When you examine a row of hair care products and can’t decide what product to get, how do you make your choice? Do you go for the most popular brand? Or the ones endorsed by your favorite celebrity? Do you even take time to look into the label to see the ingredients contained in the product? If not, then you need to start now.
Below is a breakdown of common ingredients found in hair care products today and what their potential effects are to your hair:
Sulfates – This is a major no-no when it comes to using hair care products but they can come in various forms so you need to get to know about each one. The most widely used form of sulfate used in hair care products such as shampoo is known as SLS or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The main reason why they are used as an ingredient in shampoo is that they strip hair’s oil and create foam. This can be counterproductive in the long run, especially those with natural hair because it causes an imbalance in the hair’s natural pH level and also strip it off of moisture. To protect your hair, always go for sulfate-free shampoos.
Behentrimonium Methosulfate (BMS) – A lot of people confuse it with sulfate but there is actually a huge difference between them. However, this is a conditioning agent that a lot of people look for in their shampoos and conditioners.
Silicone – There are two types of silicones used in most hair care products but you should refrain from using ones that are water-insoluble. These ingredients heavily coat the hair and tend to build up because they cannot be washed out by water.
Mineral Oil – This product is derived from the distillation of petroleum, which is a cheap filler in most hair care products these days. If you can avoid products containing this ingredient, you should as it can clog the pores.
Parabens – Like sulfate, this is one ingredient that should be avoided as they offer no benefit to your hair.
Best Ingredients for Your Hair
Flower extracts – These are extracts derived from a wide range of flowers or plants, each containing their own beneficial properties that can either nourish your hair or leave them looking shiny. These ingredients commonly used in hair care products include: aloe vera, ginseng root extract, collagen, silk proteins, shea butter, and many more.
Natural Oils – Natural oils are highly recommended for all hair types because they help to strengthen hair from within, also locks in moisture for lasting shine, and help address a wide range of hair problems including split ends, dandruff and dry scalp. Look for these ingredients in your hair care product label: wild rose oil, jojoba oil, sesame oil, olive oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and macadamia oil.
Additional Tip: When buying shampoos and conditioners, you are often confused when reading labels by the extensive list of ingredients. But in reality, you need to focus mainly on the first five ingredients on the list. The first ingredient in the list should always be water – if not, you should be suspicious and check with the manufacturer for accuracy of the label. The first ingredients (you can try to exclude water from that list) indicate the highest concentration within the hair care product formula so you have to keep a close eye on any harmful substances in there.
Do you take time to read the labels when buying hair care products?