View Full Version : Hair Myths (Hopefully)

September 9th, 2008, 04:15 PM
Mmk I've had some wonderings about some hair advice my mom gives me and I wonder if they are true. If there's any place to go to it would be here. These are all from my mom and I'm wondering if you guys could answer

Here we go

-Tying up your hair when it is wet will make it fall out/weak (even clipping and hairstick gosh I hope not)

-Using conditioner too much will make your hair fall out (I hope not >_> I love CO)

-Alberto V05 is known to be carcinogenic (Ahhh! really hope not!)

Yeah none of these were whimsical and I do all of these things and I know many on the boards do them too. I think the last one, regarding carcinogenic properties can easily be dispelled as many chemical ingredients are carcinogenic for long term use. I'm just afraid because I've grown so fond of cone-free V05, I've gotten hooked on it. Maybe the ingredients in Nicaraguan V05 are different (where she is from).

But yeah, any thoughts?

September 9th, 2008, 04:25 PM
The first two are just silly. If they were true, I'd pretty much be bald.

The third, since I don't know the ingredients of the V05 products, I can't really answer. Maybe it depends on the product?

Here are the ingredients for my current favorite (Strawberries & Cream):

Active Ingredients: Water (Aqua); Cetyl Alcohol; Stearyl Alcohol; Stearalkonium Chloride; Glycine Soja (Soy Bean) Seed Extract; Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Leaf Extract; Steareth-21; Glyceryl Stearate; Octoxynol-9; Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C); Thiamin HCL (Vitamin B1); Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A); Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E); Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5); Propylene Glycol; Disodium EDTA; DMDM Hydantoin; Fragrance (Parfum); Red 33 (CI 17200).

I don't immediately see anything sticking out as a red flag....but I guess I have a little research to do on the ingredients I'm not familair with....

September 9th, 2008, 04:30 PM
DMDM Hydantoin

I found this, here (http://stason.org/articles/wellbeing/health/Glossary-Of-Chemicals-Synthetics-To-Avoid-In-Personal-Care-Products.html): Hydantoin DMDM: Causes dermatitis. Acts as a preservative and may release formaldehyde and is a suspected carcinogen. Rats develop cancer when injected with this chemical.

And this, here (http://www.healthyeatingadvisor.com/cancer-causing-ingredients.html):
Preservatives. Many preservatives contain or release formaldehyde which is a carcinogen, neurotoxin, irritant and sensitizer. These include DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, quaternium 15, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate and bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol). Other preservatives that may also cause reactions include the parabens, methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone.

After five minutes of research, I'm afraid to wash my hair.

September 9th, 2008, 04:48 PM
:bigeyes: but I love VO5...I have 4 bottles in my shower right now!!!

September 9th, 2008, 05:00 PM
I think almost anything in too large of quantities can be considered carcinogenic. Like the rats being injected with it, compared to our body mass, the fact that we are not injecting it, the fact that we rinse stuff off. The effects are or should be pretty minimal. Not that I am discounting the theories entirely, and you should never use something that you are uncomfortable with, but still do not get too freaked out by studies like that. I remember reading an article about sugar sunstitutes causing cancer in lab rats, then I went back and looked and the amounts the rats were given would have been equivalent to most people eating about 2.5 pounds of the stuff, which is not very likely.

September 9th, 2008, 05:06 PM
Does your mom ever offer any sources or even reasons for saying these things?

September 9th, 2008, 05:06 PM
Um... having kept pet ratties I can say that if you look sideways at them they develop cancer. Females, especially, are INCREDIBLY prone to it.

Not only that, but what quantities and concentration were the injections? What was the frequency? Like everything else I would bet money that typical cosmetic usage of the product would not provide the chemical in sufficient enough quantities to cause damage, especially since it is topically applied. Tylenol can kill you if you take enough - life's about assessing risk and based on what I know of chemistry and shampoo formulations I DOUBT there is any significant risk. The presence of an ingredient is not enough to incriminate it, especially if without the chemical the product would host bacteria that would most certainly be more dangerous than the preservative, itself.

It is also one of the LAST ingredients listed, meaning it is present in the smallest quantity. I know to make homemade shampoos and preserve them it is often less than a 4 drops of bacterial inhibitor (like parabens) per cup of product. Miniscule when you consider that you rinse it away, anyway. Our skin is permeable, but it is also our first and arguably strongest barrier against infection, disease, environmental hazards, etc etc. I would wonder if ANY could get into your bloodstream through normal application and use.

Point is, don't be TOO scared :) If you're worried about it obviously there are other things to try, but I am one of those 'ate sushi and lunchmeat while pregnant, likes raw-egg caesars' sort of gals, on my scale of risk assessment a POSSIBLE carcinogen topically for a few minutes doesn't worry me.

If it did I'd CERTAINLY never use nail polish remover!

September 9th, 2008, 05:09 PM
The first two are total nonsense, as most of this board proves.

As for the carcinogens, I've given up worrying about them. Back in the '70s there was a lot of hoopla about coffee, tomatoes and bacon being carcinogenic. I haven't heard another word about it since 1975! :silly:

September 9th, 2008, 05:27 PM
I don't know where the first two have come from. Although I must confess I tend not to put my hair up when it is wet, only damp. Hair is at its most delicate when wet. I'm sure there is nothing true about the conditoner one, the only draw back is if it isn't rinsed out properly you'll have greasy hair.

Regarding VO5. I haven't heard about the cancer link, but anything chemical is bad. I tend to go by my nose. If it smells too strong, I do not use it. If it smells too strong it will leave my skin in red blotches which I do not like. I have recently purchased a shampoo that is both colourless and odourless. Pure heaven.

Regarding the food and drink issue.

Coffee = caffeine = which can be used to control asthma. Not heard about the cancer link. Will give sleepless nights though! Caffeine is a stimulant.

Bacon - vegetarian - so wouldn't touch the stuff anyway. There is always the debate about meat though, especially if it is the fatty stuff being bad for you. Again I haven't heard of the cancer link.

Tomatoes - that is surprising. Here we have been told that tomatoes are actually anti-carcinogenic.

September 9th, 2008, 05:32 PM
You know - when you rinse the stuff out of your hair, it goes wherever your water goes. It's still in the environment and could thus still be a carcinogen.

September 9th, 2008, 05:52 PM
... but anything chemical is bad.

This I have to disagree with. Just because something is "chemical" doesn't make it inherently bad. :)

September 9th, 2008, 07:04 PM
This I have to disagree with. Just because something is "chemical" doesn't make it inherently bad. :)

Exactly...especially since I'm sitting here drinking one of my favourite chemicals - H2O.

September 9th, 2008, 07:17 PM
There's been a lot of hullabaloo in recent years about Disodium EDTA, so maybe that was your Mom's red flag? Still, many things are carcinogenic in very high doses but perfectly safe in low doses. Nutmeg is a perfect example.

As well, there was a hullabaloo for a little while about "dihydrogen monoxide" (AKA good ol' water.) Some of the pages still exist even after the whole hoax was explained to the people who got caught up in it. People like to panic about things. It's up to us to decide which concerns we want to take to heart and which ones are a little more benign than people are letting on. :)

September 9th, 2008, 07:39 PM
Kunibob, you have a GREAT point. I was amazed at all the 'safe and natural' things I had to avoid in large doses while pregnant - we're talking chamomile tea and the like - because they can all have negative effects on the body in certain doses or circumstances.

Everything in moderation is still perhaps the best adage around. Especially in cases like this it is quite true.

September 9th, 2008, 08:32 PM
The conditioner one interests me, for various reasons i've been back to CO washing much more lately and my shedding has increased dramatically. I've also noticed some other members say that if they get conditioner on their scalps they shed more. But i can't work out why as it doesn't seem brand specific.....just with "conditioner".
As for the cancer thing.....alot of things seem to give us cancer, i think it's possible to get too paranoid, that said, i do personally prefer to stick with hair and skin products made from ingredients that have been around for a very long time.....but that's less about chemicals and more about spirituality for me.

September 9th, 2008, 08:37 PM
I really detest these types of rumor and hype, and that people still spew them. The first two are wrong, simple as that.

The third? Eh...... but to toggle out V05 as cancer spawn is rediculous. the ingredients contained therein are comparable to just about any other conditioner (and their shampoos to others incidentally) bought on supermarket shelves.

I can't remember specifics (and i'm too lazy to look it up ha!) however it was about five years ago when V05 got targeted...... why? Guess who was doing it........ mmhmm, a pricey brand of shampoo.

No one likes the 99 cent bargain when we could be spending on their products. Tisk.

September 9th, 2008, 09:22 PM
False, False and False.

Your mom may have heard these things somewhere but they have no foundation.

All safe.

September 11th, 2008, 07:28 AM
I could explain the formaldehyde carcinogenicity (and other chemicals) debate, but it would take me a few thousand words to explain chemical pathways etc in complete detail. So, this is the abbreviated argument to address all chemistry-related debates.

The #1 factor overlooked in arguments relating to toxicity/carcinogenicity/adverse effects in general is dose; the second most overlooked fact is the manner of absorption.

Eating half a kilo of table salt could kill you; drinking too much water can kill you; and if you like fruit and vegies a bit too much, you might actually suffer toxic effects from Vitamin A! The thing is, most of us simply wouldn't consume that much. Many of the animal studies produce results that demonstrate carcinogenicity or toxicity, but they've ramped up the dose well beyond what humans would feasibly consume or be exposed to. Furthermore, animal models are not always a good indicator of responses in humans - 1ug/kg of 2,3,7,8-TCCD (that's 0.001mg/kg) can kill a guineapig, but it takes 1200mg/kg to kill 50% of hamsters tested, yet depending on the breed, it might take only 30mg/kg to kill 50% of dogs tested (otherwise known as the TD50). ((For the record, the expected toxicity dose in humans is quite high - I just can't put my finger on the figure at this second)). Therefore, extrapolating animal models to human toxicity levels (which is what we do given we can't test on humans) doesn't always give a sensible result.

Means of absorption is also important. 1mL of particularly potent snake venom could kill dozens of people intravenously, but you could drink a shotglass of the same venom and have little more than an upset stomach - and if you had unbroken skin you could stick your arm in a vat of it and experience nothing. There's a big hoo-hah about dioxins and other carcinogens on barbecued meat - dioxins are of biggest concern when inhaled, not eaten. You've got more to worry about when barbecuing meat if you live in SE Asia and are using arsenic-laden peat and coal in your open fire. This is because the method of chemical reaction those toxins take, the metabolism they might undergo and even the molecule size will all dictate what happens. So unless you plan to drink your conditioner, I wouldn't be too worried.

This all said and done, as spidermom mentioned, some of these chemicals will make their way into the environment and can be rather persistent, allowing absorption through unexpected pathways. There are plenty of chemicals that were liberally used before their toxicity/carcinogenicity/teratogenicity/mutagenicity/ozone depleting capacity was known and have since been taken out of production - things like benzene and formaldehyde were happily used in the general labs in my lecturers' lifetimes, but would never be handed to a student now. However, there is a saddening level of fearmongering out there about anthropogenic chemicals and I'm sick of hearing unsubstantiated and/or disproportionate claims that are intentionally misleading in order to move products. I'm all for "natural" alternatives that are demonstrated to a) work, and b) be safe, but if they are neither of these things then there's just no point in buying them, either; and if the lab-based product works and is safe, why avoid it?

(Okay, there are environmental, financial and social reasons for avoiding working, consumer-safe products, but that's a WHOLE new can of worms).

So in regard to the VO5 question: if it's from a large company and is on the shelves, chances are it passes known safety criteria. Smaller (backyard to small-batch factory) manufacturers are more questionable, because they might slip under the radar with less than safe products and plenty of niche companies do not follow correct ingredient labelling procedures, or undertake rigorous batch quality testing.

In regard to the conditioner and hair loss question: if you're a COer, and you are sensitive or allergic to an ingredient, it might cause scalp inflammation and some hair loss, but otherwise no.

Tying up your hair when wet: wet hair is more susceptible to damage, so handling is important. Styling wet hair inappropriately can stretch it and place tensile stress on it, fracturing and weakening it in the long run. Pulling wet hair back tightly can, in theory, cause some hair loss as the hair shrinks as it dries, but tying dry hair back too tightly can do that too (hell, I had thinning temples as a teenager because of it). Careful handling and avoiding strain and tension would make tying hair back when wet quite safe.

*Phew*, long post. Now if only I could submit THIS instead of my three actual assignments tomorrow :p

September 13th, 2008, 05:40 PM
Mmk I've had some wonderings about some hair advice my mom gives me and I wonder if they are true. If there's any place to go to it would be here. These are all from my mom and I'm wondering if you guys could answer

Here we go

-Tying up your hair when it is wet will make it fall out/weak (even clipping and hairstick gosh I hope not)

Tying up your hair when it is wet will not make it fall out. When hair is wet, it is more easily damaged than when it is dry. This is true whether you tie it up or not. You can choose to tie it up, just be careful when you do it.

-Using conditioner too much will make your hair fall out (I hope not >_> I love CO)
Some scalps are sensitive to conditioner not made for scalp skin, and some scalps aren't. Given that you love CO, I assume your scalp is happy with it. Carry on.

-Alberto V05 is known to be carcinogenic (Ahhh! really hope not!)

I don't know. And I'm not worried about it at all. There are plenty of carcinogens in day-to-day life in modern society. All you can do is make personal choices on what healthy practices you'll adopt and what unhealthy ones you'll avoid. Mainstream conditioners don't even make a blip on the overall radar screen.

July 4th, 2009, 08:25 PM
Alright I realized that I got some really good feedback from this thread and got some ideas cleared up and I never got the chance to thank you all for the answers to my burning questions.

Truth is, I come and go on LHC, coming mainly in the summer time and going usually when school starts, and yesh, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you. :flower:

July 4th, 2009, 08:35 PM
i think v05 causes cancer in the same way that red m&m's cause cancer :D

July 4th, 2009, 09:15 PM
I just thought I'd share that I'm allergic to the formaldehyde releasing preservatives, such as (DMDM Hydandoin, Diadnozyl Urea, etc.) It took me ages to figure this out, as they tend to be in things that are made for sensitive skin. When I use them for a while, I get so sensitive that my skin/scalp can't handle anything anymore for a while until it calms down.

So, for those other sensitive's out there:

If you can handle suave, but not VO5 for CO, it could be you have the same allergy.

July 4th, 2009, 10:21 PM
Tomatoes are great for your prostate ;)