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The Truth Behind Hair & Skin Care Ingredients

Text: Mahisha Dellinger
Surfing the shelves of decadently designed beauty counters can be as challenging as attempting to explain the latest theory on Quantum Physics. Some of the ingredients listed on the bottle of your favorite luxury shampoo may even sound like they belong in a scientific equation. Try saying Methylchroloisothiazolinone! Did you know that this commonly used hair and skin care preservative has been under attack and accused of being carcinogenic?  While I do not subscribe to the Internet "hair care ingredient scare" hype, I do 100% believe in knowing what you are putting on your hair. I have drafted an introductory look into some of the common hair ingredient pitfalls, myths and untruths.
 ALCOHOL DEBATE
I am often asked about alcohol in hair care products. Many people believe that alcohol, which is a family of chemicals, is drying for the hair.
TRUTH- Some alcohols are extremely drying and damaging while others are fatty, emollient conditioners. There are literally thousands of different alcohols used in different products for different reasons. So when you're looking over product labels, it is important to know more about the specific type of alcohol in the product when making an informed decision.
EXAMPLES OF DRYING ALCOHOLS
 The following alcohols, commonly found in hairspray, mouse and gel products, are drying to skin and hair:
        Ethanol alcohol
        Isopropyl alcohol
        SD alcohol
        Ethyl alcohol
EXAMPLES OF HEALTHY ALCOHOLS
Cetearyl Alcohol - This naturally-derived alcohol provides the creamy consistency that makes hair products easier to distribute throughout the hair. This is an especially beneficial ingredient in Black hair products because it also lubricates the hair, which makes detangling a snap.
Cetyl Alcohol - This is a fatty alcohol that is derived from coconut and palm oils. Far from drying, this emollient makes hair and skin softer.
Stearyl alcohol - another fatty emollient and moisturizer.
PARABENS CAUSE CANCER ... MYTH OR FACT?
There have been many studies presented on and offline about the health risks of using products formulated with paraben (a preservative used in cosmetics to protect the user from the growth of microbial organisms). Paraben opponents argue that this commonly used cosmetic ingredient causes cancer by mimicking the hormone estrogen. A study published in 2004 documented that it found parables in breast cancer.
Others say that the study left many unanswered questions and that parables are 100% safe. They argue that while parables may act similarly to estrogen, the bodies naturally produced estrogenic activity far outweighs the threat of any cosmetic product. The Federal Drug Administration's website states the following:
TheCosmeticIngredientReview(CIR) reviewed the safety of methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben in 1984 and concluded they were safe for use in cosmetic products at levels up to 25%. Typically parabens are used at levels ranging from 0.01 to 0.3%. In December 2005, after considering the margins of safety for exposure to women and infants, the panel determined that there was no need to change its original conclusion that parabens are safe as used in cosmetics.
For more information on parabens from the FDA, visit www.cfsanJda. gov/-dms/cos-para.htrnl.
THE TRUTH ABOUT MINERAL & PETROLATUM OIL
The best oil for your hair is always natural.
I personally prefer using pomegranate seed, jojoba, coconut and almond oil. The traditional hair grease we all grew up using on our naturally curly, kinky, textured and afro-styled hair is made of mineral and/or petrolatum oil. Avoid products with these oils in them, as both of these synthetic oils coat and suffocate the hair shaft, which blocks moisture out. If applied directly to the scalp, mineral and petrolatum oil can actually retard growth. Mineral oil is a derivative of crude oil (petroleum) that is used industrially as a cutting fluid and lubricating oil. Petrolatum, a petroleum based grease that is used industrially as a grease component, exhibits many of the same potentially
 
Mahisha Dillingeris the owner of CURLS, a specialized hair care company providing unparalleled service and exceptional products for curly women, girls and babies across the US, Canada and other international markets. CURLS outshines the rest by offering customized hair care regimes, personalized hair care support, and live workshops on demand. For additional information visit www. curls. biz





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