Since my hair began to make an appearance once more, lots of people have very kindly pointed me in the direction of all manner of hair products that pretty much promise to turn me into a Rapunzel lookalike in a matter of days. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit there. Maybe.
However, it did get me thinking. And googling. You see, I tend to believe that most things are best left to nature. But then again if I took that approach with cancer I would be dead. So what do I know? Obviously my guts cannot always be relied upon. Instead, I decided research was the way to go.
Nioxin is mentioned a lot when it comes to hair regrowth. You can buy it easily enough and many hair salons even offer it as a post chemo treatment. So I looked it up on Google. I typed ‘Nioxin’ into the search field and in the drop down menu that followed ‘Nioxin ingredients toxicity’ popped up. Obviously I clicked it. And this was the first hit. Alarming, isn’t it? Especially this bit:
‘Please Note: Friends of the Earth, Health Care Without Harm, the Environmental Working Group and the Breast Cancer Fund have formed a coalition in an effort to convince the cosmetics industry to stop using certain chemicals in everyday consumer products, chemicals known or suspected of causing cancer, birth defects and other negative health effects. 1,4-dioxane, often called dioxane is one of these chemicals. This a byproduct of the process (ethoxylation) used to convert sodium laurel sulfate into sodium laureth sulfate. There is a concern that the sodium laureth sulfate in some Nioxin products may be contaminated with dioxane. The manufacturer neither confirms nor denies the presence of this contaminant.’
There also seem to be quite a few dermatitis type side effects listed elsewhere which, given my propensity to such things, makes it seem like a really bad idea. I do not much like the idea of DNA changing ingredients either. So one to give a miss to, I think.
Another major contender in the encouraging regrowth is Regaine. I found it very difficult to track down the ingredients to this product. And I am always suspicious when companies are not upfront about what goes into their wares. Eventually I did find them listed and while Regaine does not contain parabens – hurrah – it does contain Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT). Which you just know is going to be another nasty, don’t you? Well, a potential nasty at any rate. Take a read of this:
‘Long-term exposure to high doses of BHT is toxic in mice and rats, causing liver, thyroid and kidney problems and affecting lung function and blood coagulation. BHT can act as a tumour promoter in certain situations. Limited evidence suggests that high doses of BHT may mimic estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, and prevent expression of male sex hormones, resulting in adverse reproductive affects.’
Now, it is true that I am not a mouse. Or a rat. But I really do not like the sound of that. Admittedly I found this quote on a website that is fairly unhelpful in listing its references so it was hard to check up on the quoted research. However, this website lays out the case both for and against BHT as a carcinogen. It is well referenced and clearly shows why there is controversy regarding this ingredient. Personally, I will choose to avoid any product with BHT, or its close friend Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), as I really do not want to put stuff either on my head or body that I am unsure of.
So on the whole, I think I am going down the au naturel route. My hair will grow in its own sweet time. It is true that the Captain has taken to calling me Stan. As in Laurel. He seems to think my fuzzy bits on top and lack around the sides give me a Laurel-esque look. But if I am Laurel, that makes him the rather more rotund Hardy. So that would be another nice mess I’ve gotten him into!