Sulfates are the sodium compound in many shampoos that enables lathering. They’re meant to get your hair free of dirt and excess oil, which is necessary to maintain healthy natural hair, but the sulfates tend to strip hair of it’s natural oils. Since curly and coily hair tends to be dryer than other textures, this can be very damaging overtime. Continuous use of sulfates can lead to dry brittle hair that breaks easily.
Parabens are a product preservative used to keep products from going bad too fast. They’re generally not great because the chemicals that work so well at preserving products can make your hair frizzy and dry overtime. There are also some studies that would suggest that parabens can be absorbed into the body through the scalp and cause health problems. While these studies have not been completely proven, many naturals choose to steer away from this ingredient all together.
This one is probably self explanatory. Alcohols can show up in hair products serving several different functions, from preservation to perfume. Over time, certain kinds of alcohol can dry your hair from the inside out. This leads to brittle and dull hair.
Silicones can give hair products some slip and help your strands feel coated. But they are also not water soluble, which can lead to build up on your scalp and hair. This build up can weigh down your curls, make them look dull, and make it impossible for moisture to reach your strands. This, over time, can lead to dry brittle hair.
Mineral oil, like other oils, is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water. Coating your hair with it can keep your strands from absorbing water in the air, reducing frizz or unwanted shrinkage. But it can be a hindrance if it builds up on your strands because it makes it impossible for moisture rich products to penetrate your hair shaft.
What are some ingredients you avoid? Tell us in the comments.