Rachel, our guest reviewer, waxes poetic on products every Friday.
For more from her check out her blog http://littlegoldenlamb. wordpress.com/
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Beloved readers, if you read my blog for any long period of time or glance at the brands I’ve reviewed it will quickly become clear that I do not shy away from parabens, mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), ammonium laurel sulfate (ALS) or silicones. L says~Many people consider these ingredients bad for hair, for various reasons. While I do rather enjoy more “natural” treatments (and have reviewed over 20 “Kitchen Products” and developed an alternative to the coconut/lime combo and dabbled in “Baking Soda Texturizers”), I also appreciate the benefits of cosmetic science and its creations.
Part of the reason for why my hair thrives while using these products is purely genetic. My hair is all but indestructible ‑relaxed or natural. While bone-laxed on occasion I would relax five times in one month (my hair is VERY resistant to relaxer, YES I used SUPER strength, eep!) AND color with permanent dye. My result? Soft, swinging, shiny, pin-straight hair, that grew without issue (save I kept cutting it as I was in love with bobs at the time). It’s thick in strand and density, grows a bit faster than average and for whatever reason, doesn’t tangle (while natural, that is). My scalp is rather easy to please as well. As long as it gets a rinse of water daily, it does not complain.
The other half of said reason is: knowledge. I’ve learned enough about products and ingredients and what my hair needs to resurrect it from anything I do to it (this has included relaxers and bleach…applied in the wrong order no less!).
Those together have allowed me to enjoy a variety of products, that utilize ingredients that are often demonized on a variety of hair forums without negative consequences.
Please note, beloved readers, if my scalp or hair texture was sensitive to any of them, I would not use them. It is also incredibly important to note ‚that I have also learned how to use them in balance, with my hair’s needs. BALANCE IS CRUCIAL, crucial, crucial!
For example, my hair will suffer a backlash of massive build up if I use a shampoo and leave-in with high amounts of silicones. Or a shampoo with high amounts of dimethicone, no matter what else I use it with. L says~Silicone and dimethicone coat the hair and can provide slip and shine but they can also prevent water from getting in. However, my hair MUST have dimethicone in some amount in my leave-in. My hair doesn’t care for oil to be directly applied to it, thus silicones come to my rescue. If my co-wash conditioner has a great deal of dimethicone in it, my shampoo needs coco-betaine or a well formulated shampoo that includes SLS or ALS. L says~Sulfates are often used as detergents. They can also dry out the hair.
My hair will only tolerate mineral oil in co-wash conditioners or shampoo. Not in leave-ins (unless it is there, in small amount, simply to balance the formulation, not to actually cause some benefit to one’s hair). Shampoos that contain SLS or ALS MUST have a fantastic formulation. Cheap shampoos will dry it out. Note, however, I wash DAILY. I can use strong SLS poos weekly, when using conditioner as a leave-in and in fact, I must, to prevent build-up. One may ask, “Why risk build-up in the first place?” When used in proper balance with other products in my regimen…there is no risk of build up. That and a fully natural regimen left my hair less than pleased and ate up far too much of my time.
It may seem odd or contradictory to many to that I eat a fully organic diet, don’t drink a hint of alcohol, don’t smoke, NEVER eat processed food, exercise daily and practice homeopathy…then use products with parabens. L says~Some researchers have linked parabens to cancer but nothing has been proven conclusively.While many a watchdog-group’s website’s fear-mongering has caught my attention (and others provided very useful information, without a subliminal message that there is government conspiracy to slowly kill us with a variety of toxic chemicals and I am thankful for them) I personally am not concerned about these. I do make a powerful effort to limit the amount of toxins I take in, but it is not my desire to endeavor to eliminate them all.
I stand in admiration of those who do manage to eliminate all toxins in their environment…if that is in fact possible. To all who do restrict their contact with these ingredients or any ingredients whether someone says they are “dangerous” or not, I commend you for taking charge of your health, being informed and choosing to take control of the future of your body. Applause all around! ^_^ Whatever we do as consumers to be informed and make decisions to better our health and hair based on research and not fear or misinformation should be applauded. As consumers we need to do far more of this. Women of color, should do this, even more so!
The important thing about these ingredients is your hair and scalp’s INDIVIDUAL needs, how you use products that contain them and the formulations of products that contain them. I’ve blogged specifically about SLS/ALS, silicones, how to decipher an ingredient list and how important formulation is in a product. It is not a matter of a specific ingredient (unless you have an allergy to it of course!) being “bad” or “good”, but its use within a product and the use of that product within your particular regimen that decides if it is “good” or “bad”. Even then, it is only “good” or “bad” in relation to YOUR particular head of hair.
Thus, I wander from product to product based upon what it can offer my hair, not what is in it, per se.
There are specific ingredients natural and non natural my hair adores above others. There are one or two I do not tolerate, period (petroleum comes to mind, I’ve never found a beneficial use for it, for my particular head of hair, I’m not claiming it to be evil ^_^).
On the other hoof, a product that has a smidge of mineral oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, polyquaternium-11, dimethiconol, olive oil, rosemary oil and honey will be in my cart with-the-quickness! ^_~
What is your take on this? What are your thoughts?