A Visit to the Salon Could Damage Your Health, Can It?

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Hair Salons

Some hair products contain chemical ingredients such as formaldehyde, ammonia, peroxide, sodium sulphate, and coal tar. They also contain chemical preservatives known as parabens, which are commonly used in cosmetic products. Research has shown that many of these hair products contain carcinogens which increases the risk of cancer.

  • Sodium sulphates are ingredients in hair shampoo and conditioners. Sulphates can potentially strip your hair of natural oils, irritate the scalp, and may even cause hair loss.
  • Studies have shown that parabens, the main preservative used in cosmetic products, may mimic the activity of estrogen in the body, increasing the risk of breast cancer in particular, which is highly sensitive to estrogen. Some studies have even established the presence of parabens in breast tumours.
  • Women who used darker shades of hair dye appear to have a higher risk of estrogen- linked breast cancer.
  • Women of African-American descent who used hair-straighteners or relaxers, as well as dark-coloured hair dyes, seemed to have an even higher risk of breast cancer.


How you can protect yourself from salon-related dangers

Beauty salons are by no means death-traps, but there some easy ways you can ensure that you do not pick up more than just the cost for your treatment.

Here are ways to help prevent you from putting yourself at risk.

  • Make sure that if you go in person to book an appointment that the salon looks clean, and is properly licensed. A licence certificate should be on display in a prominent place in the salon.
  • If a salon re-uses tools and equipment that have been used on other clients, ask about their sanitizing and sterilizing procedures. Just washing in a disinfecting solution may not be good enough to prevent infections.
  • Check that there is sufficient ventilation to draw and dissipate vapour from chemicals, especially those emanating from nail treatments which may be in the air.
  • Try and establish which chemicals are involved in hair treatment preparations. Ask for organic, or paraben and sulphate-free products. They are available.

These are just simple ways to lower your risk of any unpleasant symptoms. But always bear in mind that if you do get any symptoms like allergies, skin irritations, or respiratory trouble, visit your doctor for advice.

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