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What Synthetic Products Can Do to Your Hair and Cancer Risk, and What You Should Use Instead

Fox News reports that the danger posed by hair dyes and straighteners is far from superficial. A Rutgers study linked the risk of developing breast cancer to dark colored hair dyes and chemical relaxers. Add these to the long list toxic cosmetic products that should be avoided.

If you use common commercial hair products, you're slathering your scalp with chemicals with a witch’s brew of chemicals. Several years back, many people were shocked to learn that even Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo contained toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. Shampoos and hair dyes commonly contain endocrine disruptors, which are chemicals known to interfere with development and reproduction; they also may cause serious neurological and immune system effects.

The good news is there is a simple and natural alternative. Whether your aim is to condition, moisturize, detangle, stimulate growth or banish dandruff, coconut oil may just be the fix that your hair needs. Coconut oil is an incredibly versatile and effective hair care product.

Those with long and/or curly hair will surely enjoy using coconut oil as a detangler. Simply massage the warmed oil from roots to the tips, using a comb or hair pick to smooth out the tangles. Because it's 100 percent natural, it won't leave any residue or cause any long-term damage to your hair.

When it comes to hair care, coconut oil's advantage over other organic oils is that it penetrates faster and deeper. This makes it an excellent medium for mixing your all-natural hair coloring, as it can give your hair a more vibrant color that will not fade quickly. Follow these steps:

1. Warm the coconut oil (following steps 1 and 2 above), until it is completely melted.

2. Add in the coloring herbs and apply the mixture to your hair as you normally would.

3. Once the color has set, use a natural shampoo and lukewarm water to remove the excess oil and colorant.

4. Use a shower cap or towel to wrap your hair and leave it on overnight.

If you're looking for an alternative to toxic personal care products, it doesn't get much better than an otherwise health-promoting food. The naturally-occurring saturated fat in coconut oil has many amazing health benefits as well.

Coconut oil’s high lauric acid content is largely responsible for its health promoting properties. About 50 percent of coconut oil is lauric acid. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoa properties. This may also help explain its potent healing powers when used topically for skin and scalp issues.

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