"Hypoallergenic" is no doubt a term you've heard myriad times in relation to beauty. Can't find a mascara that doesn't make your eyes water? Try hypoallergenic formula! Easily irritated skin? Hypoallergenic products will fix that! Sound vaguely familiar? It should-- considering the cosmetics (and hair) industry has been using the word for decades now as a way to convince customers "hypoallergenic" products are safer, better regulated and/or have an ingredient list free of harsh chemicals and irritants.
Beauty chemist Ni'Kita Wilson stated in an Allure magazine article that products are not known to trigger allergies anyway. "With that being said, a company may use the term if they conducted patch testing --a test that people volunteer for to have a product applied to their back with a patch (to drive penetration of the product into the skin)," Wilson explained. "This is a standard industry test to determine if the product causes sensitization or other reactions--not necessarily allergic reactions, but any kind of reaction like contact dermatitis," she added.
Bottom line, don't be fooled. Just because the braiding hair says hypoallergenic doesn't mean it's toxic-free. Ask more questions. Read labels (if they exists). Demand for better products and when they are developed--support them.
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