In an attempt to become more health conscious, many of us are ditching the regular synthetic hair products and opting towards the natural or organic ones. However, these ‘healthier’ options are not necessarily safe for you. Many people cannot handle the natural oils and end up with allergic reactions.
Why do allergic reactions occur?
All the ingredients used in hair products are tested and approved for use on head. Unfortunately, everyone’s immune system is not identical. Sometimes, the immune system overreacts to chemicals that are normally harmless leading to allergic reactions also known as allergic contact dermatitis. While most of these reactions can be quickly counteracted, they can be quite uncomfortable and frustrating.
5 Common signs of allergic reactions to hair products
- Redness of the scalp/face /neck
- Breakouts/ hives
- Hair loss
Why Natural oils can cause allergic reactions
Natural essential oils are extracted from plant sources. They are blends of several chemical compounds that produce the aroma and benefits that we all seek. The potential danger of an essential oil is relative to its level or grade of purity, and sometimes related to the toxicity of specific chemical components of the oil.
Scientists believe that it is the terpene content or high phenol content in the oils that cause skin irritation.
Some people respond to even the smallest concentration of a specific chemical, while others have greater tolerances. This makes it hard to predict how products with these oils would behave on each and every individual. For that reason, it is often advised to do patch tests on the forearm before using the product.
Bear in mind that you should never apply these oils directly to your skin without diluting properly.
On a side note, many people have found themselves suffering from hair loss after using Wen hair products. This begs the question of whether these people are allergic to certain ingredients in the product. Bear in mind that Wen is one of the reputable brands that claim to avoid harsh chemicals and uses several essential oils. Could the purity of these oils be the cause of these hair loss issues? The FDA is investigating the issue.