Hair smoothing treatments are all the rage in the beauty industry these days. People with unmanageable, damaged, and frizzy hair prefer these hair treatments to get rid of the everyday hassle. With the endless stream of hair smoothing treatments at your disposal, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. And if you look at the ingredients list, the struggle can get even worse. The increasing amount of research suggesting the potential health risks of these chemical-laden hair treatments has led to people paying more attention to the contents of hair products. Many hair smoothing treatments contain toxic chemicals that can penetrate your skin and get absorbed into your bloodstream, leading to serious health concerns. Here’s how various chemicals used in mainstream hair smoothing treatments done in salons can be harmful to your health.
What to Avoid in a Hair Smoothing Treatments?
Some of the toxic chemicals found in salon hair smoothing treatments are known to be skin irritants, endocrine disrupters, and carcinogenic. Whether you’re a woman who is getting her hair treated or you’re a salon worker who has to deal with these chemicals repeatedly, you need to be aware of what you’re putting your body through. Some of the commonly used ingredients in salon hair treatments include parabens, polyethylene glycols, synthetic fragrances, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, and SLS. According to recent studies, formaldehyde is the most commonly used and the nastiest ingredient in salon hair smoothing treatments. The occupational health agency in Oregon conducted a lab test on hair smoothing products used in salons after receiving various complaints about side effects such as eye irritation, nosebleeds, and breathing issues. The results indicated a significantly high level of formaldehyde and suggested taking protective measures for the safety of salon workers.
How Formaldehyde Affects Your Health?
Salon hair smoothing treatments are mainly a chemical process in which the hair is saturated with a formaldehyde solution and then dried out and locked in a straight position using a straightening iron. Formaldehyde is known to be harmful when it comes in contact with eyes, absorbed through the skin, or inhaled. Short-term side effects of formaldehyde include nose, throat and eye irritation, coughing and sneezing, headache, and allergic reactions. According to the Environmental Working Group, people who went through hair smoothing treatment with formaldehyde complained of headaches, flu-like symptoms, throat and mouth ulcers, dizziness, vomiting, fatigue, and loss of smell and taste. Repeated exposure to high levels of formaldehyde and FRPs can pose serious threats to health such as immune diseases, asthma, birth defects, and dermatitis. Not to mention, formaldehyde is a recognized human carcinogen.
Which Hair Smoothing Treatments Are Safe?
Although many brands have stopped using formaldehyde in their products, some are using other ways to include this nasty toxin in their ingredients list. They are using chemicals that release formaldehyde when heated. So, even if a brand is claiming to provide formaldehyde-free hair smoothing treatments, always look for alternative chemicals used in them. Some of the other labels to check in a hair smoothing treatment are methylene glycol, methylene oxide, formalin, formic aldehyde, methanol, oxymethylene, oxomethane, paraform, and CAS Number 50-00-0. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration considers all these chemicals formaldehyde.
The Problem with Salon Hair Treatments
While many of you may find it convenient and safe to go to a salon for a hair smoothing treatment, you may be at a higher risk of being exposed to toxic concoctions. For starters, manufacturers are not required to list all the ingredients used in hair smoothing treatments sold for professional use, so you may not be able to know what your hair treatment includes. Even if you’re provided with a safety data sheet of the products used, not all the ingredients are mentioned on it. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it’s mandatory for salons offering hair smoothing treatments to have a proper ventilation system as a measure to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals and gases released from the products. If your salon lacks this facility, your hair treatment might do more harm than good. Moreover, your hair keeps releasing toxins long after you leave the salon. Using a straightening iron or dryer on your chemically-treated hair can cause the chemicals to release formaldehyde.
How to Find the Right Hair Smoothing Treatment?
There is no doubt that chemical-loaded hair smoothing treatments can make your hair look beautiful but is it worth putting your body through such risks? The ideal solution to ensure your safety is to know exactly what ingredients are used in the hair smoothing treatments and go for the safest option. Formaldehyde-free hair smoothing treatments with natural ingredients, like O’wow hair smoothing treatment, are always safer. The results may not be as lasting as your usual chemical hair treatments done at salons, but it will still smoothen and give an insane shine to your hair and most importantly you’re guaranteed to be safe from a myriad of health problems that comes with harsh chemicals in traditional smoothing treatments.
Choosing a hair smoothing treatment isn’t just about getting a short-term solution and gratification. It comes with a responsibility to be aware of how your hair smoothing treatment can affect your health and your surroundings. When it comes to hair treatments, simpler is better. Many brands on the market are now using natural and clean ingredients in their products. At O’wow, we strive to eliminate the use of synthetic chemicals and provide our users with the benefits of natural ingredients procured from the nature. Luckily, when using O’wow smoothing treatment, you don’t have to burden your mind with worries about the potentially hazardous chemicals.