Recently there has been a surge of black people using more natural products for both their hair and skin. Because of social media, people have become more informed on what products are good for them and what products are toxic for their bodies due to the chemical ingredients.
Shea Moisture is personal a care company that focuses on creating products such as shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and soaps. They target primarily the African-American community who want to go natural and use products that are made for black people, by black people. However, recently the company has been receiving major backlash after many black people have gone on social media and have been criticizing the company, suggesting that the formula has changed and doesn’t work, or even that some of the products are causing them to have side effect reactions. Some are also suggesting that Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap is not really black soap
— Yolanda R. Easiley (@yoEaz) July 1, 2017
Do not I repeat do not use shea moisture's skin care products.
— nae (@euphorixa) July 6, 2017
Shea. Moisture. Products. Are. Garbage. It's not "natural". Stop pushing that false narrative.
— alleenmoeder? (@lilyakamein) June 25, 2017
Some are also suggesting that Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap is not really black soap, as real African Black Soap is a brownish color with a rough rocky texture.
This is what real African black soap looks like. ??? idk what shea moisture has y'all using but they're wrong for that pic.twitter.com/CALYCAmwt5
— Haja Fatmata (@The_RICEandSTEW) July 6, 2017
One tweet went viral of a young woman who said Shea Moisture’s soap actually caused her skin to have severe reaction.
Since ppl think i'm over exaggerating… No. This shit REALLY burned my skin. Everythng in this pic is a burn mark. It luks worse in person. pic.twitter.com/y01n6zsrIJ
— Umiko Airi. ? (@sunflowerxvibes) July 6, 2017
Shea Moisture has got some explaining to do! They have yet to address these concerns. In the meantime, it is important to know exactly what you are putting on your body, and on your hair. Always check ingredient labels and make sure there is as little artificial or harmful ingredients in your products as possible, preferably none at all!
*Here are a few tips for when you are shopping for beauty and hygiene products regardless if you use shea moisture products or not.
- Never buy shampoo, conditioner, or soaps that contain Sulfate. This chemical is commonly used in these products to create suds and make you think that you are cleaning your hair or body to the fullest extent. Sulfate can cause the hair follicle to dry out as well as the skin. This can result in hair loss.
- Avoid using beauty products that contain Phthalates; a group of chemicals used in many products to increase the flexibility and softness in plastics. The most common types are dibutyl phthalate found in nail polish, diethyl phthalate found in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate found in various hairsprays. These chemicals have been linked to breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females.
- Avoid relaxing kits. Relaxers all have a highly toxic ingredient in them called Sodium Hydroxide. This chemical destroys the natural bonds of the hair shaft and cause the hair to become brittle and fall off. The chemical can also permanently damage the hair follicle, causing baldness in various areas of the scalp.
- Aluminum which is mostly found in various deodorants. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s and cancer. There are natural deodorants that do not have aluminum. Look for them in your local Walmart, Target, Kmart etc.
These are just a few of the MANY chemicals to look out for. I found these to be the most commonly consumed. If you would like to see more ingredients to watch out for, check out this article by Huffington Post.