Haircare is something that we have always seemed to just trust. A variety of products have promised us “silky soft” or “thick voluminous” hair. And as consumers, we have just trusted these promises. As of 2020, the beauty industry is worth almost $532 billion worldwide (1). The haircare industry contributes $79.2 billion to that total (1). And according to the New York Post, the average woman in the U.S. spends around $3,756 annually on beauty products (1). With how valuable the beauty industry is, it is important to hold beauty brands responsible for their products and what is in them.
A consumer law group launched a class action lawsuit for all people residing in Canada who purchased and/or used TRESemmé Keratin Shampoo products earlier this year. The news quickly went viral as it was shocking to consumers. The lawsuit entails how the company misled their consumers by not expressing the serious health risks and side effects such as hair loss, brittle hair, scabbing, and more (2). After experiencing these side effects, consumers looked more into what was used in TRESemmé’s products. They learned that they contain "DMDM hydantoin, a preservative which releases low levels of formaldehyde to extend the shelf-life of the product” (2). This chemical can cause scalp irritation and hair loss (3). After this news, other brands such as Paul Mitchell, OGX, and It’s a 10 immediately went under fire for their use of the same preservative (3).
These discoveries triggered panic in a lot of users as they became unsure of what was safe to use and what wasn’t. I had the same worries. I wanted to research to find some better alternatives that will be safe to use and good for our hair.
Some shampoos guaranteed to not use DMDM hydantoin include Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance shampoo, Garnier Fructis Pure Clean shampoo, Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary shampoo, Redken All Soft shampoo, and Acure Coconut & Argan shampoo bar (4).
I must say, it's disheartening that some brands would choose their own gain over the health of their consumers. It’s morally wrong, but some brands do not seem to care. That is why it is important to research and protect yourself as a consumer. Hair care may not seem important, but our scalps are more sensitive than we may think. Also everyone’s hair porosity is different. Our hair may absorb oils and other things at different rates and amounts. Definitely take time to research what you’re buying before you buy it. Check the ingredients to confirm that what you are buying will be safe for your hair and scalp.
If you have experienced the side effects of brands like TRESemmé, you can find new haircare that can promote hair growth and help with thinning. Homemade hair masks may also be a great addition to your haircare. Using a hair mask once or twice a week may be beneficial to your hair and scalp. If you feel like you are suffering from more intense side effects, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to discuss treatment and other possible solutions.
All of this can be said for other products we use. It might be a good time to check all of your beauty care products and their ingredients. You should use only the best for yourself and your body!