Hair, Hair, Everywhere! Parabens
I mentioned on Twitter that Parabens are a definite no-no in hair care products and cosmetics. Let me begin by discussing what exactly parabens are and what they do in cosmetics. Parabens are used in cosmetics as an effective and cheap method of cosmetic preservatives. The trouble with parabens is they have the ability to mimic estrogen in the human body. Since estrogen is a known carcinogen (cancer causing agent), parabens are of major concern.
Cosmetics and personal care products provide pathways into the body and can easily be absorbed once they are slathered unto the body or scalp. Recently, parabens have been found in low concentrations in breast cancer tumors sheding light on the possible harm parabens can cause as endocrine disruptors. The scientific community has not made the official claim parabens pose a health risk likely because the concern is with long term use not just one shampoo.
My verdict: Small amounts of parabens in my shampoos, toothpaste, moisturizers and food additives add up and anywhere I can cut parabens out I will. Better safe than sorry!