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The Dangers of Hairspray

Not only does hairspray pose a danger to your lungs and the environment, but did you know it is also harmful for your bun in the oven? I wouldn't recommend it at all, even if you are breastfeeding. If you're neither pregnant or breastfeeding, hairspray still poses a danger to yourself, and also the ones breathing it in around you. Babies with immune systems that are more susceptible to environmental toxins (such as hairspray and fumes from cleaning products), are greatly affected.

Why is hairspray harmful?

You're essentially poisoning yourself and your family, every time you spray hairspray into the environment. Everything you put into and around your body, as well as your children's body, goes directly into the bloodstream. Read on to learn about why hairspray is harmful to your health, your family's health, and your environment.

1. Airborne Chemicals

A study by Raj Kumar, MD, was completed at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. It looked at increasing levels of asthma and allergies in children, and studied their home environment. The homes that had higher levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and overall levels of indoor air pollution, had higher occurrences of asthma and allergies. Indoor air pollution was classified to be caused by things such as hairspray, cigarette smoke, perfume or fragrances, cleaning solutions, pool chlorine, etc.

2. Parabens

I'm sure you have seen paraben free labels are popping up everywhere- shampoo bottles, makeup lines, lotions, you name it. Parabens are the most widely used "preservatives" in your products. So why are they used if they post such a health hazard? They are used because they can stop fungus and bacteria from growing in these products. They are identified as: propylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, and isobutylparaben. They nasty little preservatives can contribute to increasing risk of breast cancer. They can also harm reproductive fertility. Even worse, they can contribute to early hormonal changes in women during menopause, and early puberty in children.

3. Phthalates

Phthalates are classically known as endocrine disruptors because they mimic your body’s hormones. They have been shown to cause reproductive and neurological damage. Every time you look at a product's ingredients, phthalates can also be listed as "fragrance", or synthetic scents.

4. Synthetic Fragrance is the New Second-hand Smoke

I'm not talking the therapeutic grade essential oils you diffuse in your kitchen. I'm talking the "fragrance" smell that's created through the combination and marrying of synthetic fragrances. Every time "fragrance" is listed on a bottle, it is created with the use of chemicals - not good for you to breathe in, or smell (that goes for perfume too- but we'll save that for another post). These fragrances are also called neurotoxins, since they can cause loss of muscle control, brain damage, as well as headaches and memory loss, or damage to your speech. It's best to go with unscented or use scents only from therapeutic grade essential oils.

Just a Few Well-Known Brands that are Toxic

1. Pureology Hairspray scores an 8 for toxicity on the Environmental Working Group

2. Garnier Fructis Anti-Humidity Hairspray scores a 9 for toxicity. It is linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies, and irritation to the eyes, skin, and lungs.

3. L'Oreal Professional Extreme Hold Finishing Hairspray scores a 9 for toxicity level.

4. TIGI hairspray products score a 9 for toxicity.

5. Fekkai Sheer Hold Hairspray scores an 8 for toxicity.

6. Big Sexy Hair Hairspray scores a 7 for toxicity.

7. John Frieda, Not-Your-Mother's, and Pantene Pro-V all score a 7 for toxicity, for overall health hazard problems regarding cancer, allergies, immune system effects, and respiratory problems.

Hairspray Alternatives:

After learning about all of this, I wouldn't go near hairspray, or let it near my child, or in my home. Hairspray is bad for us, bad for our children, and bad for the environment. So what can we do as a safe alternative? This recipe, for a homemade alternative from Matt and Betsy at DIY Natural. They DIY safer alternatives to many products! Also, Adrienne, from Whole New Mom, shares her DIY alcohol free hairspray recipe, with just 3 simple ingredients.

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