Organic Hair Care Ingredients: What to Look Out For

Ashley Okwuosa

natural blonde woman

Going organic can do a world of good for your body and beauty routine alike. Once you make the decision to switch to organic products, though, what’s most important is understanding exactly what that means. Many companies slap the word “organic” on their products, but that doesn’t always mean that their products won’t do you harm. To help you navigate the waters of organic hair care products, we’ve put together a guide to which ingredients are safe, and which you should avoid at all costs. A good rule of thumb? The less you can pronounce the ingredient, the worse it is for you.

Ingredients To Avoid:

Diethanolamine, Monoethanolamine & Triethanolamine: These chemicals are used as a wetting agent in shampoos, and they help to give that rich lather you see in hair commercials. The danger with these products is that they are high risk carcinogens, which can easily be absorbed into the skin and have been linked to liver, kidney and stomach cancers.

MORE: 8 Tips for an All Natural Skin Care Routine

PVP/VA Copolymer: Another chemical frequently found in the drugstore aisles, this polymer can be found in most hair gels. It might help hold your bun in place, but it can also be responsible for damaging your lungs.

Stearalkonium Chloride: If you look closely at your conditioner, this ingredient may be listed. Formerly used as a fabric softener, this chemical works on keeping your curls soft, but it can cause irritation to the skin and eyes and negative effects on the nervous system.

Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40): You know those styling gels that dry in a nanosecond? They might be quick and provide a strong hold, but chances are that they include Alcohol, Isopropyl. This ingredients strips your hair of moisture and leaves it dry and brittle. It may also cause symptoms like headaches, dizziness,  nausea, and vomiting.

MORE: Organic Makeup: What You Need to Know

Safe Ingredients:

Coconut Oil: If you’re looking for an ingredient that guarantees strength, shine and helps lock in moisture, stock up on coconut oil.

Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is one of the core ingredients of organic hair care. It promotes growth, strength, and is known to help treat scalp problems. Mix a bit of aloe vera with your shampoo or conditioner for an extra boost of organic moisture.

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is another essential that helps provide your hair with natural shine. It’s also a great moisturizer, and it is known to improve scalp health.

Chamomile Extract – This one promotes overall hair health, and is great for sealing in color, plus keeping hair soft.

Image via Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

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