Natural hair is more popular than ever.  More people are conscious not only of what they put in their bodies but also on their bodies, including their hair.

This means that people are less interested in chemical treatments and are looking for more natural beauty products. Don’t sabotage your own natural hair journey, make sure these ingredients aren’t in your hair products.

Related: How to grow your natural hair under a wig

Petroleum and mineral oil

Natural hair can get really dry, so it’s tempting to put a thick, long-lasting oil in your hair. Unfortunately, petroleum and mineral oil are so thick and long lasting that they could suffocate your hair follicles and clog your pores, causing your hair and skin to suffer.

Rather use lighter oils more regularly; coconut oil, argan oil, castor oil and Jojoba oil to name a few, are better for both your natural hair and your scalp.

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Say no to silicone

You may have been convinced that silicone will protect your hair from breakage caused by friction. The truth is that silicone can prevent moisture and nourishment from reaching beyond your hair shaft. Many conditioners include silicone as an ingredient because it makes hair feel softer and conditioned, but silicone only conditions the hair on the outside.

The silicone barrier blocks any moisturisers or nourishment you apply to your hair from reaching the inside, starving hair from the inside out. Silicone is also difficult to remove from the hair and contributes to build-up. We all know how much our natural hair loves a good moisturising treatment, so rather avoid silicone.

Related: Serena Williams talks natural haircare

Isopropyl alcohol dries out your natural hair

Isopropyl alcohol is a great cleaning and stripping solution. This harsh alcohol solution is also often found in shampoos, even though it is too harsh for most hair and could easily strip hair of the oil and moisture it desperately needs. This means dry brittle hair after a wash which leads to increased breakage and damage in the long run. Frequent stripping also dries your scalp and can contribute to itching and flaking.

Avoid polyethylene glycol

Polyethylene glycol is an oil stripping agent that’s great for stripping tough grease and grime from your oven. This alone should be a sign that you don’t want this anywhere on your body. Natural hair is prone to dryness, so heavy duty stripping can only damage your hair.

Go easy on the artificial fragrances

Artificial fragrances can be made up of a number of harsh chemicals that may smell good, but can dry out your hair and irritate your scalp. These fragrances often include alcohol-based chemical concoctions that some people are sensitive to.

Related: How to keep your natural hair looking fabulous