Here at Chilli Couture we are dedicated to not only finding the home hair care products that suit you, are of the best quality we can find, but are also clean and free of nasties. We have brands that range form being 100% organic and totally natural to semi organic. 100% of our products are Paraben and Sulphate free and 100% vegan. Why? Keep reading and we’ll tell you why…
WHATS A PARABEN?
A Paraben is a synthetic preservative. This is also known as Methylparaben, Propylparaben, IIsoparaben, Butylparaben. Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. They are not proven as carcinogens although scientists have recorded that traces of parabens have been found in men’s urine and that means that they can be metabolised and excreted therefore meaning that they are absorbed into the skin and blood stream! Parabens have also been suspected in relation to breast cancer. Tumours that have been cut out of the lymph’s of women’s breasts have had traces of parabens found in them. This is thought to be caused by deodorants…
It is very hard to avoid using parabens in cosmetics especially lotions and conditioners, without a preservative, these products grow bacteria… but there are safer alternatives that companies can use.
WHAT IS SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE AND WHY IS IT BAD?
Sodium lauryl sulphate (also known as sodium dodecyl sulphate or SDS) is a synthetic surfactant (meaning it makes bubbles). It comes in a coarse powder form and is a widely used ingredient in many industries (especially the beauty industry). Many people think sodium lauryl sulphate is a carcinogen but in fact, the truth it is not. Sodium lauryl has many uses such as car wash soap, engine degreaser and floor cleaning.
The scariest thing about sodium lauryl sulphate is the fact that it has the ability to break down protein. As human beings our skin and hair are made of a protein called keratin. When we use sodium lauryl sulphate to wash our body or our hair it can cause skin and scalp irritation including contact dermatitis or eczema. Scientists test this product in the lab on animals and humans to purposely cause skin irritation when they are manufacturing new beauty products.
WHAT IS SODIUM LAURETH SULPHATE
Sodium laureth sulphate is rather similar to sodium lauryl sulphate although it goes through a different process when being manufactured. They are both rather inexpensive surfactants but sodium laureth sulphate is put through the process of ethyoxylation.
This ingredient isn’t exactly toxic but can cause skin irritation over time. Many people develop allergic reactions to SLS and SLES after repetitive use.
WHY DOES THE HAIR NEED PROTEIN?
Hair is made up of 97% Keratin, a natural protein also found in our skin cells. Hair that has been on the head a while slowly starts to deteriorate with age and due to environmental wear and tear (UV damage, chlorine, friction from hair ties and chemicals). When the hair’s elasticity is not balanced we need to replenish the hair with protein to strengthen it again so that it does not break. You will notice a lot of products include amino acids’; these are important ingredients because they help restrengthen the keratin in our hair. Natural proteins such as hydrolysed wheat protein, rice protein and oat protein are also very good for the hair because they strengthen the hair without overdosing it. It is impossible to overdose the hair with natural proteins like these.
WHY DOES THE HAIR NEED MOISTURE?
Sometimes when our hair feels dry and damaged… we automatically assume it needs protein or ‘strengthening’ product. This is a common misconception a lot of people make. It is important to be able to determine whether the hair needs protein or moisture because if we overload the hair with protein we can in fact make matters worse by making the hair even more stiff and brittle causing it to break faster. When you can understand what sort of damage the hair has, it is easier to determine how to treat it. This will definitely come in handy when recommending product and treatments at the basin.
Hair that is dry brittle or rough with visible split ends requires moisture.
Hair that is mushy, fine and usually bleached will require protein. Most of the time hair needs more moisture than protein because the sun, heat tools and other factors cause it to dry out.
All hair Protein conditioning treatments and hydrating, moisture hair conditioning treatments must be applied regularly to continually experience the benefits, as they gradually rinse off. Depending on the molecular weight and the shampoo used, some hydrolysed proteins can hang out longer in hair, create a film over the hair strand and not rinse off as quickly. This causes slight build up on the hair and can cause breakage before it’s rinsed off.
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER TOXIC INGREDIENTS USED COMMONLY IN HAIR PRODUCTS AND WHY ARE THEY BAD?
Quaternium-15: This lovely chemical is another quaternary ammonium salt used as a surfactant and preservative in personal care products. It acts as a formaldehyde releaser and is definitely not safe. Formaldehyde is extremely carcinogenic, and should be avoided at all costs.
Behentrimonium Chloride: Behentrimonium Chloride is a type of ammonium salt used as a preservative and surfactant. It is a toxic compound, with concentrations of 0.1% and higher having been shown to damage the eyes. It is irritating to the skin and causes inflammation.
Dimethicone: Dimethicone is silicone oil that can make the scalp and skin incredibly dry and irritated. It forms an almost plastic-like barrier on the outside of the skin and traps bacteria, sebum and impurities with it. It is also an eye irritant, is non-biodegradable and horrible for the environment.
Retinal Palmitate: Retinal palmitate, a form of vitamin A, can speed the development of skin tumours and lesions, making it a possible carcinogen. Causes reproductive toxicity and organ system toxicity.
Phenoxyethanol: Another synthetic preservative used in cosmetics and hair care products. Its manufactured using a complex process where phenol is treated with ethylene oxide. It Causes organ system toxicity, and is an irritant to the skin, eyes and lungs. In severe cases Phenoxyethanol can cause shut down of the central nervous system, vomiting and contact dermatitis.
Potassium Sorbate: Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid. It is a white salt that is very soluble in water. It is primarily used as a food preservative. Potassium sorbate is effective in a variety of applications including food, wine and personal care products. While sorbic acid is naturally occurring in some berries, virtually all of the world’s production of sorbic acid, from which potassium sorbate is derived, is manufactured synthetically. Potassium sorbate is said to be safe enough when consumed in fewer than 25 mg but over long term use can be detrimental to the immunity system of humans. It’s a skin and respiratory irritant.
Polysorbates: Used to dissolve fragrance or other oil additives. Often found in conditioners. It leaves a residue on the skin and scalp, disrupts the skin’s natural pH and destroys the natural protective barrier of our skin and scalp. Polysorbate-80 is the worst of the bunch – but stay clear of all!
Triclosan: With a moderate hazard rating, triclosan should be avoided at all costs. It can accumulate in our fat cells and keep our body in a state of toxicity. It causes irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs, and causes endocrine disruption and organ system toxicity.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine: This foaming agent has been associated with skin and eye irritation and allergic contact dermatitis. Although the government regards it as safe, many people have negative reactions to it.
Fragrance: Fragrance of any kind isn’t good. It clogs the lymphatic system and induces major organ system toxicity. Also causes endocrine disruption. Although they are naturally scented Pureology, Kevin murphy and MR Smith do have fragrance and are not recommended for highly sensitive scalps. For people who are seriously reactive we would recommend Sans Cueuticals.