The Cookbook


15 Ingredients to Avoid in Natural Hair Products

Did you know that 1 in 12 beauty products for black women has been rated highly hazardous? (Source.) You probably know that relaxers contain toxic and dangerous chemicals, but you may not realize that many products for natural hair contain toxic chemicals as well.

We have put together a list of toxic and harmful ingredients commonly used in hair and beauty products, which we will update periodically. We encourage everyone to be as informed as possible about their hair and beauty products, so read those labels!

shop naturall shampoo

Natural hair has an oval-shaped cuticle, a looser cuticle layer, and has more trouble retaining moisture than other hair types. The result is that some of these ingredients are especially harmful to naturally curly hair while they may not damage straight or wavy hair. But other ingredients on the list are toxic and potentially carcinogenic, making them hazardous to use on any hair type.

Unsafe Ingredients Found in Natural Hair Products


This is a toluene, which can damage the respiratory system, irritate the skin, and cause developmental damage in fetuses. See "Toluene" for more information.

Diethanolamine (DEA) Triethanolamine (TEA)

These stabilize the pH of hair products, and are common allergens and eye irritants.


Formaldehyde is another preservative and extremely irritating to the skin and eyes. It is a known animal carcinogen, and may increase cancer risk for humans as well. Keep in mind that certain preservatives release formaldehyde! So by extension, also look out for

    • Diazolidinyl urea
    • DMDM hydantoin
    • Glyoxal
    • Imidazolidinyl urea
    • Polyoxymethylene urea
    • Quaternium-15
    • Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate


This is a catch-all ingredient. If the manufacturer put this on the bottle, it means they don’t want to tell you what else is in the product (and Fragrance is often a term used to hide Phthalates as an ingredient.) Note: at NaturAll Club we only scent our hair products with all-natural, phthalate free fragrances.

Isopropyl Alcohol

This does its job of stripping away oils from your scalp a little too well, leaving your hair dry and brittle. Ethanol Alcohol, Ethyl Alcohol, Isopropanol Alcohol, Propyl Alcohol, and SD Alcohol are also known to do this.


A common preservative in hair products, linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions, and possible neurotoxicity. 

Mineral Oil and Petroleum

These are petroleum products that coat your hair and scalp so effectively, they suffocate them! These ingredients can cause acne, hindered skin respiration, imbalanced oil levels in your scalp, and skin irritation.


Parabens are xenoestrogens, included in shampoos as a preservative. They can disrupt hormones and even pose a cancer risk. You'll see them labeled on hair products as propylparaben, benzylparaben, etc.


These were banned from use in toy manufacturing in California, 2009, because of links between them and cancer. However, they are still often used in hair products. They are often a hidden ingredient in Fragrance.


This is very common in skin and beauty products, but has potential associations with developmental and reproductive toxicity. While it is usually safe to use, it might not be safe to use during pregnancy.

Retinyl Palmitate

Considered a gentler version of retinol, but it is often added to personal care products in greater concentrations than retinol in order to be effective. It still has potential associations with developmental and reproductive toxicity, and has been found to enhance photocarcinogenicity (heightening the risk of cancer when exposed to UV rays.)


Sulfates strip oil and dirt out of your hair so well, they deplete the naturally produced sebum that moisturizes your hair. While sulfates can be beneficial for hair that gets oily quickly or has looser curls, they're usually a no-no for naturally curly hair. Common sulfates: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate

Synthetic colors

Synthetic colors such as D&C Red 27 or FD&C Blue 1, are derived from petroleum or coal sources. These synthetic colors are suspected to be carcinogenic, skin irritants, and linked to ADHD in children. The European Union has banned the use of these ingredients, which is a big red flag.


Also used as a solvent that can dissolve paint and paint thinner, but it is also found in some hair color/bleaching products. This chemical can affect the respiratory system, irritate the skin, and even cause developmental damage in the fetus if expecting mothers are exposed to it. Commonly labeled as benzene, tuluol, phenylmethane, or methylbenzene.


This is a common antimicrobial chemical used in personal care products, but it is also a known endocrine disruptor and skin irritant.

Looking for all-natural, non-toxic hair products?

      It can be overwhelming to learn about all these harmful ingredients to look out for in hair products. If you're looking at the ingredient lists on your hair products, you've likely already seen a couple from this list. Wouldn't it be great if there were a brand you could trust to NEVER use these ingredients?

      Contrary to so many other hair products and brands on the market, NaturAll is fully committed to using only safe and non-toxic ingredients. It's nice to have a hair product you can trust, right? Check out the natural ingredients we use in our products, and browse our all-natural hair products.

      Muhga Eltigani

      Muhga Eltigani

      After years of using products that left her hair dry, damaged, and dull, Muhga Eltigani decided to chop off her hair and start over. For 6 months, she committed to using only natural ingredients on her hair- foods from her fridge and the grocery store with names she recognized, like avocados, olive oil, coconut, baking soda, and even eggs. She found support through an online community of women like her, sharing recipes and ingredients on Youtube.

      Older Post Newer Post

      • When I found Dr.Prince I was in desperate need of bringing my ex lover back. He left me for another woman. It happened so fast and I had no say in the situation at all. He just dumped me after 3 years with no explanation. I contact Dr.Prince through his website and He told me what i need to do before he can help me and i did what he told me, after i provided what he wanted, he cast a love spell to help us get back together. Shortly after he did his spell, my boyfriend started texting me again and felt horrible for what he just put me through. He said that I was the most important person in his life and he knows that now. We moved in together and he was more open to me than before and he started spending more time with me than before. Ever since Dr.Prince helped me, my partner is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before. I highly recommends Dr.Prince to anyone in need of help. Email:

        Sophia Leo on
      • I am here to spread this good news to the entire world on how Dr Emu helped me solve my infertility problem and i am so happy now that i am now a mother because for over 4 years i have been trying to get pregnant and needed help, i and my husband always go for medical check up and the doctor always say that the both of us are fine and i have nowhere else to get help from and all hope was almost lost until one day i visited a friend of mine and i told her what i was passing through and she introduce me to this great spell caster called Dr Emu who helped her when she was in need of help, so i took a try to contact Dr Emu through his email and i explain all my problem to him and after we have talked he perform an infertility spell for me and after that he told me what i should do, and i followed the instruction he gave and after that he instructed to sleep with my husband and also i followed the instruction and he said that the next week i should go for medical check up and the doctor confirmed that i was 4 months pregnant and i was so happy that all my sorrows were gone for ever, i am so very happy now and also if you need any kind of help or the same line with mine, contact Dr Emu on his email: or call/text his whatsapp phone number +2347012841542 visit facebook page: 104891335203341

        Gavin Wear on
      • My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was totally right.
        This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!
        save refuges

        Marco on
      • Are you financially depressed? Looking for a LOAN?

        We offer Personal Loans, Business Loans, Student Loans, Auto Loans, and Bill Pay Loans from ($)€5,000.00 to ($)€5,000,000.00, Dollar/Euro, at a 2% interest rate. Loans must be for legitimate and legal purposes.

        Thank you and hope to hear from you soon so that we can send you the loan terms and repayment schedule.

        Executive Chairman
        Suzanne Klatten.

        Susanne on
      • I still don’t know the right words to express my gratitude to this great man Dr Edidia. After been diagnosed of HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2 months ago, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally los his Email: t hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr Edidia online research and on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, I was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I’m truly grateful,i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support,  oove most about Dr Edidia is honestly, and he is very polite with his patience, everything he told me was what he did, and his herbal medicine are very affordable. ne thing i lhis Email: Whatsapp +2349126592869.

        Robert on

      Leave a comment
      Recent Articles
      Related Posts