Lather, rinse, repeat. Whether it’s shampoo and conditioner or loc care products to keep your locs looking great all day long, all products are not created equal.
When it comes to the ingredients found in your hair care products, we like to dig a little deeper and discover which ones are best for your locs — and which ones are the worst.
If like many of us, you base your hair care product decisions on branding and which ones have the prettiest labels, it might be time to look into the ingredients you’re slathering on your locs; some of them can harm your hair and your health.
So let’s discuss five ingredients you should avoid in your hair care products to ensure your locs and scalp stay healthy.
Looking for organic loc hair products without the BS ingredients? Get them here — there’s no need to take a magnifying glass to our ingredient labels.
Related: What Does Sea Salt Do For Your Hair?
One hair care ingredient that’s common in many products is sulfates. Hair product companies tend to use sulfates to produce better foam and lather — they must be great for cleansing your locs, right? Not quite.
Sulfates damage your hair follicles and remove your hair’s natural oils. And sulfates drying out your hair isn’t even the most significant issue: Sulfates are a carcinogen that can also worsen skin and scalp conditions with its toxic effects.
So if you see ingredients like “Sodium lauryl sulfate” or “Sodium laureth sulfate,” you should look for a different hair product — these are two common types of sulfates that will damage your hair.
Next on our list of hair product ingredients you should avoid is phthalates — a compound commonly found in plastic to help make it softer and more flexible. However, you’ll also find it in various shampoos, hairsprays, etc. Yikes.
Does that sound like something you want sitting on your scalp and locs? We didn’t think so. And while there aren’t many studies on how phthalates affect us, plenty of research shows their adverse effects on animals.
Phthalates can negatively affect the kidneys, lungs, and liver — the same phthalates found in many hair care products. Here’s where companies get sneaky: When you see “fragrance” on the ingredients list, it could be phthalates. We advise looking for hair care products free of phthalates and artificial fragrances.
Another harmful ingredient commonly found in hair care products is parabens — a preservative with the purpose of inhibiting bacterial growth. But wait, isn’t that a good thing? In theory, however, parabens belong to a group called endocrine disruptors. They act similarly to estrogen and can make breast cancer cells grow faster — we don’t want that.
And the scary part is that parabens are everywhere: You can find parabens in the products you use every day, like deodorant and toothpaste. There are even parabens in some foods you can buy at the grocery store.
We recommend only using paraben-free products, whether it’s for your locs or any other part of your body.
Related: Best Plant-Based Hair Products
Silicone isn’t as unhealthy as the other ingredients on our list; however, it still isn’t something you want to use on your locs. It can boost your hair’s shine, but at what cost?
In return for helping your hair shine, silicon takes away your hair’s moisture, drying it out and leading to product build-up, extra frizz, and, ultimately, breakage. All of which can inhibit healthy hair growth.
So if you see ingredients like dimethiconol, methicone, or dimethicone, you’ll want to avoid that product for the sake of your locs.
You likely know what formaldehyde is — why would anyone think of using it in their hair products? Well, unfortunately, it’s a relatively common ingredient in the hair care world.
It’s a known carcinogen, and to make things worse, formaldehyde easily absorbs into the skin. You probably don’t want to use the primary ingredient in embalming fluid in your hair; in fact, you probably don’t want it anywhere near your body at all.
However, you likely won’t see it listed as “formaldehyde” on an ingredient list. Instead, look for its aliases, like diazolidinyl and imidazolidinyl to know which products to avoid using on your locs.
So What Hair Product Ingredients Are Good for a Healthy Scalp?
Instead of the ingredients listed above, look for ones with positive benefits for your hair and scalp, including:
Healthy, natural oils are great for your locs and scalp. They help nourish your hair and keep it hydrated. Some oils that we love include:
- Avocado oil for soft, shiny locs
- Coconut oil to help reduce protein loss
- Olive oil to help heal damaged hair and replenish dry scalps
Fatty acids are an amazing ingredient in hair products to help your locs grow stronger. Some of the best sources of these healthy fats include the natural oils we mentioned above. In addition, seaweed, currant seed, and sunflower seed oil also provide the healthy fats your hair and scalp need.
Your hair needs protein as much as your muscles. Protein helps undo the damaging effects that come from things like chlorine and sun exposure. Ingredients like keratin and panthenol are excellent sources of protein for your locs.
A lesser-known hair care ingredient, fo-ti, is a herb known for increasing circulation to your scalp and helping hair growth. And it can even help improve and restore your hair color, whether it’s natural or dyed.
Biotin is a popular hair care ingredient for a good reason — this B vitamin helps prevent hair loss and brittle nails. Shampoos and other hair products enriched with biotin can stimulate hair growth, help thicken your locs, and keep your scalp looking and feeling healthy.
Tired of searching for hair products that contain healthy ingredients without any harmful ones? Get started with our organic loc products.
Keep Your Locs And Scalp Healthy With the Right Products
You shouldn’t have to take a magnifying glass to the ingredients label on your hair care products to know if they’re safe for your hair and scalp. Instead, go with loc care products you can trust — organic, paraben-free, and sulfate-free products designed exclusively for locs.
Avoid low-quality and harmful ingredients with LionLocs and see unbelievable results immediately.Related: Benefits of Oiling Your Hair