New Revelations- Hair Care Ingredients

To be honest with you, I have never been a person who actually cared too much about my hair, as in products, heat styling, and over processing. I always had this logic of “it’s hair, it’ll grow back.” It wasn’t until the last year and a half that I actually put effort into growing my hair and maintaining healthy hair in preparation for my wedding.

Originally, I started this post as a cheeky New Hair Care finds to share with you. However, in good faith I found out some information regarding ingredients that are definitely in these products, and they may be doing more harm than good.

I was speaking to a family member, my husband’s cousin, who is both a cosmetologist and chemist about my blog and posting about new hair care finds, and the information she gave me was a bit mind-blowing to me and caused me some paranoia-which is warranted. She told me to avoid all shampoos and conditioners that contain silicones which result in hair follicles falling out resulting in thinner hair then everything spiraled once she looked at the ingredients of the shampoo and conditioner bottles of the product I have been using for the last 4-5 months…

  1. Decyl glucoside– produced by the reaction of glucose from corn starch with the fatty alcohol decanol which is derived from coconut. Decyl glucoside was named the Allergen of the Year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society in 2017 due to case studies that have shown reports of allergic contact dermatitis. (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology)
  2. Tetrasodium EDTA- a chelating agent, which are used in small amounts reacting with metal ions present in hair care products or in the water, in order to improve stability or performance of the product. Tetrasodium EDTA is made from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. (greencure)
  3. Benzoic acid- a plant based polyphenol (micronutrients naturally occurring in plants) used in hair care products such as shampoo and conditioners as well as other beauty products including foundation, facial cleanser, concealer, lipstick, moisturizer, and mascara to name a few… Benzoic acid can become carcinogenic when sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) it can form a carcinogen called benzene. (Proactive Health Labs)

Now, I wash my hair, at max, 3 times a week, sometimes more in the summer months due to the heat. I used to be a girl who needed to wash her hair every day because it got oily quickly due to over cleansing causing me to strip the natural oils from my hair and in turn my scalp was over compensating of the lack of natural oils with even more oil. Once I started to experiment and train my hair by not washing it every single day, there was a huge difference in how long I could go without having to wash it. I stopped over brushing my hair, letting my hair air dry-all year round- and hardly ever use heat styling tools. I also stopped putting my hair high up on my head in a tight bun and started using velvet scrunchies that do not pull my hair out when I take a bun or ponytail out. This has really helped me to grow hair in areas where it was starting to get patchy due to my lack of knowledge and caring if I was damaging my hair or not. I also started to get baby hair growth, which I had never had before.

With all of my new hair growth and washing my hair less often, I noticed that A LOT more was falling out when I was showering-enough to be more than a little concerned about. I thought maybe because I don’t over brush my hair, the hair that sheds naturally wasn’t falling out and were just kind of stuck in my hair. But now, I am really starting to question and really look at the products I have been using and paying attention to their ingredients.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association:

“It’s normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day. When the body sheds significantly more hairs every day, a person has excessive hair shedding.”

American Academy of Dermatology Association

The AAD goes on to say that the medical term for this condition is telogen effluvium and many people that notice excessive hair shedding a few months after a stressful event. Once your body starts to readjust after major stressors, within six to nine months your hair should regain normal fullness. However, if major stress is continuous, you will continue to shed hair excessively.

With that being said, yes, I did just get married in October 2021 and planning a wedding is beyond stressful, and post wedding was also a very stressful time. There was a death in the family, I had some major health concerns, my husband had a very bad ankle sprain, the list is endless, including the adjustment of marriage on top of it.

I also take daily prescription medications and stopped taking birth control in October-could that also be a factor?

According to Harley Street Hair Clinic, a UK based specializing in follicular transfer hair transplant technology: “Immediately after stopping birth control, it is common for a lot of hair to fall out all at once. This is due to telogen effluvium, the hormonal stress of coming off the pill. As the hormones return to their original levels, this can cause a mass shedding of the hair, which will enter back into the growing phase soon after.”

Harley Street Hair Clinic

HOWEVER, they follow up the statement above with: “It is important to note that most women will not experience any hair loss after stopping birth control medication.

In conclusion, I really don’t know what course of action to take with this new information given to me- should I speak to a dermatologist? Should I toss the new products I purchased and replace them with shampoos and conditioners with organic ingredients?

Do you guys check for certain ingredients in your hair care products? Do you have any suggestions on organic products I should try and or any other advice? Please leave me a comment with any suggestions, advice or tips, I would highly appreciate it!

Resources for ingredient hazards:

  1. EWG’s Skin Deep
  2. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
  3. Cosdna

Shout out to cousin Theresa for informing me and shedding light on this area of concern! XOXO

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