Thursday, August 27, 2015

How A Quest For Gluten-Free Beauty Products Turned Into Organic & Why It Matters

Allergic Traveler, Tarah Jakubiak was speaking in Raleigh, and one of her talking points was a reminder to check hair color if you have multiple allergens. Once she had finished speaking, I noted to the audience that I had been a hair dresser for 25+ years and could confirm the fact that multiple allergens can be present in all hair care products. If you have no reaction to your skin or hair products - Great! But, that is just not the case for many people. My daughter has celiac disease and her scalp breaks out in small pimples when she uses hair care with wheat/gluten in the ingredients. Many of my clients also complained of other issues like burning scalp with hair color.

On our quest for hair care products without gluten, we realized so many of the shampoos, conditioners, and hair color on the market use wheat proteins in their ingredients for conditioning agents. We also began to realize the amount of chemicals, which are highly toxic, in our beauty care products as well. It's one of those things where you start reading the labels, and the next thing happens, you begin to know too much to turn back. It's the same thing as when you get diagnosed and start realizing what is in your food because you are actually reading the labels and making informed decisions.

We learned:
  1. The average person uses 168 chemicals on their body per day
  2. The likelihood is that most or all of those chemicals have not been tested by the EPA
  3. To get most companies to disclose all sourcing becomes a feat in itself.
  4. There are multitudes of studies on ingredients and their affect on hair dressers from long term exposure, but very few on how they affect the average person.
  5. Some of the most common ingredients; sodium laureth sulfate, DEA/TEA/MEA, Ethoxylated surfactants and 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, are all shown to be extremely hazardous in studies

Subsequently, I began working at Bee Natural Organic Salon in the little mountain town of West Jefferson NC, right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We sell only organic hair care, use only organic hair color, and also sell only organic body care products. In buying these products, we have become knowledgeable that products can make the claim they are natural or organic, when only 50% or more ingredients are classified as such. So, it has become my mission to find truly healthier beauty care products to sell to our customers and ourselves. 

Aubrey Organics This is the hair care product line we sell in the salon as it is certified organic, vegan, paraben free, sulfate free, animal cruelty free, and they have a clearly defined gluten-free section for products.

California Baby & Kids California Baby products are free of common allergens such as milk, egg, peanut, walnut, cashew, almond and pecans, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. California Baby products are also free of gluten and casein. True to their toxin-free, sustainability-focused roots, they steer clear of Diethanolamine (DEA), sulfates, dyes, numbing agents, and ingredients that can trigger allergies in young ones or chemically sensitive adults, including synthetic fragrances, dairy, soy, peanuts and gluten. Strict standards ensure that all of their products are CA Prop 65 compliant, which means they contain no carcinogens such as 1-4 Dioxane or phthalates.

Gluten-Free Savonnerie Besides gluten-free, they have casein-free, dairy-free, soy-free, dye-free, latex-free, and peanut-free options for all hair and skin care.

Original & Mineral - This Australian hair color is long lasting, and free from ammonia, resorcinol, and PPD. Clients do not complain of burning or tingling scalp, it covers gray, and shines the hair without the dull lifeless feel of long term color damage.

100% Pure - Although not cheap, this makeup and skin care is fruit pigment based, gluten-free, and totally free of dioxides and all other chemicals. They also have nail polish that is free of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates, and animal ingredients. And they carry hair, body and baby products also.

Herban Cowboy - Free from Propylene Glycol, Aluminum, Chlorhydrate and Triclosan It will last at least 4 hours even when working.

Nourish Organic - Is gluten-free and contains a blend of naturally deodorizing cornstarch and vegetable protein, soothing shea and cocoa butters, beeswax and coconut oil.

Desert EssenceNo Parabens, Sweeteners, Harsh Abrasives, Artificial Fragrances or Dyes, Petroleum Compounds: Mineral Oil, Petrolatum or Paraffin, SLS, PEGS, PPG, MEA, DEA or TEA, Glycols, Phthalates,and gluten - free.

That should get you started on organic beauty products. Please be wary of those trying to push products on you with gimmicks or false claims. Hopefully, you will be more well informed now and start asking the right questions when seeking out truly chemical - free products. If the company you call can't or won't answer the questions you pose, you know you can refer back to this list.

I wish a healthier beauty regimen for all of our readers and success in ridding their lives, not just their diets, of toxins.