What’s really in our hair products? Here’s a list of commonly used ingredients found in shampoos, conditioners and styling products. As we always say, try to use naturally-derived products to avoid irritation and to provide the best conditions for your locs to flourish.
Petrolatum and Mineral Oil These fillers preserve the shelf life of many hair products, but they can lead to nasty buildup.
PEGs (PolyEthylene Glycol) and Propylene Glycol Propylene Glycol serves as a humectant – a substance that helps retain moisture content, or simply –it prevents things from drying out.
Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, and Ethyl Paraben These are used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend shelf life of products.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate This synthetic substance is used in shampoos for its detergent and foam-building abilities.
Stearalkonium Chloride Stearalkonium chloride is a type of benzalkonium chloride which is used as an anti-static agent, a surfactant and an antimicrobial. It is an ingredient in some cosmetics and hair care products, particularly conditioners.
Synthetic Fragrances Synthetic fragrance oils are primarily made from petrochemicals and attempt to duplicate the smell of a specific plant.
TEA (triethanolmine) Often used in cosmetics to adjust the pH, and used with many fatty acids to convert acid to salt (stearate), which then becomes the base for a cleanser.
Urea (Imidazolidinyl) & DMDM Hydantoin These are the most commonly used preservatives after the parabens.
Various sources abound online about the risks associated with their use (from as minor as skin irritations to possible links to cancer). We don’t know for sure. But over time, a product with natural ingredients will always be best for your locs, scalp and skin.
If you missed it, we added a new story to www.locdlife.com on Winter care for your locs. We also announced our special news—a 36-page downloadable magazine. Click on the link at the right to find out more.