Cosmetic Ingredient Reviews

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner - Chaz Dean Studio

The craze of a shampoo product that didn’t use sulfates or produce suds was a wide spread phenomena in 2017. Every body wanted to get their hands on Wen by Chaz Dean. A plethora of online, over the phone, and in-store purchases led to a devastating fall for the short lived cosmetic innovator. More than 21,000 complaints of hair loss, hair breaking, baldness, itching, and rash were filed against the company. In this industry even though we sell shampoo and hair care products, it is still considered “cosmetics”. But the separation of these two cosmetics is fairly essential; the compounds used serve two totally different purposes so therefore are comprised of totally different elements. The elements of cleansing and conditioning just shouldn’t be mixed chemically or it will alter the subsequent affects.

For more information on what is FDA considers a “cosmetic” here

What IS In Your Shampoo And What It Does For Your Hair

Amino acids is a bond of elements attached to a chain of molecules; the molecules are like hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. This chain creates certain properties; properties on bonding, acidic qualities or other sealing traits. When amino acids bond with other elements to make a chain it starts to take form and leaves a residue known as protein. This is basically a layer for the hair. These scientific properties build what we look for in our ingredients to consider it essential, non-polar, acidic, or polar.

Keratin is also a well known protein. Mostly comprised of water. Strands of hair are mostly 85% keratin. That’s is why keratin is the highest desired protein for hair treatment. Proteins structure allows it to perform in a variety of different functions. A protein has a four set structure concept. One of the more notable qualities is the repetition of the chains elements causing it to form a repetitive pattern. The helix structure forms a coil pattern inside of the chain in resemblance to the natural grade of black hair.

Names listed for approved ingredients by INCI

What You Don’t Want In Your Hair Care Ingredients And How It’s Harmful

Now days, most people are looking for natural shampoos, softer for their hair, eco-friendly, and kind on the environment. All those labels filled with information, it gets confusing! “Sulfate-free”, “silicone-free”, “paraben-free”, ... what information is true and what should you base your choice upon? In order to help you make the best choice, here is a list of 10 ingredients you do NOT want to find in your shampoo.

1. Sulfates

Sulfates [1] are surfactants (surface acting agents) that are used to clean the dirt and excess sebum on the scalp. They are used for lathering purposes in your shampoos. These surfactants like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) and ammonium lauryl sulfate are all damaging.

They can cause an allergic reaction on your scalp and may even cause frizzy hair. Besides, they can be hormone disruptors when used for prolonged periods. Sulfates are also harmful for the environment and aquatic species.

2. Parabens

To increase the shelf life of hair care products, manufacturers add preservatives called parabens [2]. They prevent bacteria from growing in your shampoos. Parabens (Butyl, propyl and ethyl parabens) are known to mimic the function of hormone estrogen (female hormone responsible for reproductive functions) and can increase the risk of breast cancer.

3. Polyethylene Glycols (PEG)

Polyethylene glycol [3] is a derivative of petroleum that is used in hair care products as a thickening agent. There is not enough research available to claim the toxicity of PEG, but hair care experts believe that PEG can have a damaging effect on your scalp. PEGs can be identified as numbers like 100, 120, 14M, 30, 32, 40, 75 and so on.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates [4] are used in hair care products to increase the spreadability of a product. They are used to make the perfume stick to your scalp and hair. They are endocrine disruptors meaning they can cause early puberty in girls and reduce sperm count in men. They are also highly dangerous for the environment.

5. Formaldehyde

Considering a fancy brazilian blowout or a keratin treatment in lieu of smooth locks? Hold on. These treatments may contain an ingredient called formaldehyde [5] or formaldehyde releasers that are carcinogenic.

Bronopol, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15 and diazolidinyl urea are all formaldehyde releasers. These ingredients are known to be absorbed by your skin. Companies add formaldehyde as a preservative in these treatments.

6. Triclosan

Triclosan [6] was an important antibacterial agent in soap bars until recently. But it is still being used in shampoos, toothpastes and deodorants. It is a known hormone disruptor. Triclosan is believed to get accumulated in your fat cells and keep the body in a state of toxicity.

7. Dimethicone

Dimethicone [7] is a type of silicone added in hair care products. It acts like a protective layer to your hair shaft but over time, builds up residue on your scalp. It prevents moisture from entering the hair and can cause scalp irritation by clogging the pores.

8. Retinyl palmitate

Retinyl palmitate [8] is the ester of retinol and palmitic acid. This ingredient can cause skin itching, redness, scaling and peeling. It may also cause cancer, reproductive problems and toxicity to organs.

9. Alcohol

Alcohols used in hair care can make your hair extremely dry. Steer clear of alcohols like propanol and isopropyl alcohol. Alcohols are used as thickening agents in shampoos. Sometimes, they are used as moisturizers only when derived from palm oil or coconut oil. Alcohols can cause brittleness of hair, but help in treatment of some medical conditions.

10. Fragrances

Hair care brands are smart enough to not reveal the exact ingredients and put them all in one category - fragrances or parfum. These fragrances are made synthetically with a blend of a variety of toxic chemicals. How else can you make rose, apples and lavender smelling shampoos in the lab?

They obviously don't add natural flowers and fruits in your shampoos and conditioners. Synthetic fragrances may cause cancers, reproductive issues or asthma attacks. Some fragrances can affect the scalp and lead to hair loss.

11. Colors

We love to see pretty-looking colors in our shampoo and conditioner bottles. The kind of ingredients that go into making synthetic colors of hair care products will leave you shocked!

These colors are derived from coal tar or petroleum. You can identify synthetic colors on the labels by the terms 'FD&C' or D&C'.

12. Toluene

Toluene [9] is a petrochemical solvent used in most hair dyes. They can hamper your immune system and may even cause birth defects.

Please stay away from hair dyes if you are an expectant mom. Toluene can have a detrimental effect on your central nervous system. Toluene is often labelled as benzene, phenylmethane, toluol and methylbenzene.

13. Resorcinol

Resorcinol [10], a common ingredient in hair dyes and bleaching agents, is linked to skin irritation. It can also cause functional disabilities of the immune system. In animals, it causes thyroid function disruption.

14. Selenium sulfide

Selenium sulfide [11] is a proven carcinogen (cancer causing compound). Lab tests on mice showed the development of tumors due to selenium sulfide. Read the ingredients of your anti-dandruff shampoos to stay away from selenium sulfide.

15. Quaternium-15

Quaternium-15 [12] is a surfactant and preservative in hair care products like shampoos and conditioners. It is an ammonium salt that is carcinogenic. It is also a formaldehyde releaser. Quaternium-15 is also a possible eye irritant.

{List courtesy of}

For more information about sodium cocyl glutamate

Harlie Angels, Inc®️ Harlie‘s Hair Locs N Curls™️

Harlie’s Hair Locs N Curls was formulated from a simple base formula; a cleansing agent, foaming agent, thickening agent, and a preservative, all acceptable by governing agencies. Other ingredients were added by during the manufacturing process by certified chemist to add to the substance of the shampoo on a molecular level.

Become an advocate of our plant-based organic products and shop today!

Some of the main ingredients you may find in majority of Harlie’s Hair products can include surfactants, thickeners, proteins, and oils. The base ingredients to make products like shampoo can consist of oil derived alcohol, citric acid, coco-betaine, purified water,sodium citrate, and sodium lauryl ___.

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