Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
This cheap foaming agent is widely used in shampoo and very common. Sulfates are effective for straight hair because they cleanse grease and dirt, but they don’t work for curls because they strip natural oils from the strands.
This stripping can dry out your mane and cause you to lose your curl definition. Plus, sulfates can cause bad breakage.
Sulfates are also known as sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium cocoyl sarcosinate, and sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate. Avoid sulfates if you want healthy and defined natural curls.
This petroleum byproduct was widely used in the past for conditioning and smoothing the hair. Also known simply as grease, mineral oil does an excellent job of lubricating the hair.
The problem is, it’s too difficult to rinse out. Only harsh shampoos can effectively wash mineral oil from the hair. Plus, mineral oil forms a barrier so that nothing can get in, including hydration. The result is dry, undernourished hair. Other petroleum-based ingredients to watch out for include petrolatum.
Fragrance isn’t necessarily bad for your hair, but it is highly toxic for your body. When you apply products, you automatically inhale them. Breathing in harmful chemicals sends toxic fumes to the brain.
Fragrance can affect your neurological, respiratory, and reproductive systems. Choose your natural hair products with essential oils instead. Essential oils are aromatic, nontoxic, and some are even scientifically proven to help hair growth.
This silicone can be found in shampoos, conditioners, anti-frizz serums, and many other styling products. Silicones smooth over the cuticle and help to make your hair
shinier and less frizzy.
The problem is, silicones coat the cuticle so well, that water and nutrients have a hard time entering the hair shaft. The result is dry, malnourished hair.
Heat-styling is the only time you should ever consider using silicones, as they will effectively protect your hair shaft from heat damage. Other silicones include cetearyl methicone, stearyl dimethicone, cetyl dimethicone, and dimethiconol.