The Haircare Ingredients to Watch Out For

Between their scientific names and little advertising surrounding them, it’s hard to understand and avoid the haircare ingredients that can cause you harm or find the ones that will really treat your concerns.

You will often hear mentions of undesirable ingredients , or a product that’s ‘free from nasties’ but knowing what to look out for on the ingredient lists of your haircare products is the best way to look after your locks.

Here’s a few you should be aware of…

The Good

Avocado Oil – thanks to its high levels of vitamins B and E, avocado oil is great for both your scalp and the lengths and ends of your hair. You can apply it as a mask and rinse or use it as a finishing oil to smooth fly-aways and hydrate your ends. The best part is eating avocados also contributes to your hair health so you don’t have to feel guilty about all those smashed avo breakfasts.

Argan Oil – great in products or in it’s natural form, Argan oil works to restore shine, softness and silkiness to your hair because it’s packed full of vitamin E, hydrating linoleic acid and essential fatty acids.

Charcoal – its natural ability to absorb impurities and toxins makes charcoal a great ingredient for your scalp. With regular use, it will help to balance the PH of your scalp resulting in healthier hair growth and it can regulate oil production preventing greasiness and even dandruff.


The Bad

Parabens – They’re widely used preservatives that help to kill bacteria and increase a products shelf life but parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that have been linked to breast cancer. The chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been found in biopsy samples from breast tumours.

Sodium Laurel / Laureth Sulphate (SLS) – It has a host of other names but SLS is a pretty nasty chemical that’s responsible for drying out your hair. It’s used in a lot of heavy duty cleaners – think engine degreasers and garage floor cleaners – so should be avoided at all costs.

Mineral Oil – don’t let its deceiving name fool you, mineral oil is a petroleum product and coats your scalp like a thin layer of plastic. It stops your skin from being able to release toxins and it messes with your natural oil production.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) – commonly used in cleaning products to help dissolve oils and thicken formulas, PEG strips moisture from your hair leaving your ends dry and often your roots oily as your oil production goes into overdrive trying to counteract the product.

Diethanolamine (DEA), Momoethanolamine (MEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) – they’re names may be a mouthful but you should quite simply avoid these ingredients whenever you can. They’re commonly found in anything that foams and are known to produce carcinogenic nitrates.


The Brilliant

Hydrolyzed Keratin – It’s naturally found in your hair and skin and when applied topically, keratin works to rebuild your hair’s structure and support the hair shaft to leave you with stronger, smoother hair. You can get keratin masks and serums for at home use, or visit the salon for an intensive keratin treatment that seriously tames frizz.

Protein treatments – If you’re experiencing breakage, excessive frizz, weak or brittle hair, there’s a good chance a protein treatment will help you out. Because we’re made up of proteins, a protein treatment works to replenish your hair and stimulate growth. Often salon treatments combine various proteins and nutrients for an extra dose of love for your locks.

featured image via insta & pinterest @amymckeown5