How Companies Are Scamming Us With False “Natural” Claims

Jeannette Reatz, Staff Reporter

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You’re about to wash your hair and enjoy a night in bed with a freshly washed head when you realize you’ve run out of shampoo. You hit your nearest pharmacy and start searching the shelves for a shampoo that would work for your hair. Perhaps you choose the one that claims to contain vitamins to promote hair growth, or claims to have natural essential oils, but what you don’t realize is that a lot of these claims aren’t true. Many companies stretch the truth on what their product really contains, and even worse the ingredients used in some skin and hair products can even damage your luscious locks. Of course, all this can be found with a simple look at the ingredients list.

Many shampoos on the market can actually be damaging for your hair and can strip your scalp of its natural oils, leaving your hair dry and brittle. Take the ingredient silicone, for example, which is found in many popular shampoo brands such as Dove, Pantene, Herbal Essences, Tresemme, Live Clean, etc. Silicone is a plastic like ingredient that coats hair strands, which in return blocks your hair follicles.

So why would people think of putting something related to plastic in their product? Silicone leaves your hair shiny and soft after washing which makes people think that the shampoo is beneficial to their hair and allows them to believe that the shampoo works for them, but in reality silicone is just a chemical to present a good look without any actual benefits for your hair.

According to Anna Alina, professional hair specialist blogger and Youtuber, Silicone builds up in your hair because in reality you can’t wash it out. Once you’ve been using silicone filled conditioners it builds up. It also draws dust and creates more grease in your hair so it just gets dirtier faster.

This  makes you wash your hair more often, which makes you run out of shampoo and conditioner faster so you buy more, increasing the ever growing profits of these companies. This money grabbing scheme is not only wrong because it tricks consumers into believing they are benefiting their hair and using the “natural” ingredients shown on pictures on labels, but companies are actually harming consumers with ingredients that shouldn’t even be in these products in the first place. Not only is this dishonest, but it is simply unethical since companies would rather increase profits rather than create products that can actually improve people’s hair & health.

MBHS student Aria Carluccio, who just found out about the danger of some product’s ingredients stated, “I never really gave much thought to what I was putting on my body, which is crazy since it’s something that everyone should always be aware of, but since I found out about how ordinary products can be dangerous I will definitely be checking my hair and skin care products from now on before purchasing”

Another harmful ingredient is sulfate which is also found in most drugstore brands of hair products. Sulfate is what creates bubbles and lather when you massage shampoo into your scalp making you feel as if you’re actually washing the dirt off your scalp. The problem with this is that it over-washes your hair and strips it of its natural oils which keeps your hair hydrated. “The sulfates that are in shampoo are the same ones that are in dish soaps, laundry detergent, and other really harsh chemical cleaners” says Alina.

The worst part of this is that some companies try to pass off these products as natural. Take LUSH for example. They produce a Seanik shampoo bar which they describe as, “add oceans of shine with this mineral-rich, volumizing shampoo bar. Seanik is made with ingredients from the sea: softening Irish moss seaweed and Japanese nori seaweed make hair soft as silk from root to tip.” However although the bar does contain some natural ingredients, the shampoo still contains both sulfates and silicone.

Many of these cosmetic products are advertised as “natural” with pictures of herbs and fruits on the labels which mislead consumers to think that these contain real natural ingredients. For example, Kate Windgate Rose Bath and Shower Gel claims it contains rose extract which is really a myth since the only thing it contains related to roses is Parfum Disodium Edta which is just a man made fragrance containing alcohol such as the ones in perfumes which can be irritating on the skin as a shower gel.  

So what are we supposed to do to ensure we don’t go bald before 45? Perhaps research the ingredients on everyday products that we use and learn from hair specialists what is best for our type of hair and what can be damaging. There are many brands out there that are animal tested free and and actually contain 98% of natural ingredients. Of course, not all unnatural ingredients are harmful and finding a 100% natural product can be almost impossible, but what’s important is finding something that actually benefits both your hair and skin and doesn’t strip away your natural oils or alter your body’s Ph level. As Aria states, “You wouldn’t eat foods with ingredients that are damaging to your body, so why put them in your hair and skin?”

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How Companies Are Scamming Us With False “Natural” Claims