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Can hair styling products cause hyperactivity in children, birth defects, and other complications?

Plastic-Free Hair Styling ProductsOrganic Color Systems has always promoted “plastic-free” styling. Not only do plastics cause complications for hair colorist, but now there is additional proof that they cause serious health problems and even more risk for pregnant women and their unborn fetus.

Plastics Are Simply Bad for Hair

Plastic ingredients come under many names including Silicones, Acetates, and many “certals” or other alcohols. If you’re not a cosmetic chemist, you may find it difficult to translate a styling product’s ingredients label to determine if it contains plastics. However, only a select handfull of styling lines have successfully eliminated plastics from their ingredients and those that have proudly and predominately advertise this accomplishment. Organic Control Systems is one line that is know for plastic free styling and is used by thousands of organic salons in over 40 countries around the globe.

They make it difficult for colorist to produce professional results because they coat the cuticle with a silicone coating that is difficult to penetrate for color pigment to penetrate. Plastics make it difficult to impossible to promote hair health because the synthetic coating seals in bacteria which promote hair decomposition. The plastics found in hair styling products also clog hair pores in the scalp making it impossible for the hair to be moisturized by the sebaceous glands, which product sebum, the hair’s natural moisturizer. Plastics will also clog hair follicles which make it difficult for new hair to grow, a leading cause of hair thinning and balding in women.

The Dangers of Plastics in Hair Products

New research published in the Journal of Pediatrics has linked the exposure of pregnant women to certain plastics to hyperactivity and other behavior disorders in female children. Further, Phthalates, a group of hormone-disrupting chemicals used to soften plastics which are commonly found in hair styling products, have been linked to birth defects, damage to the reproductive systems, and obesity. Hundreds of animal studies have shown that phthalates can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and lungs.

Because phthalates do not have to be listed on ingredient labels, there is no way for pregnant women to avoid purchasing products containing them. However, Plastic-Free styling products do not have a need for ingredients that soften plastics as no plastics are used in them.

Research is Ongoing

There is a great deal of ongoing research into the roles that plastics play in our modern well-being. Special emphasis is being placed on hair care product ingredients as well as product packaging for such items that seem as benign as water bottles. When dealing with clients that have a special concern for their well being, such as pregnant clients, cancer patients, or survivors of challenging diseases; a special duty of care should be undertaken by their licensed cosmetologist as they put their trust in your professional knowledge. Please be aware of product ingredients, keep up on the latest research, and exercise common sense when making product selections and recommendations.

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Hair Color During Pregnancy

hair color during pregnancyDuring this special time in a woman’s life, she wants to look as beautiful as she feels; so it is often asked whether hair color is safe for pregnant clients and stylists. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), some hair dyes with safer ingredients may be safe to use during pregnancy because so little dye is absorbed through the skin. There are still several precautions that are recommended to take by health care providers.

“Consider waiting through the first trimester to receive chemical services, but if you insist on coloring your hair, use Organic Color Systems which contains more natural, organic, safer ingredients that all other permanent hair colors” says Dr. Stephen Mazer, who has been a practicing and consulting physician in both government and the private sector for over 40 years. “A pregnant stylist should try to reduce exposure during this time and restrict their color use to less toxic hair color products like Organic Color Systems.” According to Dr. Mazer.

When considering receiving or working around hair color or any chemical treatments during pregnancy, one should carefully consider the products ingredients and consult their physician. By providing the doctor with a list of ingredients in the hair color or other chemicals to be used, they will be able to give well-informed recommendations. Please download a full list of ingredients found in Organic Color Systems to bring to your physician.

According to Dr. Stephen Mazer, “Sometimes during pregnancy a women might find herself sensitive to products that wouldn’t ordinarily effect her. It is advised that a Skin Allergy / Sensitivity Patch Test is performed prior to any chemical service.” There is an excellent example of step-by-step salon skin patch test instructions on the Organic Color Systems website.

During pregnancy, it is critical to select a color line that is ammonia and bleach-free like Organic Color Systems. Dr. Mazer advises his pregnant patients to not breath chemical fumes from hair color or lighteners that contain ammonia as this could be harmful to the developing baby and should be avoided. He also recommends choosing a highlight or lowlight procedure instead of an all-over application. These procedures keep the product inside of the foils, protecting the scalp from coming in contact with the hair color. This reduces the risk of product being absorbed into the skin.

According to Dr. Mazer, “Pregnant Stylists should also make sure all chemical services are provided in a well-ventilated area and should always wear gloves during chemical services. This will eliminate the possibility of product absorbing into the skin.”

During pregnancy, a woman may become more sensitive to smells. If she has to sit under the dryer, consider giving the client a cloth, towel, or even a mask to diffuse the smell from the air that is blowing downward towards her face. It is always good advice to follow the manufactures instructions for the hair color and lighteners, and don’t process any chemical service for longer time than recommended.

After the service, make sure to rinse the product thoroughly from the hair and follow up with a shampoo and conditioner free of sulfates and parabens, like those from Organic Care Systems. It is important to continue using safer products like these throughout the pregnancy.

Never color or lighten a pregnant client’s eyebrows or eyelashes due to the risk of eye infection and swelling. Do not eat or drink in the work area to reduce the risk of contamination.

It is important during this delicate time to know exactly what is being put on, or in the body. By consulting with a physician, taking all recommended precautions, and by using Organic Color Systems and Organic Care Systems, pregnant clients and stylists won’t sacrifice their health, beauty, or the well being of the precious life growing inside of them.

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