I know why you love your favorite hair serum. It leaves your hair soft, shiny and tangle-free, promising to protect your hair from outdoor pollutants. It can be hard to imagine life without it.
But what about the ingredients inside this serum that can damage your health and the environment? What if I told you there is a way to get such results without the harmful chemicals?
Why You Shuold Avoid Conventional Hair Serums
Many people, including myself, are allergic or sensitive to the synthetic chemicals in conventional beauty products. For example, after applying hair styling products, my skin reacts through breaking out, turning itchy, leading all the way to a swollen tongue and throat. It’s really no fun.
My cousin had the terrible experience of fainting after using hair spray. That’s really no fun either. So what makes stuff like this happen? It’s not surprising if we consider that there are 10,000 toxic ingredients used in our beauty products.
Hair serums are often silicone-based products. Serums contain silicons in order to make the hair look smooth and shiny with a silky feel. However, not only are silicones harmful to the environment, the common ones can also be harmful to human health. As I will explain later on, it actually doesn’t help our hair either.
The EU classifies Cyclotetrasiloxane, a common silicone, as an endocrine disruptor. It also classifies it as toxicant that may hurt human fertility. This adds to why synthetic hair serums are a bad idea.
Cyclopentasiloxane is another common silicone with harmful effects. It can potentially cause cancer in humans. In high doses, it is harmful to the immune system as well as the reproductive system. It can cause tumors in the uterus and effect the nervous system as well.
Another concern is that a lot of silicone-based products cannot be removed from your hair without shampoo containing sulfate. Sodium laureth sulfate is classified as a major toxin. For example, ethylene oxide, a common SLS, is a known cancer-causing ingredient and can harm the nervous system. Not only that, it might also interfere with the development of the human body in a bad way.
Sodium laureth sulfates cause skin damage, harm the liver, and irritate the skin as well as eyes. Many people are turning towards natural or sulfate-free shampoos, which is a smart move. However, if we are also using products with silicones that require sulfates to remove, well that’s a problem. Other ingredients often in hair products are formaldeyde releasers, another batch of toxic products termed the “2015 allergen of the year” by the American Contact Dermatisis Society.
It is also eerie how we may not even know what’s in a bottle, even after reading the ingredients list. For example, a common ingredient also in hair serums is “fragrance” or “parfum”. It may sound innocent enough, but it’s not.
Not only is it harmful for people allergic to scent, but the fragrance itself contains from 10 to 300 different chemicals. That one ingredient causes us to have a exposure to a lot of synthetic and harmful chemicals. These chemicals in fragrance can cause asthma and allergies. They can also trigger breast cancer and reproductive problems.
It’s better use organic essential oils, and products based on those ingredients for our smell-good purposes. Also, the serum only makes the hair appear silky and soft, it doesn’t actually turn it silky and soft. According to celebrity hairstylist Shai Amiel and owner of Capella Salon, silicons “weigh the hair down making it limp, lifeless, and with time, very dull”. That’s not the look we want.
Also, the silicones will prevent moisture from getting into the hair, and that will turn our hair very dry and brittle. Our actual hair gives the shine we want when its properly hydrated and cared for, so silicon-based products don’t help us achieve that in the long run. So what do we do?
I recently began to use coconut oil and aloe vera gel in my hair after washing it out. The results were astounding and it was a relief to know that I can use these products to manage my hair while also hydrating it. These ingredients are also very safe, as the Nova Scotia Health Association lists them as amongst the safest ingredients to use as hair moisturizers. Below I share a brilliant recipe I found online, with an additional ingredient to give hair even more wholesome goodness.
Your Homemade Coconut Oil Hair Serum
- 8 to 10 drops of coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons of aloe vera gel mixed in water
- the liquid inside 1 vitamin E capsule
- a few drops of organic lavender essential oil
- Simple mix the ingredients together. Vitamin E is in other hair serums as well to help strengthen the hair and promote hair growth. Lavender oil also helps manage hair loss and hair growth, while conditioning the hair. It also helps with an itchy scalp and dandruff problems.
- Apply a small amount throughout the hair after you wash it, concentrating on the end.
- Feel the soft feeling and enjoy 🙂
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