Most of you know that afro hair has a fragile texture. So, if you use the wrong products on your curls, you could cause them to shed, break, or frizz. As a result, you need to be very cautious about the ingredients you expose your kinky hair to. In addition, if you are at the beginning of your natural hair journey, you might not be aware that not all natural hair care products ingredients are safe for your curls.
Research has demonstrated that 80% of afro hair care products contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals are linked to medical issues like infertility, cancer, asthma and fibroids. One of the first steps to healthier afro hair is to avoid toxic ingredients that cause problems like these. To help steer you in the right direction, here is our list of four ingredients you should avoid when purchasing your natural hair care products.
These cleansing compounds are typically added to hair care products, like shampoos, to remove build-up and oils from the scalp and strands deposited after washing and styling. However, sulphate-based chemicals like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, TEA Lauryl Sulphate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate are harmful to your hair as they can strip it of its natural oils. Instead, opt for natural compounds that are sulphate-free and gently cleanse your hair without removing any of your hair’s natural moisture. On an ingredients list, these natural compounds could be Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate or Cocomidopropylomine Oxide.
You might spot this chemical on the ingredients list of a hair care product as it is known to increase its shelf life and prevent the growth of bacteria and mould. However, while these ingredients like Propylparaben, Ethylparaben and Butylparaben can preserve your products, they are also easily absorbed through your scalp. As a result, they can cause a range of medical issues like reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, and skin and eye irritation.
This chemical has also been known to cause increased growth of breast cancer cells and imitate the hormone estrogen within your body. So while our Sofnfree Naturals range does not contain any parabens, we would advise you to check the ingredients list of other water-based hair care products that rely on parabens to prevent the growth of microbes.
3. Mineral Oils
Derived from petroleum, mineral oils are included in many kinky haircare products for its moisturising properties as it is cheap to manufacture. However, the use of any product with these clear and odourless chemicals can lead to product build-up on your scalp. In this way, your curls can become lifeless and be more prone to scalp irritation. Therefore, apart from the term mineral oil, you also need to avoid products that mention paraffin, petroleum or paraffin wax on its ingredients list.
To prevent these types of oils from hindering your afro hair growth, opt for our natural Curling Creme With Coconut and Jamaican Black Castor Oils. The Jamaican Black Castor Oil can improve the blood flow to your scalp, which in turn will supply valuable nutrients to your hair follicles. In addition, coconut oil can add more of a natural shine and softness to your afro hair.
This ingredient is included in some afro hair care products to make the fragrance last longer. While that might seem like a positive thing, the use of phthalates in products has also been linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and endocrine disruption. Alternatives to this ingredient are natural plant oils like flaxseed oil which has a natural scent and can help stimulate better hair growth as it contains vitamin E. You will find this oil present in our Curl Elongating Gel With Flaxseed Oil & Rosewater.
Choosing afro hair products with safe, high-quality ingredients are vital for stronger strands and your future health. So, when you need a kinky hair product, don’t forget to look at its list of ingredients. In this way, you can avoid the four chemicals we’ve discussed in this guide.