Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Reading Hair Care Product Labels 101

Hey Curlies,

Now days it's pretty hard to weed out the "fake" from the real. Let's be honest. The natural hair industry is changing fast and many of the companies who were known for one thing, are now restrategizing and rebranding to cater to us.

This is why knowing how to read a product label is so important.

Sure, the front of that brightly-colored hair masque may look appealing. It may even say "organic" or "all-natural" on the front, but believe it or not, these words mean absolutely nothing. This is the same rule for food, but that's a whole different chat for another day in the Healthy Living section.

RELATED | Where Do I Shop for Natural Hair Products: Online v. In-Store

This is why I'm introducing Reading Hair Care Product Labels 101. Following are some tips to separate the real, wholesome ingredients, from the fillers and chemicals.



Keep reading for examples.

Realistically, you want a product with only ingredients you can pronounce. If you have to Google the ingredient or ask someone how to pronounce it, you do not want this in your hair. PUT IT BACK...NOW!

But unfortunately, we can't always live in that world of literally, "all natural ingredients." My rule of thumb is:

  • Choose the product with the shortest list of ingredients as this leaves no room for chemicals and fillers
  • Be sure you can locate the "good stuff" like those mentioned above in the photo
  • Ingredients are listed in what I call "more to less." Those at the beginning of this list make up more of the product than those at the bottom. You may want to look for some of your favorites here like water, coconut oil, castor oil, shea butters and others
usda.gov

Back to this whole "organic" or "all-natural" on the front of products. Yes, those words mean nothing. Companies are able to slap those labels on even if their product it pumped with chemicals.

The only way you can tell if something is organic is by the USDA Certified Organic green and white stamp of approval. If you do not see this label, chances are the company is lying to you. 

For example:

PRODUCT #1
First 5 ingredients listed: Organic Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Vitamin E oil, Hempseed Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Beeswax Coconut Cream, Coconut Oil

If you are looking for a product with Jamaican Black Castor Oil, the ingredient list should have this listed at the very top of the list.

PRODUCT #2
First 5 ingredients listed: Deionized water, biotin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Peppermint Oil, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Niacin



In this case, the above product is a "biotin shampoo," so it makes sense to see biotin listed at the top of the list.

So make sure next time you purchase any hair or skin care products you aren't being fooled. Flip over that product and see what you're really using on your body.