Well, at least some are, if you’ve been checking the ingredients. As more people are becoming aware of harsh and harmful chemicals in hair products, they are turning toward new shampoos and moisturizers boasting of botanical extracts, vitamins, and organic oils. It’s no secret that natural and organic products are on the rise, so what’s exactly beneficial about them and what does that mean for your hair?
Since your hair is made of keratinized protein, it needs a proper balance of protein and moisture. Moisture gives your hair elasticity, and protein gives it strength to prevent breakage. Just think of those times when your hair felt like straw—that’s when your tresses needed moisture to get it soft and stretchy without snapping. Or think about the last time you wiped your shoulders off after noticing tiny broken hairs—this is when protein is needed to strengthen those natural bonds in your hair. Any quality hair product will help keep these two in balance and have your hair healthy, strong, and shiny.
So how does a natural product do this? Well, by blending in high quality raw ingredients and natural oils and attacking the problems of dry or weak hair. Coconut oil for example has been noted in scientific studies as being one of the few natural oils that penetrates your hair shaft and deposits the moisture deep inside. Coconut oil is also lightweight (so it doesn’t weigh down hair), and its natural lauric acid content gives it antibacterial properties. Sounds much better than mineral oil, which sits on top of your hair without delivering moisture and, when used in high doses, has been linked to cancer.
Other hair-friendly natural ingredients include silk amino acids, which act as a protein, and organic peppermint oil, which stimulates the scalp and relieves itchiness. Ayurvedic powders and oils are making their way into our shampoo and conditioner bottles as well, and they’ve been used for thousands of years to clean hair, treat the scalp, and promote growth. Whether your goal is to have healthy hair or longer hair (or both), the variety of natural plant extracts, butters, and oils available will help you along your journey.
As we see a rise in these ingredients in our hair care products, we will also see our choices in the store aisle increase and our knowledge of the dangers of certain chemicals grow. How do we separate the good from the bad? Well if your hair product contains silicones, sulfates, or parabens, then it is most likely on the “bad” list. Shampoos containing sulfates are particularly worrisome when it comes to the effect they can have on girls’ hormonal development, and parabens are not too far behind in their disruptive activity.
So the next time you’re in your local beauty supply or drug store, and you’re comparing labels, look for ingredients that will give you the protein or moisture that your hair craves without the drawbacks of traditional formulas. Going the natural and organic route can be rewarding, and it can also make a world of difference!