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Beauty and Hair products - myths, facts, and typical ingredients

590 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MamaRabbit
I thought this link was interesting for hair-related myths and facts.

This link is spectacular for demystifying the ingredients in beauty products and haircare products. What I like about this list is that it categorizes what the chemical compound does. Not all of them are bad. Keep in mind that sometimes 'chemical-like' names are just names for something simple, like plant-derived cleansers etc.

As for haircare, not all silicones stick to hair - this forum lists which ones are water-soluble (rinse free from hair) and which ones are not (causes build up). Silicones can be helpful to people who have fragile, hard to grow, or seriously thick or curly hair that can't be combed out without some help.[/url

I'll keep editing and adding to this post as I find good links.

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"There is no such thing as an all-natural hair-care product... Natural ingredients, particularly vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts, in and of themselves, cannot clean hair, cling to hair, or perform any function of conditioning or styling. Plus, because hair is not alive these ingredients can't function the same as they can on skin. The very notion is ludicrous. And beyond that, plenty of natural ingredients turn out to be problematic for the hair and scalp, while there are lots of synthetic ingredients you do not want to do without."

I haven't tried all the natural products out there, but find this statement completely false. Between my synthetic ingredient shampoos and my natural ones, the natural ones clean better and make my hair softer, healthier. Right now I No-poo...I LOVE the fact that it cleans my hair better than anything else, makes it super soft, and doesn't make my hair feel greasy. Plus I can go 3 days in between No-pooing, but when I use any "unnatural" product I have to wash my hair every day.
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I do see your point - that's a sweeping generalization, but I think her argument was for commercially made products, not homemade ones (like no-poo is). The article was written (and her book) was written before some mass commercial companies made more natural products. Most of the commercial companies focusing on a more natural product (Burts Bees, Avalon, and others) still have some manufactured chemical compounds. Though they may stem from plants, they may or may not be better for you.

For example, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is actually coconut based ( but it's supposedly harsh sometimes to certain people and can irritate your skin. If there are other cleansers, they may list it as "coconut derived cleaning agent." They're not as harsh as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, but it's still there.

Also note that companies take advantage of consumer perception. There was a time where companies purposely chose Japanese sounding company names (regardless of where the company was from) because the public though Japanese things were infinitely better than anything else on the planet. Companies pretty much try to meet the demand. Cleaners used to advertise "Keeps your hands soft. Smells great!" and then Mad Cow and e.coli spread the news. Then the messaging was "Effective at killing 99.9% of bacteria, including e.coli and Salmonella." It didn't matter if the cleaner ALREADY killed those things, it made people feel better seeing that label on the packaging.

The status now? Triclosan and pesticides have been linked to cancer and all that and now anti-bacterial stuff is a big no-no to people. It changes everyday. And companies suit their products to the demand. Natural products are no different. They may even go along with the consumer perception.

There's my marketing spew for the day. There are days when I love being in advertising and marketing. And there are days where I know things like what I wrote above, and it's shameful what companies will do and say.


I'm assuming that you're using baking soda - which is a mild alkali to clean your hair.

Though sodium bicarbonate does occur as a chemical component in nature, baking soda is manufactured. I think Paula's point was that usually things off the shelf usually uses something to preserve the product or has something sufficiently clean the hair and scalp.

In our cases, we're using baking soda to take sebum and dirt away from our hair.

When looking through all the natural shampoos and products, there are still certain parts of the shampoos that aren't totally natural. At least not yet! The most we can do is get as close we can to chemical-free or make our own solutions.
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Oops. I see what she means. Good info!

ohhh interesting!!! I just bought some "natural" shampoo today...
thanks Spastica, for taking the time to do all the research.
i want to know more.
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Some people suggested this site, which I found absolutely awesome:

It's SO thorough.
Jeeezz you were not kidding about that website being thorough! lol I have to show my dh. thank goodness I am just a bit obsesive/compulsive or else.... lol
You know - it all started with being unhappy about how not-white my teeth was so I got Crest Whitening, which happened to have baking soda. I was so happy with that, that I looked up baking soda online and OH MY GOD I found a bazillion uses. After that, I was using baking soda for cleaning everything. Now I'm obsessed with trying natural stuff and avoiding synthetic chemicals (harmful only).

I'm still in my twenties and a couple of my (ignorant, I'll add) friends think I'm turning Amish.

Funny how things work out, huh?

Originally Posted by Spastica
I'm still in my twenties and a couple of my (ignorant, I'll add) friends think I'm turning Amish.
I'm still in my twenties and most of my (uneducated about these things friends) think I'm turning heathen. LOL

Couldn't resist adding that!

Anyway, thanks for the awesome links. I'd come on here today just to research this!
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