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Decoding the chemistry of hair care

Runners know that to get the best out of the body, they have to put the best into their system. Just like your kitchen is stocked with healthy fruits and veggies – but what about your bathroom cabinet?

It’s easy to forget, but our skin is just as important as what we put in our mouth. Although our skin acts as the body barrier, it also works like a sponge, soaking up whatever is applied to its surface, including chemicals in shampoos, lotions, and cosmetics.

But… the long list of scientific names and numbers can often be difficult to understand or recognize, like reading a foreign language.

Why is it important to know what ingredients are in your hair products?

The hair follicles are rich in blood vessels that are close to the surface of the scalp. Thus, hair products can be quickly absorbed into your bloodstream and into your system. Chemicals and toxins might make your hair looks smooth and soft for a short period of time; however, these can adversely affect the hair growth and quality in the long run. It might worsen your health if these enter your bloodstream!

No matter it is a hair shampoo or hair oil, it is essential to be sure which ingredients are used in the formulation, to obtain efficient hair treatments and at the same time to avoid the risk of applying chemicals to your hair.

Here’s what you should look out for in your haircare:


Also known as dimethicone and cyclomethicone (basically any ingredient ending with -cone), offers zero long-term benefits. Although it gives the hair strands the smooth and shiny appearance, they build up on the hair’s shaft over time, preventing moisture and nutrients from coming in. Besides that, it collects dirt and residue, leading to greasy, weighed-down roots, especially on fine hair. Thus, it is best to avoid silicones.

Synthetic Fragrance

My hair will not smell good without fragrance! Aah.. Relax. Avoiding synthetic fragrance doesn’t mean being restricted to fragrance-free hair products. Instead, look for products that are scented naturally, with essential oils and extracts, rather than dubious ‘fragrance’ alone. Synthetic fragrance can cause irritation to skin, especially if you have sensitive skin, causing you to have an itchy scalp.

Isopropyl alcohol

It’s never a surprise to have some form of alcohol ingredient in a beauty product, however, isopropryl alcohol is something that you will not want it to appear in your product. “Rubbing alcohol” probably sound more familiar to you and you don’t want to put that on your hair! Not only isopropryl alcohol is highly flammable and toxic when inhaled, it has a major drying effect on the hair that drive the moisture out from your strands.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Probably you won’t feel foreign with this ingredient, or commonly known as SLS – it is one of the nasty ingredients you see quite frequent on shampoo bottles. Known as sulfates, these ingredients are used as cleansing or foaming agents in your hair products. Sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates are some of the irritating compounds that can cause overdrying on your skin and scalp, and they are also proven to be carcinogen when penetrate into skin and get absorbed in your bloodstream.


They can appear on ingredient lists as methylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, etc. Parabens are used as a preservative, that is commonly added to prevent bacterial growth in products. They are endocrine disruptors that are easily absorbed into human body when applied on skin and scalp, putting your endocrine system and health of your hair at immediate risk, as they can mimic the hormone estrogen.

Natural is key

With so many products and ingredients out there on the market, keeping it as simple as possible is the best bet to ensure you know exactly what’s going on your scalp. Choose those hair care products that are made with natural, non-toxic ingredients, such as Arctium Majus root extract, argan oil, marula oil, chia seed oil.

Wanted to really make sure your hair gets the nourishment it needs? The all-natural, plant-derived Olivia premium hair care set is your best choice!



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