How to Read Natural Hair Product Labels

IG @tolaniav

by Charlene Walton of TexturedTalk.com

Paraben free. Sulfate free. Silicone free. Yes, we’ve all seen these words plastered across a lot of products but what does this stuff really mean? What’s really inside natural hair products and how does it affect your hair? Often, we gravitate to what sounds great on the front of a label. But the proof is in the pudding aka the ingredients. Brands are required to list the scientific name of ingredients on the labels, therefore; you may think an ingredient is harmful simply because you can not pronounce the word. I’m here to tell you that’s simply not true. Here’s how to understand the ingredients in natural hair products the next time you’re about to spend your coins on the latest product or if you’re shopping with us at texturesnaturalhaircare.com of course!

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The Un-Natural Ingredient in Your Favorite Curl Creme


by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

Walk into your local beauty supply store, and you'll find tons of products that promise longer, stronger, healthier hair. From castor to monoi oil, cleansing conditioners to conditioning repair creams, the choices are endless. But as you scrutinize the labels looking for parabens and cones, you may still be damaging your hair--and much more.

Do you know what's really in your products? "All natural" might not always mean what you think. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzed over 1,000 products marketed to black women--and found that 1 in 12 contained chemicals that can be hazardous to your health.

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How to Use Sweet Almond Oil for Your Hair and Skin



The almond is a drupe (not a 'nut' by definition) which calls the Middle East and South Asia home. During ancient times, this beauty miracle started making its way along the Mediterranean through Africa, Europe, and eventually the United States. Now it's in many of our hair and beauty products.

Sweet Almond Oil is one of the best oils for use on your hair--it helps damaged and dull hair become shinier & stronger. Almond Oil is an all natural substance high in vitamins A, B, D and E, magnesium, zinc, potassium as well as healthy fats. All hair types will benefit from this awesome oil.

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This Will Forever Change the Way You Read Product Labels



I am a beast at reading ingredients in hair products (humble brag). They are extremely important to me, and while it may seem rather boring to read about ingredients, it is valid to understand the first five ingredients. The FDA requires that skin care ingredients (including hair) on the product label be listed in the order of highest to lowest concentration.

Lupita Nyong'o Uses This Miracle Oil Every Day...



I just love learning about oils that I am not familiar with but have been around forever. Another old but new oil is kukui oil and it has received some recent fame when Lupita Nyong'o shared her beauty secret with Glamour Magazine earlier this year. When she shared that she uses natural Hawaiian kukui oil and avocado oil on her face that nugget of information began creating a buzz in the beauty world.

DIY Natural Hair Recipes- 3 Quick and Easy Cocktails!



When the curly community can’t find what it needs in a product, we tend to take matters into our own hands. We’ve been blown away by women concocting their own gel out of flaxseeds and creating whole product lines right from their kitchen. But, if you're new to curly mixology (yes, it's a thing) we know flaxseeds can be a little daunting, so here are three favorite curly cocktails for beginners.

Coco Aloe Spritz

Natural hair is prone to frizz, so this moisturizing cocktail provides light hold that won’t weigh down looser curls or fine hair.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
  • Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner (or your favorite rinse-out conditioner)
  • Aloe vera juice or gel
  • Coconut oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner is an ideal detangler because it has plenty of slip and absorbs easily into hair. The tea tree oil smells refreshing and stimulates the scalp, which can promote hair growth. Aloe vera gel provides light hold and definition as well as natural, moisturizing benefits. Coconut oil is highly effective at penetrating the hair shaft to give it moisture, but it is also light enough to apply to fine hair.

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Honey for Growing Long, Natural Hair



Most of us know that honey is one of those great “superfoods” that contributes to a healthier lifestyle. The natural and organic cane sugar alternative has a long shelf life and is great for everything from sore throats and migraines to digestive issues and insomnia. But did you know that honey is also great for your hair?

Using honey on your hair won’t necessarily make it grow faster, as hair growth is primarily determined by genetics. But it will certainly keep your hair and scalp healthy, which fosters growth! 

Honey is:
  • AN EMOLLIENT (natural softener). It acts as a great conditioner and improves the health of hair follicles, the starting point for hair growth.
  • AN ANTIOXIDANT. It keeps your scalp healthy, promoting hair growth!
  • A HUMECTANT. It prevents the loss of moisture from your scalp.
  • A PSORIASIS AND DANDRUFF FIGHTER because of its antiseptic and antibacterial qualities.

Coconut Nectar Deep Conditioner for Softer Natural Hair



Ever heard of Coconut Nectar? Yea, me neither lol, until I received a newsletter from Hairfinity (see below).  By quitting time that same day I’d already planned my route to beat traffic to get to Whole PayCheck Foods. I figured, I love deep conditioning with coconut oil and cooking with coconut milk, so nectar can’t be too bad. Right?
Raw coconut nectar is an excellent way to infuse your hair with moisture to combat dryness. Coconut nectar is made from coconut tree sap. This sap contains loads of healthy vitamins, amino acids, and vitamins that help to neutralize the pH balance levels in your hair. When coconut nectar is added to your deep conditioning treatments it helps to flatten out the hair cuticles allowing them to lye straight and smooth so, that your hair will become softer, less frizzy and easier to manage. 
To use coconut nectar in your deep conditioner simply pour as much as you feel necessary directly into your product and stir it in completely. Depending on your hair length and density will better determine exactly how much you will need. Adding in other natural ingredients like olive oil, coconut oil, or whole leaf aloe vera gel will help to further bring forth plenty of moisture and hair manageability. 
Divide your hair into 4-8 sections, then distribute your deep conditioning mixture from the top of your roots to the very ends of the strands of your hair. Allow the mixture to sit on your hair from 30-60 minutes with heat or without heat. Using heat will help to maximize the strength of your treatment and yield the best results. Raw coconut nectar can be found in most grocery stores or online.

Luxurious Homemade Styler for Natural Hair- DIY Tutorial!


by Amanda

After a while, every DIY recipe starts to look the same. Avocados, bananas, mayonnaise, olive oil, and eggs all begin to sound a bit trite.Everyone has a whipped shea butter tutorial that only differs by oil variations but not with Duchess Gabrielle. Gabrielle creates this luxurious homemade hair cream with ingredients that had me running to Google. This cream is infused with 11 different herbs! Where they do that at? The various butters, oils, and gels allow this creamy goodness to double as a sealant and styler. Check out the recipe below and watch the video below for a tutorial.

Top 10 Ingredients to Look For in Natural Hair Products



The more we embrace our natural texture, the more we learn that organic and natural hair products work best. There are hundreds of ingredients found in nature that can be used in hair products. Healthy ingredients aren't for textured hair alone! These ingredients work to make everybody's hair healthier. Below is a list of ten popular ingredients in natural hair products and what they provide for our hair.
1. Shea Butter
High in fatty acids, shea butter is an emollient — meaning it provides a layer of oil on top of the surface of a hair strand, significantly reducing the amount of moisture (water) lost. This is what Naturally Curly girls mean when using products like this to "seal" their hair.

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4 Ingredients Not to be Afraid Of




Sometimes, reading the ingredient list of a natural hair product seems more like a sci-fi marathon, or a trip back to 10th grade chemistry. Maybe it's a little bit of both.

While there are some controversial ingredients to be wary of, there are a few that sound absolutely terrible but in fact, are innocuous. Or even better, they turn out to be great for your hair. Here are 4 ingredients you don't need to fear:

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Cosmetic Chemistry 101- Common Hair and Skin Care Ingredients


via TheBeautyBrains-

This article on cosmetic science is primarily intended to benefit anyone interested in chemist careers (or aspiring mixtresses) but hopefully the general natural hair community will find this information useful as well!

Surfactants
It is amazing how little time is devoted to surfactants in college when you consider the importance they play in so many industries.

What are they? Surfactant is a shorter way to say “surface active agent”. These are molecules that have the property of reducing surface tension, thereby allowing oil and water to form stable (temporarily) mixtures.

Examples – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Polysorbate 80

Why are they used? Surfactants are used for various purposes in cosmetic formulas including
* Detergents – for cleansing
* Wetting agents – for helping formulas spread more easily
* Foaming agents – to produce consumer friendly suds
* Emulsifiers – to create stable mixtures of oil and water
* Conditioning agents – to improve the surfaces of hair and skin
* Solubilizers – to help mix fragrances into water-based formulas
* Preservatives – to keep cosmetics microbe-free
* Special Effects – to improve the look of certain formulas

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What is a Hair Conditioner?- Moisturizer vs Emollients




Marketing statements for hair conditioners contain a variety of terms to describe the properties of the products in a manner that is enticing to consumers. Included in these are familiar words such as: emollient, moisturize, seal, penetrate, repair, and condition. Ingredient savvy consumers often seek to attribute specific properties, such as “emollient” or “moisturizing” to groups of ingredients in an effort to predictably define which products can meet the unique needs of their hair type. Due to some ambiguity in the usage of many of these terms, a number of questions come to mind when endeavoring to categorize materials in this fashion.

What criteria must be met for a product to be considered a hair conditioner? What are the exact definitions of the various marketing terms when applied to hair care products? Are any of them interchangeable? What properties make an ingredient moisturizing, emollient, or conditioning? Is it possible for an ingredient to be both moisturizing and emollient? Are there more accurate and precise words that we could be using to describe these properties and ingredients? Obtaining the answers to these questions can alleviate much of the confusion surrounding additives in hair conditioning products.

What is a hair conditioner?

A hair conditioner is a product which, when applied topically, can improve the overall quality of your hair’s surface and bulk properties. Their benefits include increased slip between hair strands (and easier detangling), a smoother cuticle surface, decreased porosity, optimized hydration, decreased electrostatic charge, added body and bounce, and increased strength, suppleness, and elasticity. Specialized products may also provide protection from thermal and UV damage, as well as improved color retention. Some of these effects are purely superficial and temporary, requiring frequent reapplication to maintain the properties, while others impart long term benefits by the reduction of damage on a daily basis.
In order to achieve this high level of performance, a conditioner formulation must combine a complicated array of ingredients that both individually and synergistically contribute different properties to the whole package. Generally, the most basic objectives a conditioner must meet are to provide hydration, lubrication, and occlusion to the hair. Two common and often confusing terms used to describe the properties of various ingredients in the product are “moisturizer” and “emollient”. These terms are used in variable ways in marketing statements and in the literature, and are a frequent source of confusion for users.

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Ingredients Commonly Found in Hair Products


Compiled by Tonya McKay

This is a dynamic list; I’ll update and amend as necessary.

CN Says:
-Grab your favorite bottle of conditioner or styler... I'll wait. 

 -Flip it over to review the ingredients.

-Do a 'ctrl +f'' (or control + find, or a command + f, or the like) and type in the ingredients that are too long to pronounce. You'll be amazed at which ones are emulsifiers, detergents, preservatives, etc. Cool stuff. You'll never be in the dark again!  You'll also be more prepared the next time you hit the hair care aisle.  Be especially mindful of the first 5 ingredients (the only ones that truly matter) in each of your favorite products (take note!) so you know what to look for when selecting new products.  

Anionic Surfactants
Detergency, foaming:
Alkylbenzene sulfonates
Ammonium laureth sulfate: can be drying to the hair
Ammonium lauryl sulfate: can be very drying to the hair
Ammonium Xylenesulfonate
Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
Sodium cocoyl sarcosinate
Sodium laureth sulfate: can be drying to the hair
Sodium lauryl sulfate: can be especially drying to the hair
Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
Sodium myreth sulfate
Sodium Xylenesulfonate
TEA-dodecylbenzenesulfonate
Ethyl PEG-15 cocamine sulfate
Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate

Amphoteric Surfactants
Used to provide mild cleansing, as well as some aid in foaming:
Cocamidopropyl betaine
Coco betaine
Cocoamphoacetate
Cocoamphodipropionate
Disodium cocoamphodiacetate
Disodium cocoamphodipropionate
Lauroamphoacetate
Sodium cocoyl isethionate

Open to View Full List>>>

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