Hairy Monday: Is your hair REALLY chemical free?

Source: http://www.woodplayusa.com/why-childlife/
Source: http://www.woodplayusa.com/why-childlife/

So, not too long ago, I started researching about whether or not I would need a license to do natural hair professionally. I’ve had so many women (and some men) ask me to do their hair and instead of having people in my home, I wanted to see what I would need to put in place to work in a shop.

Sidenote: I am no longer interested in doing hair. Just wanted to let you know before you tried to contact me…

After researching for a while, I discovered something that kind of shocked me. A natural hair stylist does not need a license (in my state) UNLESS they are shampooing the clients hair. Wha??? Why would someone need a license to shampoo? The answer: Shampoo is considered a chemical.

That got me thinking…Is our natural hair really chemical free? If you’re like me, you started your natural hair journey with excitement, nervousness, and a tad bit of fear. You had no idea what you were doing and a lot of your first year was full of trial and error. I went natural before the YouTube boom so, there weren’t many resources for us curlies to use. So, I started making my own products.

I can remember being in my kitchen whipping shea butter, whipping coconut oil, mixing oils, and cooking up flax seed gel. Since then, I have gotten away from making my own products to buying all natural products to just buying anything.

Sulfates, parabens, waxes, silicones…we are told to avoid all of these ingredients in our hair products but why? Are they really as harmful as they are said to be? Well, here’s my short and sweet run down…

Sulfates: Sulfates are usually found in shampoos and in some conditioners. They are also used in clothing and dish detergent. The lather that we are so excited about in the shower..yeah, that’s from sulfates. They are very drying and can strip all of the necessary oils out of your hair forcing you to use additional product to “add” them back in.

Sulfates are extremely damaging to curly girls’ already dry hair. They should be used very sparingly and minimally if, at all.

Parabens: Now, up until recently, I had no idea what this was. I had a health scare (which I will explain on Wednesday) that forced me to do more research. Apparently, parabens are what the cosmetic community uses to preserve products. They are in everything from hair products to lotions to perfumes to deodorants to makeup. Parabens are said to have or be a form of synthetic estrogen.

Estrogen is a natural hormone that both women and men produce (women, of course, produce more of it). In excess, it can cause growths (sometimes cancerous). Synthetic estrogen is a man made material. Traces of these parabens have been found in benign and malignant growths found in breast, ovarian, and uterine tissue. Scary stuff…

Source: http://thegoodhuman.com/2010/12/07/what-to-do-with-old-candle-stubs-and-wax/
Source: http://thegoodhuman.com/2010/12/07/what-to-do-with-old-candle-stubs-and-wax/

Waxes: Most of us can relate to waxes. They are in candles, crayons, and, in this case, some hair products. What waxes do is coat your hair shaft which, in some ways is good. It can seal in moisture and protect the hair. What waxes don’t do is break down. This causes them to suffocate the hair keeping needed moisture and oxygen from coming into the shaft. Waxes are also difficult to remove. You’d pretty much have to strip your hair to get them out. This can also be damaging.

Silicones: Silicones play a role similar to waxes. They are usually found in conditioners and are meant to make the hair “look” silky and smooth. Although they may temporarily do that, they usually end up drying the hair out and blocking out excess moisture. The use of a sulfate shampoo is needed to remove silicones from your hair.

I hope this helps you on your hair journey. If you’d like to join us in the Protective Style Challenge, email me at staywoo.art@gmail.com. Also, make sure you check out the shop , to get 20% off of this week’s featured item.

Until next time…

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