How do you shop for hair products? Do you inspect the ingredients listing thoroughly or just skim the list for the few don’ts that you absolutely oppose?
I’m an ingredients skimmer and very ashamed to admit I haven’t been diligent with researching ingredients and totally understanding what I’m feeding my hair, good or bad. From experience, I know my hair misbehaves with certain proteins (hair gets dry & coarse), amla (irritates my scalp) and aloe vera based on the product formulation (makes hair very dry). I also try to avoid silicones if possible as they are known to block moisture to the hair. Beyond that, it was fair game and I would use the product without hesitation.
I recently landed on an article that recommended we delete all extracts, catchy wording like natural, organic and things of the like and focus on the top 5 ingredients only. The author also recommended reading the entire label if we’re looking to avoid something in its entirety. I’ve seen this approach discussed before and the belief behind it all is that ingredients we’re ignoring usually constitute less than 1% and has little impact to the product and our hair.
I’m also ashamed to admit that I do not properly research all unfamiliar ingredients on the product listing. This has not worked well for me in some instances because many proteins hide out under alternate names.
Here’s the product listing from Aubrey Organics GPB…can you spot the protein?
Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Germ) Oil, Lactalbumin, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil (Organic), Sage (Salvia Officinalis) Oil (Organic), Horsetail Extract, Coltsfoot Extract, Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Extract, Amino Acid Complex (Cysteine, Methionine), Glycoprotein (from Oyster Shells), Balsam Fir Oil, Aubrey’s Preservative (Citrus Seed Extract, Vitamin A, C, E)
Before my quest to better understand ingredients, the only protein seen is glycoprotein. With a little research and better understanding, I now know lactalbumin, horsetail extract, coltsfoot extract, nettle and amino acid complex provide strengthening properties and can be drying to some hair types. Therefore, skimming ingredients and not properly researching others is not a good practice. Going forward, I will pay special attention to the top 5 ingredients and research all unknown ingredients.
What’s your product label / hair product shopping strategy?