Hair Styling Products: A Closer Look at Damaging Ingredients

In an era where consumers are becoming increasingly well-informed, deciphering the list of hair styling product ingredients can be a daunting task. Amid the confusion, it’s vital to distinguish which components are best avoided and which ones are safe to use.

Fortunately, Dr. Tess Marshall, ND, the Director of Product Science & Marketing at Ohio SMP Studio, brings her expertise to the forefront, dispelling myths and offering insights into the chemicals that should steer clear from your hair care routine.

Promoting Hair Growth from Within

Dr. Tess emphasizes that the most effective approach to promoting hair growth is an inside-out strategy. The intricate network of pathways and systems associated with the hair follicle plays a significant role. Disruptions in these pathways, whether due to immune or hormonal factors, can lead to changes in hair growth and appearance.

Addressing Misconceptions

An unfortunate common misconception is that external solutions hold the key to optimal hair care. Dr. Marshall points out that overuse of synthetic hair products often results from this notion. While such products might deliver short-term effects, they can actually be harmful to both the hair and the body. This overreliance can lead to long-term issues.

Beyond Hair: Impact on Health

Using products containing harmful ingredients doesn’t just affect hair health, but potentially overall well-being. Dr. Marshall highlights the connection between these ingredients and disruptions to the immune system and hormones. The intricate process of communication within the hair follicle can be disrupted, leading to undesired effects.

Global Perspectives on Safety

Interestingly, the United States lags behind other regions like Europe and Canada in banning harmful chemicals in hair products. Dr. Marshall underscores that many substances allowed in the U.S. market are already prohibited elsewhere due to their potential risks.

Unveiling the Top Culprits

Dr. Tess Marshall sheds light on nine of the most detrimental ingredients found in hair styling products. These culprits, such as mineral oil, petrolatum, sulfates, benzene, phthalates, parabens, and synthetic colors, can wreak havoc on both hair and health. To empower consumers, she suggests using the Think Dirty app, which helps analyze product ingredients and identify safer alternatives.

Defining the Risky Ingredients

  • Mineral Oil and Petrolatum: These ingredients, although from different sources, pose similar risks due to potential links to cancer. Even a small amount of these substances can disrupt immune signaling crucial for healthy hair follicles.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Commonly found in various products, sulfates can cause scalp dryness and irritation, particularly for those with sensitive skin.
  • Benzene: A known immune-signaling disruptor linked to cancers, including leukemia, benzene is still used in many products despite its risks.
  • Phthalates: These endocrine disruptors often hide under the term “fragrance,” affecting hormonal balance that influences the hair cycle.
  • Parabens: Another group of endocrine disruptors, parabens, are present not only in beauty products but also in household items.
  • Synthetic Colors and Dyes: Common in beauty products, these ingredients can damage the hair cuticle, especially for those who color their hair.

Putting Your Hair’s Health First

As Ohio SMP Studio continues to raise awareness about hair care and well-being, it’s crucial to prioritize ingredients that support healthy hair growth. Remember, the choices you make regarding hair styling products can impact not just your hair but your overall health as well.