I feel like I have become more aware of the "dangers" in commercial products and how deceiving they are.
Where: Shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, household cleaning products.
Most common form: Sodium Lauryl Sulphates
Why: It is a type of synthetic detergent + surfactant (cleaning properties) used as a foaming agent.
Problem: Skin irritant, dermatitis, strip hair of natural oils, drying
Similar chemicals to avoid: Ammonium Lauryl Sulphates
Alternatives: Dudu Osun (Black soap), Baking soda (natural pH 8.2), Apple cider vinegar (diluted with water to clarify after product build up). SLS-free shampoos + shampoos with a balanced pH or just co-wash.
Where: Cosmetics, lotions, make-up remover, most black hair grease
Most common form: aka white oil, liquid paraffin, liquid petroleum
Why: Byproduct from distillation of petroleum, inexpensive + odourless
Problem: blocks pores, coats hair shafts, can't be absorbed by skin
Similar chemicals to avoid: paraffin liquidums + petrolatum's
Alternatives: Natural veg oil, fruit + nut oils. Coconut, jojoba, Castor, tea-tree, olive and almond oil are the most popular choices. Understand the difference between carrier oils (eg. olive oil) and essential oils (eg. orange) and learn how to use them to your advantage.
Just a quick note: essential oils are the ones with scents (lemons, oranges, rose etc.) and should never be put on the skin/hair by itself as they are volatile. They don't mix with water, so oils know as carrier oils are used to dilute them. Carrier oils don't have a distinct aroma with the exception a few like olive oil. They are used to "carry" essentials to the skin/hair + made via cold-pressing and maceration. I will go further into this topic in another post.
Where: Vaseline, wax, plasticine, lubricant, Afro hair conditions
Most common form: soft paraffin, petrolatum
Why: Inexpensive hydrocarbon, meltin point 37.5
Problem: hydrophobic so acts as a barrier, block pores, makes hair dry + brittle.
Similar chemicals/products to avoid: DAXAlternatives: Shea butter, you can make a natural jelly with beeswax, vitamin E + almond oil. Recipe here
These are my 3 products to avoid, would love to know what yours are.