Nearly every hair advert we see, they mention some kind of magical ingredient that's going to change our world and of course, give us hair just like the person on the advert.
But what are these ingredients?
I have created a list here to make it all a little easier to understand. Think of your hair like you do your skin. It will react to whatever you expose it to. That's why it's always good to know exactly what we are putting on our hair and what it is going to do to benefit us. Chemicals of course play a part in this and it's those that we want to avoid.
I will start with the scary bits. You would have noticed a lot of
brands boasting that they are Paraben and Sulphate free, here's why that's a really good thing.
The ingredients you really should try to avoid:
Benzophenones- Often found in sunscreens. These can cause scalp irritation and premature scalp aging as they absorb UV radiation and dissipate heat. This damages the fats and proteins in the hair eventually stripping your hair of moisture.
Parabens - These are a preservative added to products which can disrupt the normal hormonal cycle of the body when absorbed through the scalp. Seriously, stay away.
Silicones - These are exactly what you think. They are almost a plastic- They are used as a sealant to give the illusion of shine but they are damaging to hair over time as it builds up. This also doesn't react well to heat as you'd imagine. Best keep the hairdryer far away.
Sulphates- These are chemical foaming agents which strip away your natural oils and proteins in the hair. Your shampoo may be frothy but your hair needs its oils and proteins to stay healthy.
So now we know what to steer clear of for healthier happy hair, here are all the good ingredients we can find in our haircare products. These help to infuse nutrients into the hair and rebuild healthy hair.
Used to strengthen hair:
Vitamin B7 Biotin- Helps with hair growth and a maintains a healthy balance.
Collagen- This helps maintain elasticity and strength in the hair. As we age, our collagen production decreases naturally so its good to have a boost.
Vitamin C - This is needed to create natural collagen which prevents breakage.
Wheat Protein - This is great for thinning hair. It improves hair shine, adds volume and helps to moisturise the hair.
The oils for frizz control, moisture and smoothness:
Natural oils are much better for our hair than any chemical. By keeping the hair moisturised, they promote stronger healthier hair and minimise damage.
This is what they do.
Agave nectar - Highly moisturising light natural oil.
Argan Oil - This has a high content of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E which naturally help increase hair's elasticity and restore shine.
Coconut Oil- This helps promote hair growth . The vitamins and essential fatty acids naturally found in it, nourish the scalp and help to remove sebum build-up from hair.
Eucalyptus oil- This oil stimulates the scalp and hair follicles improving shine.It is also good for relieving an itchy Scalp. Eucalyptus oil also has many bug repellent qualities so is great for keeping head lice at bay.
Evening Primrose oil- This oil is known for its hormone balancing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It's also hailed for minimizing hair loss, but more research is needed to confirm this.
Jojoba Oil- Known for being a great help with dandruff, this oil is rich in vitamins and minerals to nourish the hair, including vitamin C, B & E, Copper, and Zinc.
Keratin Oil- A high protein oil which strengthens the hair. It replenishes the hair leaving it highly moisturised and smooth.
Kukui Nut Oil- The amino acids and essential fatty acids present in this oil penetrate the hair shaft and regenerate the hair leaving it moisturized and looking healthy. It can also be used as a treatment for an itchy scalp or dandruff.
Moroccan Oil- This is a great moisturiser because it contains fatty acids, antioxidants as well as vitamin E. It also adds shine and helps repair damage.
Rosemary oil- This is great for hair loss and adding thickness although it still needs further scientific research to prove this.
Shea nut oil - This oil is rich in fatty acids and minerals which help prevent dry hair. It softens your hair and also increases blood circulation in the scalp.
It is good to cleanse your hair every now and again, especially if you use a lot of product in your hair or you suffer from dandruff or itchy scalp.
Cleanse your hair and awaken your scalp:
These are the oils to look for.
Peppermint Oil- Being menthol, it has a distinct cooling and refreshing sensation when applied to the scalp. Peppermint oil can help stimulate hair growth because of its ability to increase blood circulation.
Tea Tree Oil - This helps cleanse the scalp and clear clogged pores that block hair growth.This also helps with hair loss and dandruff.
Make sure you avoid getting these in your eyes as they will cause a sting.
Ont0 the Phlex's Plex's and Flex's.
You hear a lot of words like Core flex; Shine plex and Bondphlex. They are all pretty much the same thing. They have restructuring ingredients which rebuild damaged hair. They correct the hair shaft leaving it silky smooth and well nourished. They all hold key essential oils and are Paraben and Sulphate free. A kick of absolute goodness is other words.
*All essential oils are beneficial to our hair in their own way however over use of some oils can cause damage. Too much of a good thing can be bad. Always follow manufacturers guidelines.
I hope that this list helps you when you next purchase a bottle of shampoo, conditioner or styling product.