Are Your Hair Products Cancerous?

Are Your Hair Products Cancerous

By: Latoya Watson

3 Tips To Help You Determine Whether Your Hair Products are Cancerous or Not

It is a scary word. This spring, I came face to face with cancer when my 2 year old daughter was diagnosed.  Since then, I have spent countless hours researching.  Unfortunately, the internet is information rich and knowledge poor.  There is a lot of false information perpetuated by questionable websites and blogs.  A lot! And somehow fallacy becomes fact on the internet. So how do you sift through all of this information and determine whether your hair (and beauty) products are truly cancerous?

Here’s how…

Check the Source

The first step in researching carcinogens (cancer causing agents) is determining whether your source is reliable.  Ask yourself. Is your source bias? Does your source stand to make an economic gain by providing this information? Was the research study poorly designed?  If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then take what they say with a grain of salt. In the hair and beauty industry, there is a lot of money to gain. Utilize unbiased sources when researching hair product ingredients. Beware of studies that take the original research out of context. For example, there is a risk of contamination from cancer causing chemicals found in crude oil and its byproducts.  But the petrolatum used in cosmetics is highly refined — and the testing is highly regulated.  So, the outcry against petrolatum, does not always include the whole story.

Review the List of Carcinogens

The International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization  — The Unite Nations public health arm — has comprised a carcinogen classification list. The list is divided into the following categories: (1) carcinogenic to humans , (2a) probably carcinogenic to humans (2b) possibly carcinogenic to humans, (3) not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans, and (4) probably not carcinogenic  to humans.

California Proposition 65

California Proposition 65 is the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. The state publishes a list of chemicals that may  cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.  A “clear and reasonable warning” must be placed on all products that are listed. Unfortunately, the warning on a label does not indicate what chemical and the amount. Thus, the consumer must contact the manufacturer directly for more information .  The enactment of this law has allowed consumers to be more informed and for manufacturers to find alternatives for carcinogenic chemicals.

Use Common Sense

If all else fails, use common sense.  If it doesn’t make sense and defies bodily functions, then 9 times out of 10… it’s false.  With thorough research, you can come to your own conclusion about what products you feel are safe to use on your hair and body.


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