We’ve all noticed the term “paraben-free” popping up on curly hair products, but what exactly are parabens?
Parabens are a type of preservative that is often used in beauty products to extend their shelf life. However, they have come under scrutiny in recent years due to their possible health risks. Let’s take a closer look at parabens and whether or not we need to avoid them.
What Are Parabens?
Parabens are a type of synthetic chemical preservative that is commonly used in hair and beauty products, as well as food and medications.
They are added to products to extend their shelf life by preventing the growth of mould and bacteria. Parabens are effective at doing this because they have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Why Are Parabens Often Found in Curly Hair Products?
Curly hair products tend to contain more water than other types of hair products, which makes them more susceptible to mould and bacteria growth.
As a result, manufacturers often add parabens to curly hair products to help prevent this from happening.
In addition to this, parabens are cheap and they work well.
Are Parabens in Hair Products Safe?
Parabens have come under fire in recent years for their potential health risks.
Studies have suggested that parabens can disrupt the body’s hormone balance and potentially increase the risk of cancer, while other studies have not been able to confirm these findings. The jury is still out on whether or not parabens are safe for humans.
Should We Avoid Parabens?
The decision of whether or not to avoid parabens is a personal one.
Some people feel comfortable using products that contain parabens, while others prefer to err on the side of caution and avoid them altogether.
If you’re concerned about the potential health risks of parabens, there are plenty of paraben-free options available on the market.
Paraben-Free Product Recommendations
If you do want to avoid parabens altogether, here are 2 of my favourite styling products that are paraben-free:
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Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Cream
Paraben-free and silicone-free. This Curly Girl Method-approved product ticks lots of boxes! It gives a beautiful, soft hold.
Curlsmith Hold Me Softly Style Balm
This is so light and gives an amazing gentle hold for waves and curls. It also smells incredible! As well as paraben-free, this is vegan, silicone-free, cruelty-free, CGM-approved, and ethically sourced.
In fact, all Noughty products and all Curlsmith products are free from parabens.
There are also apps and websites that can help you assess ingredients in individual products.
Top websites to quickly check curly hair product ingredients
This study posted on the National Library of Medicine discusses the potential effects of parabens on Estrogen metabolism
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