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9 Harmful Chemicals in Hair Products You Can’t Ignore!

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Last Updated on September 11, 2022 by The Blessed Queens

When we talk about harmful chemicals in hair products what do we mean? What are some hair care ingredients to avoid? Will these products cause all your hair to fall off and you will never see your coils again?

Well, all these questions went on and on in my mind when i first started hearing people telling me to check the ingredient of the products i want to get. They had a point alright but i didn’t know what i was actually staying away from


Why Do You need to Know the Chemicals in Your Hair Products?

In the beginning, i was just skeptical as you are.

Can these chemicals be the reason my hair is breaking off?

It’ important for every woman like me and you to know the basic role of most of this chemicals.

Your hair could be going through a lot just because of some tiny chemical in your shampoo.

Wouldn’t that be unfair? So today we are looking at 9 of the commonest chemicals out there (so far!)


9 Harmful Chemicals in Hair Products & Why this Ingredients might be Killing Your Hair Growth Process!

harmful chemicals in hair products


  1. Propylene glycol
  2. Sodium lauryl sulfate
  3. Parabens.
  4. Fragrance
  5. Synthetic colors
  6. Sunscreen chemicals
  7. Phthalates
  8. Triclosan
  9. Formaldehyde
  10. Toluene

With that being said we need to know what our hair products contain in order to have the best results, right?

After all, we all want to get the best out of every hair product!

So let’s get into this hair care ingredients to avoid:

What on earth is Propylene glycol?

Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin-conditioning agent. It’s classified as a skin irritant and penetrator. It has been associated with causing dermatitis as well as hives in humans.

I love that huffingtonpost mentions some of this ingredients, so that means you also need to pay attention on what’s in your shampoo!

Sodium lauryl sulfate

In the list of harmful chemicals in hair products, this chemical can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products (think foaming products). SLS’s are known to be skin, lung, and eye irritants. A major concern about SLS is its potential to interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen.

Also, this combination can lead to kidney damage so watch out for sodium lauryl sulfate!


Parabens are preservatives that are widely used to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in most of the cosmetic products we use.

From that alone we can say that it’s helping our hair out, right?

Parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with increased risk of breast cancer.

Say what?! Girl… keep reading!

These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors.

They can be found in makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers.

So next time you go one a product hunt make sure you have a look for parabens (girl i didn’t even know that myself until i did the research!).


Next in the harmful chemicals in hair products list is Fragrance! What is the first thing that comes into your mind when we talk about fragrance?

For me perfumes and so on comes into my mind.

But what at all are they?

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Database, fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.

It can be found in many products such as perfume, cologne, conditioner, shampoo, body wash and moisturizers.

I know we all love products that smell great, trust me i am the first person to jump on a nice smelling product but we have to watch out.

Synthetic colors

What do i mean when i say Synthetic colors? I simply mean artificial colors.

When you spot this indications such as FD&C or D&C they represent this type of colors. F is for food and D&C is for drugs and cosmetics.

Synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. The European Classification and Labeling considers it a human carcinogen and the European Union has banned it.

Wow as much i love colors, this item in my harmful chemicals in hair products alone will make you want to watch out for those funny pinkish products (it could be any color)!

Sunscreen chemicals

Okay some of us need sunscreen when it comes to our skin and it’s totally okay but you need to watch out for this chemicals that function as a sunscreen agent that absorb ultraviolet light.

Sunscreen chemicals

They may also cause cellular damage and cancer in the body. Common names are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate. They can be found in sunscreen products.

So next you go on a hunt for hair products with a sunscreen functionality have a look at it’s ingredients!


When we talk about products and specifically hair products we all are looking for something that will make our hair feel soft and amazing.

Well i came to find out that this ingredient is a group of chemicals used in lots of products to increase the softness of plastic. (say what?!).

They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females.

They can be found in deodorants, perfumes/colognes, hair sprays and moisturizers.

So especially those hairsprays we get..

hair spray

Girllll.. i don’t know about you but back in those days when i was relaxed i used to use them.

Yeah, Thank God i’m well.

So girl, watch out for those as well.


Tricolson is widely used antimicrobial chemical that’s a known endocrine disruptor — especially thyroid and reproductive hormones, and a skin irritant.

Tricolson can be found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps and deodorants.

Okay no so much with hair products but it’s good to know about it in case you find it anywhere.


This ingredient is used in many cosmetic products and not just hair products to prevent the growth of bacteria.

It is known to cause allergic skin reactions and it may also be harmful to the immune system.

shampoos with Formaldehydeshampoos with Formaldehyde

It can be found in nail polish, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers, eye shadows, nail polish treatments.


Toluene is a potent solvent able to dissolve paint and paint thinner.

You may see it on labels listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene.

Expecting mothers should avoid exposure to toluene vapors as it may cause developmental damage in the fetus.

Toluene has also been linked to immune system toxicity. It can be found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair color/bleaching products.


No matter how long or short your hair is you should always be learning a new thing or two concerning your hair.

This harmful chemicals in hair products are everywhere and as much as i would love to avoid them is impossible!

But what i believe you can do is to learn what this harmful chemicals in hair products can do against you and your health and make the decision yourself.

Let’s continue to take care of our natural hair and it will flourish!

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If you enjoyed this post, Be sure to check this awesome posts:

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  3. Benefits of shea butter for Hair, Skin and Health

What are some harmful chemicals in hair products that you didn’t know?

xo, Queen!

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