PEGs like Propylene Glycol can present a health problem, not to mention a hazard for the planet. Keep hair shiny, without polluting your body or the earth.
Winter hair means having dry, dull hair, to say nothing of “hat hair.” While hat hair can be easily cured with a hairbrush, it’s harder to find a natural remedy for bad hair in winter, or at least, not one that racks up the bills. The good news is that there are easy and inexpensive remedies in your kitchen. For those who are not up to mucking around, there are some store bought options at the end of the article for those who prefer a store bought bottle to reduce their mess quotient in their homes.
Dangerous Chemicals in Your Hair Products
Some commercial hair products use artificial moisturizers (referred to as “humectants” in the cosmetics trade) like propylene glycol. Propylene glycols, also known as PEGs, help skin or hair follicles absorb moisturizers, but may present a potential health threat, if it was manufactured with 1,4 Dioxane. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies 1,4 Dioxane as a carcinogen, as well as an environmental hazard, in that it doesn’t biodegrade easily.
Though it has been listed as a “moderate” health risk by Health Canada; propylene glycol was recently reassessed by Canada’s Chemical Management Plan as a substance to be avoided by children and nursing mothers. The press release also states that it is “unlikely to affect your health when used according to the label directions.”
Propylene glycol was not classified as toxic due to the “limited information on the presence or concentrations of the substance in consumer products available in Canada.” In other words, there is little information available for health officials in Canada to either openly condemn or ratify products made with propylene glycol.
Commercial Organic Hair Products
For African-Canadian/American hair, try JustNatural Hair Care Pomade, which is made with camelina and jojoba oils to for moisturizing luster, and Carol’s Daughter Hair Balm which contains soy and almond oils for manageability. Another all natural product that is recommended for kids and adults alike is Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade.
A vegan product called Long Lovely Locks Green Tea Hair Gloss is a cruelty-free option that features shikakai extract for growth, and horsetail extract to prevent split ends. Organic Divas is an online, organic store that sells a range of all natural products to suit different budgets. Best Bath Store features a deep moisturizing hair conditioner. Human Nature has avocado and seaweed moisturizing conditioner, and a strengthener made from Gugop and Calamansi.
Make Your Own Dry Hair Treatment
A more cost-effective and natural treatment for dry hair can also be found in your cupboard or fridge. Mayonnaise contains egg and oil, both of which are terrific moisturizers for your hair. Coat your hair with the same amount you would use of hair conditioner, and massage it into each strand. Cover your hair with a plastic bag, and leave it to soak in for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Dry scalps can benefit from a yoghurt treatment: Rub a cup of plain, unflavoured yoghurt onto your scalp, and wrap your head in a towel. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse in warm water.