Healthier Hair Products & Avoiding Cancer from Dyes and Relaxers

Today’s topic is inspired by the recent study showing chemicals on the hair, specifically treatments and dyes, increase risk of cancer (more on that below). So we’re talking about our favorite healthier hair products (that actually work).


I’ve been tinkering with healthier hair products since my tween was a newborn. I’m thrilled to have moved passed the “no poo” phase, though admittedly, I like to wash my hair as seldom as possible. In this decade-long quest, I’ve tried a LOT of products. As Ariel would say…
look at this stuff, isn’t it neat
wouldn’t you think my (hair) collection’s complete
wouldn’t you think I’m the girl who has everything…
looking around wouldn’t you think, she’s got everything
I’ve got whoseitsandwhatsit galore
but, I want moooooooore (days between washing)

Why don’t I wash my hair everyday, other than laziness? Unlike your body and face, that benefit from daily washing, if you shampoo every day, it will strip your scalp of all its natural oils and can lead to either excess oil production (oily hair) or dry, brittle hair that is more easily damaged.

But, despite my valiant efforts to not look like a dirty teenager, nothing I tried from the “all natural” camp worked for me. So, it is with a LOT of trial that I am confident in these recommendations that truly perform the way I wanted from my previous toxic-laden products. Are they perfect? No. Are they better? Absolutely. And I’m all about not letting perfection be the enemy of good.


Here are our recommendations, most can be found in our Amazon store and are shown in the picture above from left to right:
  • Beautycounter Style Sea Salt Spray
    This is the base product I use and what elongates the washing period the best for me. I spray the salt both at the roots for a shield to oil and at the ends of the hairs to scrunch up for body and texture.
  • Rahua Control Cream Freestyle Texturizer
    If you have curl or frizz, this control cream gives body and hold – apply to the roots and scrunch upwards towards the root.
  • No Nothing Very Sensitive Super Strong Hairspray
    Finally, a hair spray without fragrance that works! SRSLY!
  • Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo, unscented
    I am SO excited to share this reader-find with you all, I’ve been using it for about 6 weeks and LOVE it! I apply this on day one after my hair has dried, and doing so allows me to go a 4th day without washing – by applying the dry shampoo before your hair is even dirty, it provides a protective layer and gives the hair good body and texture. It does leave a bit of a white cast if applied too heavily, but that’s why I recommend the below tool.
  • SumiEco Hair Scalp Massager Shampoo Brush
    This is the magic, must-have secret to my dry shampoo success. For how long did I sprinkle on powders (see below) only to have to try to “rub in” and reduce white cast. No longer! This brush blends in the powder instantly while giving the hair great lift and volume.
  • Primally Pure Texturizing Dry Shampoo
    The only clean-ingredient dry shampoo I know of that comes in a range of colors, so if you have dark hair, I recommend you try this one first – but the tool above is a MUST! (REALEVERYTHING10 for 10% off)
  • Hair Dance Dry Shampoo Volume Powder, Lavender
  • Hair Dance Dry Shampoo Volume Powder, Grapefruit
    I don’t know how or why I came across these powders, but what I love,  beyond their clean ingredients, is the tapered nozzle. It makes application so easy and precise!
  • Innersense Refresh Dry Shampoo
    Alright, I’ll admit. This is a weird one. I use it specifically when my hair is curly and dry. The formula is a liquid, that dries upon application as a powder. It’s crazy cool, but would not work for someone with hair that’s been blown or styled since the wetness will change the texture. It’s a great tool for those who wear their hair curly!



Have you heard about the recent study that linked increased risk of breast cancer to hair chemicals, specifically permanent relaxers and dye?
In summary:
  • A study of 46,709 women, found that women who regularly used permanent hair dye in the year prior to enrolling in the study were 9% more likely than women who didn’t use hair dye to develop breast cancer.
  • Among African American women, using permanent dyes every five to eight weeks or more was associated with a 60% increased risk of breast cancer as compared with an 8% increased risk for white women.
  • Women who used hair straighteners at least every five to eight weeks were about 30% more likely to develop breast cancer regardless of race.
  • Little to no increase in breast cancer risk for semi-permanent or temporary dye use.


  1. Use less! Frequency of use was the biggest factor in this study, so reduce your exposure by treating less often.
  2. Switch to semi-permanent (temporary) hair color. Though I do not currently color my hair, I have personally used Organic Color Systems temporary color. I personally love that it fades out and doesn’t leave a harsh line as your hair grows. And you can apply it more often if you want a permanent effect. This brand is in salons only. You’ll need to type in “Organic Color Systems Near Me” to the google search bar to find one.
  3. If you like to lighten (because this requires permanent bleaching) your hair, switch to Balayage. In this technique, stylists apply color onto the hair free form, so the hair stylist avoids touching your scalp. Most salons can do this for you, or look for good reviews in your area.
  4. don’t recommend henna. I did this for a couple years and unless you’re using a henna which also has chemical dyes in it, the color is impossibly unpredictable. Reapplication recommendation is at least 3 months, so those trying to cover greys will have their hair grow out long before it’s time to color again. It also cannot have lighteners or other chemicals applied on top of the hair after use, so you’ll need to cut and grow out your hair if you ever want to switch.

p.s. this is an awesome deal to share with family & friends!

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