“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!”
No one has ever said these exact words to me, but I have been (jokingly) called Rapunzel at one time or another. That’s because I have long hair. From crown to end, it’s about 24 inches when it’s styled with a roller brush — meaning my natural waves are mostly straightened. My hair is one of my notable princess features. It makes me feel special. And it makes me feel pretty. But after after ready Jax’s posts the last two weeks (about preservatives, and about soap ingredients), it makes me feel guilty.
Maybe guilty isn’t the right word. Then again, maybe it is.
See, I know I’m buying products for my hair that probably aren’t good for my body when I use them, and likely not good for the environment when they wash down the drain. But I buy them anyway because I am vain. And because I am cost-sensitive. I am vain in that I want to use products I know will make my hair look long and luxurious. I am cost-sensitive because I color my hair (or rather my hairdresser does) and I want to use products that will also help retain my color. My hair is always some shade of red, and red is the hardest color to maintain.
Rude person: “Oh wow! Is that your real hair color?!”
Me: “Why yes. The color is real because you can see it, and it’s mine because I paid for it.”
After reading Jax’s post, though, I’ve had to really examine the products I am using. It’s one thing to assume I’m using products with questionable ingredients. It’s another to actual read the labels and find out (1) what those ingredients are, and (2) how questionable they are in terms of safety. I’ve been (happily) living in denial until now, but it’s time to face reality. I’m not saying what I learn will change my behavior, but at least I will become an informed consumer. *sigh* Here it goes…
BTW, I’m not going to call these products out by name because I haven’t researched the ingredients thoroughly, nor have I given the manufacturer the opportunity to rebuttal. I remain a consumer of these products and don’t want to cast dispersions without giving this more thought.
I wash and condition my hair two to three times a week. I really try to go as long as possible between washes because I use a lot of water to clean these locks. I use shampoo and conditioner for thick, color-treated hair. I looked it up on Environmental Working Group Skin Deep and was glad to learn that of the 22 ingredients, only one is considered über bad (aka a high hazard) — “fragrance.” As Jax explained earlier this week, this is a generic label that can mean anything. It could be fine or it could be a chemical %$#@storm (i.e., cause a problem for allergies, immune systems, organ systems, skin, and the environment). Yikes. Another seven ingredients are considered moderately bad, one of which is was on the high end of the scale. Octinoxate, listed as Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate on my shampoo, can be the culprit in a host of problems, too. A review caution – the data overall on these various ingredients is limited. Honestly, this isn’t compelling enough for me to change products. It’s taken me a long time to find a product that feels good, smells good, and keep me red. I’m not going to let this go easily.
I spray stuff on my hair after I shampoo and condition that detangles and conditions my hair. It works really well. But holy crud, it looks like bad stuff. Of the 18 ingredients, five are categorized as high hazard. Son of b*&@h – it has parabens. I’m super unhappy with this knowledge. I’ll finish the bottle I have, but then this product is a goner. The overall data on these ingredients is limited, too, but still. Damn. Can anyone recommend as less offensive, yet similarly effective product?
My Deep Conditioner
Every few months (aka, when I remember), I use a deep conditioner. I couldn’t find my product on EGW, but several “old formula” products from this company are listed and the results do not bode well. But hey, maybe the company got it’s act together and now their formula is better. I don’t see any parabens listed, and their older products use to have them. So this one stays on the shelf until I know different. Though the wise thing for me to do is look up each ingredient separately when I have more time.
My Hot Oil
When I run out of my deep conditioner (or when I can’t find it), I turn to hot oil for deep conditioning. Again, I don’t do this often. It’s a lot of work for a lazy princess. I couldn’t find this product on EGW, either, but other hot oils are all over the map. I don’t see anything too jinky when I read the label, but I’m having trouble understanding why there’s anything but oil in this product. Maybe I should just make my own and avoid the unnecessary ingredients. Jax, do you have the stuff to make hot oil?
There you have it. Of the four products I investigated, one was a bust (the detangler), two were unknowns (deep conditioner and hot oil), and one was a keeper (I’m just not ready to let lose my shampoo). Have you investigated the products in your house? If yes, which ones and what did you learn?