the art of

Following my appearance on BBC GMT News talking about the recent study on black hair products by the Silent Spring Institute, I’ve been getting a lot of requests from people looking for more info.

Firstly let me say that not all chemicals are bad, after all, the medicines we are prescribed by our doctors are chemicals. Also we are exposed to harmful chemicals in many areas of our lives from cleaning products to even the food we eat. It is important to educate yourself on ALL the ways you might putting yourself at risk. There is actually no such thing as a chemical free product as everything has a chemical structure. There are however, some chemicals that cause harm and others that are quite beneficial. You may be surprised to hear that some of the most harmful chemicals are actually from nature.

What the study highlights is that black women are at higher risk of exposure to some potentially harmful chemicals partly because of the low quality products marketed at us and also due to the WAY we use products. We use A LOT of products and we do so frequently.

If you are concerned about your products, there are several things you can do. Firstly, educate yourself on the chemicals that are particularly problematic. Knowledge is power and once you are aware of them, you know what to look out for. You’ll want to ask your stylist/salon questions about the brands and products they use also.

Secondly is to start looking at how you use your products and possibly cutting down on the amount and frequency. A healthy regimen doesn’t require a mountain of products. If your hair is healthy then you really don’t need much besides a cleanser, conditioner, oil, moisturiser and a good styler.

Thirdly, find a quality brand with products that don’t contain any of the flagged chemicals. There are a wide variety to choose from both from the UK and the States.

Hopefully the resources below will help you get started:

Click HERE for the full Study from the Silent Spring Institute

Click HERE to see the full list of products tested in the Study

Click HERE for a useful fact sheet (Overexposed and Underprotected) on the highlighted chemicals and their health effects

Click HERE for a great breakdown of the study by Abi Begho of Lake Health and Wellbeing

Click HERE for the BBC Interview

Click HERE for a list of tips on avoiding toxic chemicals in hair products from the Silent Spring Institute

Here is a list of brands I have either used in the past or believe are safer. Even still, I would advise doing your own research and checks.

Afrocenchix (UK & Black owned)
Mielle Organics (Black owned)
As I Am
Almocado (UK & Black owned)
Camille Rose Naturals (Black owned)
Pure Goodness (UK & Black owned)
Root2Tip (UK & Black owned)
Shea Butter Cottage (UK & Black owned)
Shea Decadence (UK & Black owned)
Trepadora (UK & Black owned)
Anita Grant (UK & Black owned)
The Afro Hair & Skin Company (UK & Black owned)
Boucleme (UK & Black owned)
Jim & Henry (UK & Black owned)
Mahogany Naurals (UK & Black owned)
Curly By Nature (UK & Black owned)
Joliette (UK & Black owned)
Flora & Curl (UK & Black owned)
Curl Smith
Equi Botanics (UK & Black owned)
HairportKJB (Uk & Black owned)
Enitan Healthy Hair Studio (UK & Black owned)
Yako Beauty (UK)
Boucleme (UK & Black owned)
Dizziak London (UK & Black owned)
The Mane Choice (Black owned)
Derma Organics (UK & Black owned)
Eden Body Works (Black owned)
Vernon Francois (UK & Black owned)


Create your own user feedback survey

7 replies added

  1. Yewande Erinle May 19, 2018 Reply

    Dear Tola,
    Congratulations on your success both writing and coaching. I’m an author too and currently looking for a publisher for my next book.
    So glad to watch a clip from the BBC interview. I have massive hair issues and I have spent a lot on clearly the wrong products. My hair just falls out, combing is dangerous for me. My hair is quite curly and springy. Now thinning even though I have cut it severally.
    Not sure what to do any more. I have two girls and I want to ensure they don’t have the same experience.
    Please help!
    Thank you.

  2. Asta West May 23, 2018 Reply

    I just saw your BBC interview, I immediately googled you to find out about your children’s books and also found your blog. Thank you for your work I love your site.

  3. Pauline June 5, 2018 Reply

    Hello again Tola, I will get in touch shortly.

  4. ayan December 2, 2018 Reply

    Hi Tola,
    are there any north american products you would reccomend I am based there, what are your thoughts on Shea moisture and Auntie Jackie

Leave your comment