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April 29, 2020

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OUR TRESSES are important aspects of our physical features. How our hair feels, looks and smells often mirrors how much we value and take care of it. Sure, you’ve spent the past five years loving a shampoo and conditioner set, but really, does it make your hair reflect how you feel about it? When checking the labels of your favourite hair products, look out for these ingredients that slowly wreak havoc on our curls. 

SILICONES 
Silicones act as a barrier and prevent the hair from absorbing nutrients needed for a healthy mane. They clog the follicles on the scalp and suffocate it, causing the hair to deteriorate over time. Though they offer the look of soft and healthy hair that gleams, this is not actually so. If you can’t avoid the ingredient and you must use the product, don’t allow it to touch the scalp, to avoid buildup. 

PARBENS
These preservatives epitomize estrogen in the body and disrupt the body’s normal function. This is why they are called hormone disruptors and affect mostly women.
 
SULFATES
Companies know we love having our hair covered in foam on washdays. Sulfates are foaming agents and as such, drugstore brands tend to include them in the ingredients. On the extreme end, they cause the immune system to be weak when absorbed into the body, which can lead to long-term health woes. On the physical end, they dry out the hair and irritate the scalp with the possibility of a rash. Do your body a favour and avoid them. 
 
ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
The skin on the scalp is thin and fragile. Isopropyl alcohol is found in harsh chemicals such as antifreeze and wood shellac varnish. Why would you want to massage that into your scalp? This inexpensive solvent is used to balance the product’s formula and maintain quality for the duration of its shelf life. They dry out the hair, causing it to become brittle and break.
 
DIETHANOLAMINE  AND TRIETHANOLAMINE
The effects of these chemicals are often mistaken for dandruff or dry scalp. They strip away the natural keratin in the hair, leaving it frizzy and hard to manage. 
 
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL
Found in colouring products and shampoos, they rob the hair and scalp of natural moisture, causing an irritated dry scalp. At first it makes the hair feel soft and healthy, but can you really trust a product that contains toxic contaminants like ethylene oxide? 
 
jessica.harrison@gleanerjm.com

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