Organic Beauty Talk founder, Brandie Gilliam, shares on the importance of hair care ingredients and her own hair journey.
When asked the question “why natural hair products?” my answer is always the same, “why not?” If you have the option between two different products that both claim to give you the same result, but one is potentially harmful and the other beneficial to your health, then it seems like a no-brainer to go with the better-for-you option every time. Fourteen years ago, I had no idea about the harmful ingredients in products, reading product ingredient labels or using natural hair care products. I didn’t grow up in a home of tree huggers, organic lovers or even recyclers. I was simply asked by a family friend one day if I knew what was in my personal care products. And I didn’t. I had never even thought of it before and no one had ever told me to do so. Feeling empowered after our conversation, I immediately took this new-found knowledge along with a list of ingredients to avoid and began checking all of my products. I have continued doing so since and my hair has never looked or felt better.
“It’s the Wild West when it comes to the safety of cosmetics and personal care products that we use on our skin every day, because they are among the least regulated consumer products on the market. It’s up to individuals to learn how to choose safe cosmetics. For example, you may think you’re using a gentle or ‘natural’ shampoo, but many companies use toxic chemicals, including those that are linked to cancer and hormone disruptions, in shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care products,”says Margie Kelly of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Stay away from ingredients in your hair care products like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) that may cause skin irritation and damage the immune system as well as Propylene Glycol (PG) that may cause brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. Also, steer clear of artificial colors which can cause skin rashes, hyper-pigmentation and other sensitivities. “Less is more,” says Nneka Leiba, Environmental Working Group (EWG) Deputy Director of Research. “We always advise consumers to look for haircare products with fewer ingredients and avoid products with parabens—these chemicals have been strongly linked to endocrine disruption. Consumers should also stay clear from Keratin treatments. Most have high levels of formaldehyde, which has been classified by the U.S. government as a known human carcinogen. EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetics and personal care database is a great resource to find safer haircare products.”
So what’s in my own personal hair care bag? Safe and effective natural products that include my latest obsession, Alba Botanica® Hawaiian Anti-Frizz Serum. Remember, know what’s in your products if you truly want healthier, stronger, shinier and more beautiful hair.
*This article is sponsored by The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.