Is this substance listed on the ingredient list of your favorite products? Have you been having problems with dryness? A growing number of naturals have been reporting that their hair seems to be getting drier and perhaps this ingredient is to be blamed.
What’s The Fuss About?
It is a substance often used in products labeled as all natural and hypoallergenic. It is reportedly found in up to 40% of beauty products as it is used as a stabilizer to balance the pH of the product and stabilize fats. Simply put, it helps break down molecules of products to allow them to blend out for a smooth finish. It’s even in your favorite Eco-Styler gel.
It is common in topical hair and skin care products because manufacturers feel that nitrosamines, which it has the potential to create, cannot penetrate the skin. Usually, it is said that it is not used in amounts above 1%. it sometimes adds fragrance to lotions or hair potions, lengthens the shelf life of products and can most likely to be found in foaming products, products that rinse off, eye shadow, mascara, sunscreen, foundation, and concealer.
The ingredient is triethanolamine also referred to as TEA.
It is common in topical hair and skin care products because manufacturers feel that nitrosamines, which it has the potential to create, cannot penetrate the skin. Usually, it is said that it is not used in amounts above 1%. it sometimes adds fragrance to lotions or hair potions, lengthen the shelf life of products and can most likely to be found in foaming products, products that rinse off, eye shadow, mascara, sunscreen, foundation, and concealer.
Characteristics Of The Ingredient
The popular ingredient is a by product of two substances considered to be toxic: ethylene oxide and ammonia. It is viscous and has a slight whiff of ammonia. The composition of the substance makes it carcinogenic if combined in products with N-nitrosating agents which can for nitrosamines. You might be interested in browsing the synonyms for triethanolamine to see if they are in your daily personal care or hair care products.
What The Research Shows
We don’t want to send you into a wild panic but to be forewarned is to be forearmed. With that said, it has been shown that over time, Triethanolamine makes your hair drier, so if you are a wash n go person who loves your Eco- styler and you’ve been noticing that your hair has been getting drier, you might want to pay attention to how often you do that style, or try to seek out alternatives for the Eco gel.
Initially, I thought “I hardly think that the dosage used is high enough or else they would not have approved it to begin with.” Well, after digging through all the research I am not so sure anymore because clinical studies in animals have revealed that Triethanolamine TEA is an immune system and respiratory toxicant.
It can cause irritation of the skin, hair and eyes and inflammation even in short term use. If that wasn’t bad enough, it also causes liver, bladder and testicular cancer and it may cause genetic mutations. While short term use may not result in the worst case scenario, in the long term, exposure to TEA may cause brittle hair, itchy skin and eventually, the list of bad news previously mentioned. An article on thedermreview backs up these claims.
The FDA gives the approval for the ingredient to be used in small doses but because of its toxicity, it doesn’t allow for more than 5% in a product. The trouble with this is that if you use up to 4 products with TEA to achieve a style and each has 1.5% you would have exceeded the 5% recommended by the FDA.
Interestingly, Triethanolamine is also used as a food additive Everything Added to Food in the United States (EAFUS). I don’t know about you but it makes me wonder why they would allow for ‘everything to be added to food’. Could it be a deliberate exposure to harmful chemicals so that they can study the effects and keep big Pharma rolling in dough?
Right now it sounds almost like a conspiracy theory but if that’s the case, we’ve been unknowingly participating by virtue of the fact that we have been voluntarily buying the products that have the questionable substances. In fact, research mentions findings of human exposure to the ingredient. It makes you wonder if people volunteered to do the study knowing the possible consequences, or if these findings were recorded without them even knowing they were subjects.
The more you think about it, the more questions arise. The clinical studies that have us all antsy every time we hear of a dangerous substance in our products, were conducted on animals.
If you do a basic google search on animal studies you will find several academic papers that decry the supposed usefulness it has. In other words, many of these animal studies are ineffective and serve only as insurance for scientists to say that they conducted trials prior to releasing a product on the market, just something to tick off their to-do list and indemnify them from the full brunt of lawsuits if things start going south. If you have never given thought to it or if you are skeptical just check for yourself, then consider just how credible the findings are.
On the flip side, if we opt to believe that animal trials that produced adverse findings are rendered inconclusive because animal testing is unreliable, can we really say that the findings wouldn’t be worse if tested on humans?
It can be overwhelming trying to keep tabs on every single ingredient in our products and food; in fact, if we are not careful we can become paranoid about it, but it is important that we remain vigilant when it comes to what we allow to enter or apply to our systems. It has become increasingly evident that those charged with the job of helping us safeguard our health may be compromised owing to other factors (the almighty dollar anyone?).
If today’s post leaves you with more questions than answers it’s probably a good thing. It is a fact that consistent long term exposure to triethanolamine in hair care products can result in dry, brittle hair, scaling and inflammation of the scalp, and irritation. It is also a fact that the FDA really doesn’t give this ingredient a fully safe rating, but they don’t consider the possibility of consumers exceeding the 5% limit out of ignorance.
If they have considered the possibility but allow it anyway, what exactly does that mean? As consumers of commercial products, we can never avoid the scientific element that comes along with it. The sad reality is that many of us often hear that there is a hot new product that works and we run with it.
When was the last time you took note of what is on the ingredient list? In the final analysis, the onus is on you to ensure that you do all you can to be safe. It is getting harder to do, but we must never give up. It appears that the best way to ensure that your products are safe is to make them yourself.
Scott Amber says
This stuff is to thick for my hair… Are there any others that more liquid like ? If that makse sense
Tanisha Denham says
This made my hair dry and frizzy. I never understood the hype.
Tawanna Hunter says
junk in a jar,make your own
Tee Tee says
I love the cocktail brand
Jazmen Russell says
It flakes and turns white in my hair…the opposite of what it says it won’t do smh
Tyshira NoStressn Jones says
Doesn’t make me flake bec i have my own little secret
Kelly White says
This gel never makes my hair dry
Alisson Hislop says
This works perfectly on my hair doesn’t dry out if anything makes my hair soft and easy to brush out and leaves no build up ..i love it won’t use any other gel
Tamberlynn S Hawkins says
My hairs best friend! Tried the one with black castor and flax seed oils. I simply love it!
Alisson Hislop says
Same here I think people who don’t like be putting half a tub on at a time lol ???? as I use it daily sparingly and it works wonders next day it like my hair hasn’t got any gel in just feels soft when I brush it ..but glad someone agrees that it’s a very good product ????????I luv it too x
Alisson Hislop says
I agree I have thicker hair too but it’s relaxed on natural hair it works different coz my daughter has natural hair and she gets build up but it don’t dry her hair out ???? it’s a debatable one isn’t it x
Cynthia Jones Goings says
Can’t use it. Flakes and makes my hair dry and crunchy. I use Design Essentials honey curl forming custard. Works amazingly on my hair!
Sharii Russell says
the holy grail of gels!!! no flakes (if you mix it with the right product) my hair does not dry with it either
Tiffani Nicole says
I get white flakes after using it.
Aneitha ML Knight says
Yep!! My hair was breaking big time shedding on my floor.
Da'Vida Cannon says
I used some yesterday and it dried my hair.
Michelle Brewington McCoy says
I replaced this with hair grease.
Samantha Ranelle says
Add Shea butter to it
Pati Ramirez says
It makes my hair dry but I still use it . I can only mix it with some products!
Princess Tennyson says
Love Ecco gel for my edges , however it gives my wash and go’s extreme shrinkage!!!!My hair hates most products, expect grease! Lol!
LaToya Bates says
I hate gel
Chanda Benjamin says
I love the Olive oil Eco style Gel!!
I wish I could upload a picture of my hair showing this product in my hair.
Joy Taylor says
I use the Argan oil one. It works well with my hair
ShellyAnn Yates says
Yea it does
MizzSolo Dolo says
Not on mine works great but makes my daughter hair flaky so I guess it’s cause we have two different textures ♀️
Tamu Bishop says
Same for my daughter and I.
Erica Brooks says
I use to love eco but i really realized over the yrs it did dry it out so i stopped
Charrisse Ling says
Not drying for me but lots of build up. Maybe I use too much
Doris Lorraine Woods says
That’s why I mix aloe gel and castor oil together and my scalp doesn’t itch and it’s not dry either I can go 2 weeks without oiling my scalp lol
Sonya Green says
It doesn’t dry my hair I love it don’t use anything else
Deedee Jeanlouis says
Doesn’t dry out my hair one bit. But if you mix with with other products you can get flakes on the hair.
Joyce Dixon says
I use this works fine.. but not on my youngest daughter ..
Joycelyn Cannon says
I never had any dryness problems with this gel and it’s my favorite.
LaTonya Walker says
I can’t stand this crap
LaTonya Walker says
It does everything it stated it won’t do????????
Tori Lee says
It has a form of alcohol of course.
Camille Grant says
It does! Waste of $$
Dorothy Anderson says
No it doesn’t this is a great product and I love it
Alexandria South says
Thats why you use a certain amount..& its suppose to be used for bby hairs
Melanie Gartrell says
Aloe Vera gel way better
Tammy D Milledge says
This and some blue magic and Cantu leave in condition is the bomb combo
Tanesha Winston says
This is only gel I use never had an issue with my hair being dry or flaky
Susy Millard says
I luv it! It works good on my daughters hair 2
Arlene Delice says
Mine is perfectly fine, maybe ppl are going too long without washing your hair. You’ve got to wash your hair, all hair no matter the texture often
Aysia Holmes says
It did cause dry hair fir me but I’ve learnt to put castor oil in my hair first before applying this gel. This helps a lot.
Alicia Sherman Gaines says
When I use any gel I always mix it with Jamaican Black Castor Oil.
Vicki Watson says
I went back to using Ampro styling gel. I was using the Castor Oil and Flaxseed of ECO gel and it irritated my edges and made them itchy.
Alise Jay says
It needs something thick under it..
Karen Mills says
Many styling gels are harmful to hair because they cause dryness, brittleness. Best to study the ingredients and commentaries from previous users.
Valisa L Hilliard says
Tried to use twice did cause dryness frizzinesd so left it alone
Youlonda M. McCullough-Jackson says
It does well for me, for right now!
Sandra San says
I use no products just plain water if I want gel I make.flax seed gel
Shantel Lourie says
How you make flax seed gel??
Shantel Lourie says
I’ve used this before. No problems… My hair curls right up.
Sandra San says
Yes I make it
Sandra San says
Put water in a pot of boiling water around 2 cups- to 1 cup of flax seeds boil, stir until you see it turning thick- then strain with a strainer or stocking cap- I use tongs to squeeze the gel out be careful its hot of course go.to youtube it will show you
April Stillstanding Barr says
The only gel I can’t use is the Ampro the black kind. It breaks my hair off bad. Everything is not for everyone hair. You have to find what’s good for you and use it simple as that
Francine Mcdonald McDonald says
I think it’s great works great on my hair i use it with castor oil to
Margaret Graham says
Nope not leaving my Eco styler gel.
Sandra Ifeoma Orimilikwe says
I used Eco styler gel once and that was it. I got some me flakes and crunchiness from this product. I now use Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus gel soufflé – this works much better for my hair