There are thousands of hair products available to us on the market and weeding through it all can get pretty overwhelming.
So in an effort to make your life easier I am going to give you the real deal on hair products. Hair products that you should not waste your time or money on. Black women listen up. Much of the hair products available to us on the market have junk ingredients and when we weed those out, our options are more limited than we think.
First thing first, let me expose the companies that have failed us in their due diligence of ensuring that at minimum their products were safe for consumption.
This list is specific to dry shampoo and dry conditioner that these companies have sold that tested abnormally high for a certain toxic ingredient (benzene; more on this later) that they were selling to us, their customers.
Without further ado, here’s the list*:
- TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head)
- Herbal Essences
- Old Spice
- Waterless (known as Waterl<ss)
*get the full breakdown here:
Yep. I know. Shocking list. Perhaps, even some of your favourite hair brands are on the list. I had a hard time believing these big brands would be responsible for such a mishap but the data does not lie.
These hair products have been traced with benzene, a harmful cancer causing chemical. Benzene has been proven to disrupt our hormones, our menstrual cycle, and can cause many other health problems that extend beyond cancer.
According to the ever controversial Proctor & Gamble (P&G), their review showed that unexpected levels of benzene came from “the propellant that sprays the product out of the can.” Interesting that this wasn’t tested prior to selling products to consumers but maybe that’s just too logical to do.
At the time I am writing this, these products have since been recalled however justice for the victims who experience health complications as a result is nowhere to be found. So as a precaution to you, I would just stay away from these spray shampoo and conditioner products altogether. It’s just not worth your health.
If you want to check my sources here they are:
If you’re interested in some more general info on benzene itself here are some factsheets by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO)
Safe Alternatives and Precautionary Measures
To minimize your risk of benzene exposure, consider the following steps:
- Read product labels: Familiarize yourself with the ingredient list of hair care products you purchase. Look out for any mention of benzene or its derivatives. It's also helpful to avoid products with ingredients such as "benzyl," "benzoin," or "benzoate" in their names, as they may be related to benzene. [Or if you don’t have time for all that, you can shop for Benzene-Free anti toxic* hair products here]
- Research and choose safer brands: Stay updated on beauty industry news and research regarding benzene contamination. Look for brands that prioritize transparency, quality control, and rigorous testing. Seek out companies with a track record of commitment to consumer safety and health. [Or you can sign up here to get notified when we drop a news article that would be of relevance to you]
- Explore natural and organic options: Consider exploring certified anti toxic haircare options that prioritize using ingredients that don’t contain harmful chemicals and could harm your health. These products often have a reduced risk of benzene contamination.
- Support advocacy and awareness: Engage with organizations and campaigns that advocate for safer cosmetics and stricter regulations. Supporting these initiatives can help raise awareness and put pressure on the industry to prioritize consumer safety.
- Boycott brands: Stop supporting brands that fail to prioritize us. If a brand continues to get sued over and over again because of hair or beauty products that contain harmful chemicals, it’s time for us to stop investing our money into these companies. This will put more pressure on them to change if they notice the millions of dollars they’re losing annually.
As Black women, it's important to be aware of the potential risks associated with benzene exposure in hair care products. By staying informed, being vigilant about product ingredients, and choosing brands committed to safety and transparency, we can protect our health and make informed choices about the products we use. Remember, if you fix your behaviours you can fix your life and I’m here to help you do just that.
It’s more than just hair,