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OUR DAILY JOURNAL | #naturallyonira


January 11th, 2017

Sulphates, silicones, parabens and PEGs. We dish the dirt on the worst offenders and explain exactly why they are so bad for you (and your hair).

Parabens, Sulphates, PEGs and Silicones

We know that having confidence that a beauty product will deliver on its promise is paramount. It’s non-negotiable.

We’ve all spent enough time, and money, on products that don’t work. Not to mention the time we’ve spent in hiding, or the money we’ve spent trying to rectify embarrassing mistakes, when things go wrong! Obviously we’ve burnt any photographic evidence of our make-up mishaps and hair horrors though. (Sorry, kids!)

We get it though; you want to be rest assured that your 24hr foundation will, in fact, last 24 hours! That your waterproof liner really will survive the completely unpredictable European weather, and that your no-frizz hair serum, and stay matte finishing powder, really are as reliable as they claim to be; even after the sweatiest of yoga sessions. We want all of those things too; honestly.

But, you don’t have to defy your ethical beliefs, smother your hair and skin in chemicals, or fill your body with toxins in order to achieve those beauty-goals! There are some amazing, resilient, natural products out there that will deliver on their quality, luxurious promise and actually do your health some good in the process. (Ours included, obviously!)

For a lot of beauty brands, looking good is the only thing that matters. Haircare brands especially. And we understand that (kind of), beauty is all about how you look and feel after all. But, we think that you have a right to know that just because your hair looks good, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those products are doing good. In fact, they’re actually, more than likely, masking damage, contributing to hair loss, causing breakage and a whole host of other hair woes. Yes, really!

And despite smelling deceptively good and leaving your locks looking suspiciously shiny, they’re actually just acting as a toxic, chemical filled, quick-fix or masking maquillage for your hair. You don’t need And it’s all down to a few key ingredients that feature in the majority of haircare products on the market. (Not ours though, naturally!)

Here is a list of the worst offenders and why Onira’s range is free from all of them:


Short-term effects –

Silicones claim to do a myriad of things; from repairing split ends, to adding shine. (FYI: it is impossible to repair split ends. Forget what you’ve heard – you simply CANNOT do it. Silicone only masks the damage; it does not repair it. The only treatment for split ends is prevention. Get a haircut and embrace natural, organic hair products that nurture and aid your hair health.) Silicones are used in conditioners to give a ‘silky’ result; and supposedly aid detangling. They also help to reduce the porosity of the hair; meaning hair is less likely to absorb humidity, and therefore appears smoother and straighter. Silicone also claims to help condition and reduce moisture loss from within the cuticle of your hair.

Long-term effects –

The synthetic and hydrophobic (moisture repelling) nature of silicones, mean that they are can be really hard to remove. What this means for your hair, is that Silicones prevent anything else penetrating the hair follicle and getting in. Whether that be a deep-moisture mask treatment, or that new colour you were desperate to try, Silicones act as a lasting force-field at the roots and around each strand of your hair; making it a lot harder for any other product to break through. Silicones can block the hair follicle, impede growth and ultimately cause breakage and long-term damage. The only way to rid your hair of this silicone shield is to shun products that include it as an ingredient; in favour of organic haircare that will nourish your locks and promote shine, naturally. (Yes, ok. Subtlety has never been our strong point; we’re talking about ours!)


Short-term effects –

Sulfates are chemical detergents; they are added to formulas as a cheap way of stripping the hair of build-up that congregates between washes. Sulphates also create the signature lather and foam that we have all come to recognise as meaning our shampoo is working. (This isn’t technically true though!)

Side Note: You should already be avoiding hair products with Sulphate in if you’ve had your hair chemically straightened; unless you want to undo the treatment entirely.

Long-term effects –

Part of the reason that there are so many deep conditioning, frizz-taming, hair smoothing products on the market is because the detergents used in conventional shampoos are so harsh. Sulphates dry out and damage hair; with coloured hair being the most susceptible. Sulphates leech onto the colour, stripping it and causing it to fade.

Natural, sulphate-free formulas (like, ours!) don’t strip your hair of its natural, shine-enhancing, texture-creating, colour-protecting oils. Our shampoos don’t foam as much as products you might be used to, but we promise that they are giving your hair a deeper, more luxurious, natural clean; that won’t harm your hair or colour.


Short-term effects –

Parabens are billed as a preservative and are found in most of your favourite creams, make-ups and hair care products. Usually hidden on your labels under the complicated names of methylparaben, ethylparaben or propylparaben (look familiar? They are the most widely used preservatives on the market); parabens stop bacteria, and other nasty microbes, from growing in your beauty products. They’re widely used in shampoos and conditioners specifically, because the warm, moist environment of a bathroom is a total breeding ground for these microorganisms and nasties.

Long-term effects –

Parabens are chemical formulas that have been ubiquitously used in the beauty industry since the 1950’s. They’re inclusion in beauty products has, in recent years though, sparked huge debate amongst scientists, cosmetic manufacturers and product safety regulators. Parabens are now thought to have possible harmful side-effects, and even a potential link to decreased sperm count and breast cancer.


Short-term effects –

PEGs, or polyethylene glycols, are synthetic chemicals that can be found in the majority of haircare formulas on the market; they act as softeners and emulsifiers (basically, they help mix oil and water-based products.)

Long-term effects –

Some PEGs have been found to contain extremely high levels of toxic oxide, which can be extremely harmful to a lot more than just your hair. PEGs have also been known to cause allergies and some countries, like Canada, have banned one of PEGs key ingredients from being used in cosmetics entirely.

The good news though, is that it’s not too late to start over! At Onira, we believe that hair looks, feels and works best in its natural state. By following our revolutionary rituals, and embracing our chemical-free, organic philosophy, you can rid your hair of toxic build-up and get back to the real, healthiest, most beautiful, you.

The Truth About…Toxins and Chemicals