When deciding which hair products to use, many of us are often faced with the question of whether or not chemical-based shampoos and conditioners will damage our precious locks. The truth is, we all have different types of hair, and therefore a number of factors can come into play when considering product choice.
John Brennan, the managing director of Fuente Australia (fuente-australia.com/au), weighs up the pros and cons of both chemical-based hair products and organic hair products and the outcome is concerning. Although tolerable in the short-term, synthetic hair care products have been shown to cause serious long-term damage – not only to the quality of the hair, but to our general health and well-being. In fact, research has revealed that there are currently loopholes in Australian law which allows potentially untested and unsafe ingredients in personal care products that we use on our bodies every day. In some instances, these ingredients have been linked to toxicity in the nervous system, weaknesses in the immune system and even cancer.
1. Some synthetic hair care products can be specifically formulated to target and manage hair problems that can result from bleaching or constant hair-colouring, making them a saviour for significantly damaged hair.
2. Most chemical-based hair products offer a short term solution to problems such as dryness and breakage, helping in the relief and management of these symptoms. The results however are short term and do not address underlying issues. Chemical based products may even cause further damage.
3. Synthetic hair products are also often designed to aid in preventing heat damage which is caused by frequent use of hair straighteners or hairdryers.
1. Isopropyl alcohol is found in a large range of hair products, particularly in hair colour rinses. It is a denaturant, meaning it changes the natural qualities of your hair, and inhalation of the vapour can actually cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and in some instances, vomiting. The long term health impacts are not known but are generally considered to be very concerning
2. Colours, preservatives, stabilizers, fragrances, and thickeners are found in many products targeted to scalp care to prolong the shelf life of the product. These may be absorbed into the skin and can cause substantial irritation for sensitive types. Again, the long term health impacts are not known but are generally considered to be very concerning
3. For relatively natural hair that has not been exposed to consistent colouring, synthetic products may cause more harm than good, and in some instances have led to toxicity in the nervous system and even cancer.
Organic hair products
1. Organic products gently infuse your hair follicles and skin cells with natural minerals, herbal extracts, and oils. This protects the integrity of the hair fibre and ensures damage will not occur over the long-term, gradually nourishing your hair to its healthiest state possible.
2. Organic hair products avoid harsh elements that are found in chemical-based products. As such, the likeliness of irritation, allergic reaction or detrimental exposure is significantly lower (if at all) than that of synthetic products.
3. Natural shampoo alternatives are much better for the environment than chemical products. Given that the ingredients are naturally-derived, they impose less damage on the environment. They tend to be better for washing down the drain, more biodegradable in landfills and safer for animals on either water or land.
1. Organic hair products are slightly more expensive than chemical products due to the higher quality.
2. These hair care products are less commercial and therefore more difficult to find than standard hair care products in your local supermarket.
3. Instant damage repair is not a feature of organic products, as the natural ingredients take a longer period of time to be absorbed by your hair than chemical-based ingredients.
In summary, while chemical-based products can deliver instant results and provide a longer term shelf life for products, the overall health impacts are very concerning. Organic products, despite a being a little more expensive, deliver long-lasting results that do not infringe on the quality of both your hair and your personal well-being. Also, when looking for a hairdresser, try to find a salon that offers organic hair products or ask your hairdresser to introduce organic hair products as well.