Do you know what’s in your haircare products?

I have long had an understanding of the need to eat well and healthily and wherever possible organically. Instinctively I felt that my beauty and Haircare products should carry a similar philosophy and from that belief my Sacred Locks Haircare line was borne. 

Jackie McCusker, Nutritionist (BSc Hons, BANT, CNHC, specialist in endocrine disorders) comments in my blog on the mind boggling array of chemical nasties found in so many products today.

Jackie: "Do you know what’s in your haircare products? It’s worth taking a look if you value your health. You may have read about potentially harmful products, known as “endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs)”, which are found in everyday household items such as toothpaste, soap, sunscreens, shampoos and conditioners.

According to a report published in 2012 by the World Health organization, these EDCs may interfere with the normal functioning of your body’s endocrine system (including oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and thyroid hormones). Here’s what the WHO says:

EDCs have the capacity to interfere with tissue and organ development and function, and therefore they may alter susceptibility to different types of diseases throughout life. This is a global threat that needs to be resolved.

State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, 2012, World Health Organisation

So what are these harmful chemicals? And are they lurking on your bathroom shelf? Chemicals found in personal care products, such as shampoos and conditioners, include Parabens, Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate. To find out what each of these do – and their potential effects on your health – it’s worth going to the experts.

In 2002, four environmental organisations joined together to create the International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec). Based in Sweden, ChemSec is a non-profit organisation with a vision of a world free from hazardous chemicals. Their on-going project is called the SIN List (Substitute It Now) [LINK:] and is a really useful resource for the latest findings and guidance on this issue.

Extensive research at the Centre for Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn, Germany has also found a direct link between chemicals in household products, such as soaps, and problems with declining sperm counts. The report was published in the journal EMBO and is available here [LINK: disruptors-impair-human-sperm-function]

Whilst the omission of all chemicals from personal care products is virtually impossible, it would seem prudent for anyone actively seeking a healthier lifestyle to source their hair and skin care from companies that avoid or limit these potentially deleterious chemicals in their products, in favour of less toxic and environmentally damaging ones."

Thank you Jackie for your invaluable insights. Chemicals are a controversial topic, not just in the beauty industry. This is why my chemist and I chose not to use them in my products because of growing concerns in independent health organisations. Surely, even if there is a hint that these ingredients could be harmful, and there are clean natural alternatives available, why wouldn't we choose products like Louise Galvin Sacred Locks that are free from parabens, SLS, petrochemicals and silicones?


Further Reading:

A comprehensive list of chemicals permitted by the Natural Products Association

State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, 2012, World Health Organisation

“Substitute It Now!”