How to read hair product labels


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Are you constantly digging through the beauty aisles, looking for products that will actually work? I used to just read the front of the bottle, where mouthwatering phrases like “Get healthy and hydrated hair after just one wash”, are listed.

It wasn’t until I met a dermatologist that I realized that all the important information was on the back of the bottle. The ingredients and random numbers initially confused me, but after familiarizing myself with three major factors, I felt like a pro!

Read on for tips that will make it easier to decode your favorite products.

The Top 5: Sometimes a product label can be intimidating, with more than 20 ingredients listed. The key is to focus on the top five. The ingredients are listed in order of the amount included in that particular bottle, from highest to lowest. So if the first ingredient is “water”, you automatically know that the product is mostly water since it is listed first.

Mission: Take one of your favorite products, read the top five ingredients, and research their benefits for your hair texture!

The duration of the conversation : As a product addict, I constantly discover products that I have only used once or twice. I was wondering if the product would still work after sitting for so long. Fortunately, I have learned that a small combination of numbers and letters on the product determines its shelf life after opening.

For example, this symbol translates to 12 months:

Pretty easy, right?

Learn the craft of the ingredient: All the ingredients have a special function when it comes to their effectiveness on your hair. Some hydrate, while others take care of providing protein or shine to our stands. Note the ingredients most associated with each hair goal:

Protein: hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed silk protein, keratin, hydrolyzed oatmeal, hydrolyzed soy protein

Volume / Fullness: biotin, also known as vitamin B7 and vitamin H, sea salt

Moisturizing: glycerin, aloe vera, jojoba oil, shea butters, avocado oil, stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate

Hot styling: silicones such as dimethicone and amodimedthicone

Shine: natural oils such as coconut oil and argan oil

Detangling / Slip Offer: fatty alcohols such as behenyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, isoketyl alcohol, isostearic alcohol, lauryl alcohol, etc.

You don’t agree with all the scientific words, but want to know if your favorite product is just good or bad for you? Try the “Think Dirty” app. After scanning a beauty product, it will be rated from one to ten on the “dirty meter”.

Read on for product recommendations, based on these categories:

SUBJECTS: Hair 4C