Are Your Hair Products Harming You?

2011-03-04 11:43:56

Are Your Hair Products Harming You?

Find out if your hair care products are contributing to your health problems.

Abdominal pain

Can ingredients in your hair care products make you sick?

Hair care products might not be as safe as you'd assume them to be.

“My staple products consisted of relaxers, oil sheen and pink hair lotion, so it could be any number of things,” says Yvette McCormick, speaking about her diagnosis of endometriosis, a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus—the endometrium—grows outside your uterus.

While she can't be certain of what caused her disorder, McCormick, a 37-year-old administrative assistant, believes that her regular use of beauty products that were full of harmful ingredients caused her to have this disorder. She was diagnosed a year ago.

“My doctor said there is no way of telling what caused me to have endometriosis,” McCormick says, “but now that I know of all the toxic and harmful chemicals I was putting into my body, and onto my hair, I believe there is a chance some of the hair products I was using on a regular basis were the culprit.”

And McCormick may be right. According to the article, “Danger Posed by Black Hair Products,” (from environmental justice advocates and scientists say the chemicals found in many hair care products can cause a number of health-related illnesses, including infertility and cancer.

Phthalates, known as "endocrine disruptors," are disguised as fragrances in many beauty products, and this chemical in particular is linked to endometriosis.

Dr. Ami Zota, an environmental health researcher at the University of California at San Francisco, says, “African-American women, compared to their white counterparts, have higher levels of phthalates and they have higher levels of BPA.”

  • 1 of 2
Charnika Jett

Charnika Jett

I do believe that there are certain products that can harm you. I was using the whole Olive Oil line for months and was wondering why I kept getting the headaches I was getting. Well I stopped using them, perms and all and started using Pantene and the headaches went away. I do believe it was the products I was using.
I want to know where you got the information about zinc oxide being a known carcinogen. Everything I read says it is the least harmful chemical sunscreen because it sits on top of the skin as a barrier, not soaking into the skin like oxybenzone and some others. I have also read that titanium dioxide, also used in many sunscreens including those with zinc oxide, can be carcinogenic if inhaled. To me it sounds there is no sunscreen that is safe, if zinc oxide is also carcinogenic, but I would rather use possibly carcinogenic sunscreen than die of painful skin cancer from overexposure to the sun.
Since I posted on March 7th I've been following the comments for this article. I'd like to direct your attention to my blog (cough, cough...a little self promotion here...): where I talk a lot about these very issues. I'm also providing this web address for Skin Deep a data base that conducts scientific researches re: the ingredients in many cosmetics: It looks like you may have to cut and paste these addresses into your browsers' address bar to make them work, but I hope you'll stop by for a visit. There's loads of interesting information available.
This article doesn't conclusively explain how the products contributed to her disorder. However, I believe the products may have. I also believe that her eating habits are probably a large contributing factor. Most people neglect the fact that what you eat has a huge impact on your body. For example, they eat fast food and too much meat then go to the gym and expect to be healthy. Food can be your disease or medicine. Also,the health and DRUG business is a possible disease causing agent. Doctors prescribe drugs that attack the body's filtration system (the liver, kidney's and pancreas). Every year people go out and get "vaccinated", yet they still get sick. So, I think it may be a number of possibilities that contributed to her illness.
Hmm, i wonder what her diet was like before she was diagnosed. I doubt that products alone are the reason, especially since the doctor said he did not know what caused her to have problems. And since there is no evidence this def. gets the side eye.
I too have endometriosis and this article really made me think. I am now 31 and I have never been pregnant. I wonder about these chemicals and if they did contribute to my disorder but hopefully I will be able to start a family one day with my husband and I will definitely watch the chemicals I let go into the bodies of my future children. You just never know.
Thanks Charnika! I found this article fascinating and was grateful to read it. In response to the previous post: Yes...there may be many factors to consider. But I've been reading about the cumulative effect of all the chemicals we're now using, both passively and actively. Why add to it by willing putting things into your system. I'd love to hear about the home made recipes.
Hmm. I totally agree that there are ingredients in many beauty products that can have negative impact on our health, but I just CAN'T accept that her hair products are the cause of her ailment. There are just too many other factors to consider (i.e. diet, lifestyle, etc.)