to protect the health of you and those you love.