1. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES)
What is it? Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier used in thousands of cosmetic products, as well as in industrial cleaners. It is present in nearly all conventional shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents and bath oils/bath salts.
Health Problems: Irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes, and possible mutations and cancer.
2. Diamine Toluene Sulfate:
What is it? It is used in hair products, especially hair dyes
Health Problems: Likely carcinogenic to humans, toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys and liver.
3. PEG-3 Cocamide:
What is it? A foaming agent used in many hair products.
Health Problems: Known human immune system toxicant and may cause cancer.
4. Aminomethyl Propanol
What is it? Is a pH adjuster that is generally considered safe at levels of concentrations below 2%. Unfortunately, many hair products, especially those that require a strong pH adjuster like straighteners or hair color, have concentrations well above 12% which is considered to be highly toxic.
Health Problems: Highly toxic and potentially carcinogenic.
What is it? Are preservatives (methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl paraben or E216)
Health problems? Studies have shown that parabens can affect your body much like estrogens, which can lead to diminished muscle mass, extra fat storage, and male gynecomastia (breast growth). Other studies have also linked parabens to breast cancer, as researchers found traces of parabens in every sample of tissue taken from 20 different breast tumors. The EPA has linked methyl parabens in particular to metabolic, developmental, hormonal, and neurological disorders, as well as various cancers.