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What Hair Cosmetics Ingredients are Harmful?

What Hair Cosmetics Ingredients are Harmful
Hair Cosmetics Ingredients
20 June 2011- Women love to look beautiful! And one of the factor that makes them beautiful are their lovely hair. Due to this reason, all types of hair products for women are quite popular all over the world. But do you know that not all these hair cosmetics and hair care products are safe to be used? Most of the hair cosmetics contain harmful ingredients that can lead to a variety of health problems ranging from as simple a problem as headache to as complicated as depression and even coma! However, one cannot also live without using hair products. After all, you need to clean hair and also need to remain presentable for sake of your own self esteem. So, what to do? There are quite a number of ways that can solve the problem of harmful hair cosmetics. For example, you can turn to herbal hair products that are made of natural ingredients (or make them at home!) You can even use the easily available hair products by eliminating those which contain harmful ingredients. For that, you must know what hair products ingredients to avoid.

What Hair Products Ingredients to Avoid

This write up will give you a list of harmful hair cosmetic ingredients used in such products as shampoo, hair dyes and hair colors etc. Whenever buying a hair product, you must read the label having information about the ingredients and avoid those containing these harmful hair cosmetics ingredients.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol- a petroleum-derived substance- is a solvent and denaturant (one that changes the natural qualities of other substances). It is widely used in a variety of body care and hair products, especially in hair color rinses. It is also used in antifreeze, wood finishing lacquers and as a solvent in shellac. Inhalation or ingestion of its vapor may give you headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis and even coma.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol- a surfactant or wetting agent, and a solvent- is a synthetic petrochemical used as an emulsifying base in creams, shampoos and hair conditioners. Propylene glycol breaks down protein and cell structure (the substances that our skin is also made up of.) This is a highly harmful ingredient that can be used in hair cosmetic products. If propylene glycol comes in contact with your skin, it can cause brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. The harmful level of this hair cosmetics ingredients can be understood by the fact that when propylene glycol is used in industries, the workers are instructed to wear protective gloves, clothing and safety eyewear!

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)- a washing surfactant or a washing detergent- is one of the most common hair cosmetics ingredients used in shampoos. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) - a powerful foaming agent- is also used in shampoos and hair conditioners . Apart from leading to poor quality hair, corroded hair follicles and inhibited hair growth resulting into eventual hair loss, these ingredients can cause many eye problems ranging from eye irritation to cataracts.

DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Momoethanolamine), and TEA (Triethanolamine)

DEA , MEA and TEA - the hormone disrupting chemicals- are commonly used in shampoos. They are capable of causing cancers in liver and kidney. TEA can also cause allergic reactions like eye problems, dryness of hair and skin.

FD and C Color Pigments

Many synthetic colors are used in shampoos and hair conditioners to make them look more attractive. However, these color pigments lead to skin sensitivity and irritation. If certain colors are absorbed by human skin, they may cause depletion of oxygen in the body and even death. Many studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic.


Preservative ingredients like imidazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin used in hair cosmetics products release formaldehyde that can irritate your respiratory system, cause skin reactions and trigger heart palpitations. They can weaken the immune system and can even cause cancer apart from causing allergic reactions, headaches, and chronic fatigue.

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