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How to Select Your Hair Products Based on Ingredients

By Kimberly Krofton Published 07/5/2007 | Beauty

There are many products out there claiming to treat dry, damaged, chemically treated African American hair; and while most of these products receive popular acclaim or are created from trusted hair care lines, be wary. Not all products are created equal and not all products provide what they promise. As a salon stylist and former research and development associate for a beauty product conglomerate, here are things you should look for when purchasing a hair care product for your damaged or chemically treated hair.


The last thing you want to place on your head after it has been ravaged by chemicals is more chemicals. Unfortunately, however, that is exactly what you do when you purchase traditional drugstore and beauty supply shampoos, conditioners, and hairdressing products. Avoid the following:

Isopropyl alcohol: This is a solvent and denaturant, which changes substances natural qualities. It is found in many hair and skin care products, especially hair rinses and finishing sprays. Isopropyl alcohol is a petroleum derived substance that is used in wood lacquer and antifreeze. It can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and comas.

Propylene glycol: This is a surfactant and solvent that is used as an emulsifier in creams, butters, shampoos, body washes, and conditioners. It actually breaks down protein and the cellular wall, or your skin. It is a synthetic petrochemical that at first, makes the hair and skin look smoother, but ultimately ravages the strands and accelerates aging. It can denature the skin, causing it to sag. When included in products, workers must wear not only gloves, but also protective googles and clothing. Skin contact with propylene glycol can cause liver, brain, and kidney damage.

Polyethylene glycol: A petroleum based based product actually used for oven cleaning.

Sodium Laurel Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Suplhate: One of the most dangerous ingredients in all personal care products. It is approximately in 90% of all shampoos or conditioners that produce foam.

DEA(diethanolamine), MEA (momoethanolamine): Often referenced as Cocamide and Lauramide are known substances thato form cancer causing nitrates. A study at the University of Illinois actually found that repreated applications of DEA and TEA detergents resulted in a major increase in liver and kidney cancers.

Parabens: Preservatives used to inhibit microbial growth in hair care products even though they are known to be highly toxic.


Simply because something claims to be all natural doesnt mean that it is all natural. Further, just because something is all natural, doesnt mean that it contains the best ingredients. Look for products that contain hair healthy ingredients such as aloe vera, jojoba, olive and rosemary. Also, opt to purchase an all natural, high quality hair care product made specifically for damaged, color and chemically treated hair. Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner and Beauty 4 Ashes GodHead Silky Smooth shampoo works wonders on all hair types with damaged hair. Beauty 4 Ashes products are especially packed with hair strengthening and restoring nutrients, including coconut oil, wheat germ oil, avocado oil, aloe vera, sunflower oil, and a host of other protein rich, hair silkening ingredients.  You can find them at wwwdiscoverb4acom. Because these products are all natural, you can regain vibrancy, bounce, shine, and life to your damaged tresses while not subjecting them to the potential effects of other chemically laden shampoos and conditioners.