Articles

Hair Products that May Harm the Environment

During the 1980s and even in the early 1990s, the world’s most famous hair product would probably be hair spray.  Hair products used then eventually evolved to hair mousses and hair gels.  Can you still recall how hair sprays sting when they get in your eyes or how they seem to bruise your nostrils?  Have you ever wondered what are in these hair products that your system seems to react to?  And what is its impact on the environment?

Let us start with their packaging.  Most hair products come in plastic bottles.  Plastics, as we all know take a long time to decompose, breaking down into toxic chemicals that poison our environment and ground water.  Hundreds of people use thousands of these hair products per year.  Can you just imagine the impact it will have on our environment?

So what are in these hair products?  Here are their major components:

Hair Sprays:
•    Butane/Propane which is a human toxicant
•    Octylacrylamide Acrylates
•    Butylaminoethyl
•    Cyclopentasiloxane where a study was conducted to show that it has organ effects even at moderate doses
•    Propanol which is a possible carcinogen, skin irritant

Hair Wax:
•    PVP/PA Copolymer which is a petrochemical  
•    Polybutene is used as pesticide inert, with potential toxicological concerns
•    Tribehenin which has broad systemic effects at high doses
•    Phenoxyethanol which may cause organ effects, neurotoxin, carcinogen
•    Diazolidinyl Urea which is also known human immune system toxicant, irritant
•    Butylcarbamate could have brain and nervous system effects at moderate doses

Hair Gel:
•    Polyquaternium-11 which is a possible carcinogen, respiratory toxin   
•    Panthenol which could lead to broad systemic effects at high doses
•    Benzyl Nicotinate which causes broad systemic toxicity in animals
•    Zinc PCA - Persistent, bioaccumulative in wildlife
•    Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate - May contain harmful impurities
•    Phytic Acid - animal studies show brain and nervous system effects at moderate doses
•    Dipropylene Glycol - animal studies show sense organ effects at moderate doses
•    Polysorbate 20 - animal studies show reproductive effects at high doses
•    Methylchloroisothiazolinone - human immune system toxicant
•    Tetrasodium EDTA - animal studies show sense organ effects at low doses
•    Methylparaben - possible carcinogen, neurotoxin, skin irritant

Hair mousse:
•    Isobutane/Propane which is a human toxicant
•    VP/PA Copolymer which is a petrochemical
•    Panthenol
•    Hydroxylsolexl-3-cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde
•    Butylphenyl Methylpropional 
•    Alpha Isomethyl Ionone
•    Polyquaternium-11
•    Oleth-20