What’s That Mean?! Misused Phrases In The Natural Hair World
Hello everyone! I’ve noticed that out here in these natural hair streets, quite a few words/phrases get either misused, or misinterpreted. This annoys me to no end! Using certain terms outside of their meaning and/or perpetuating the wrong meaning is just confusing! Not to mention the advertising mumbo-jumbo some companies use to dance around telling us what’s in their products or how exactly their products work (That’s a side-eye for another day). Anyway, I’ve decided to clear up a few of the most common misused words or phrases relating to natural hair.
1. “All-natural” – With just a little research, it’s pretty easy to learn that in the cosmetic industry, “All-natural” doesn’t really mean ‘ALL-natural’. Take a look at the ingredient labels of some of your “All-natural” products. Most likely there are some natural ingredients, and some that are … well, not. The term ‘natural’ is not actually regulated or restricted in any way, which means that companies can legally attach the term ‘natural’ to whichever product they want. Most companies at least include natural ingredients in the formula (or ‘naturally derived’ ingredients. That’s another story), but “ALL-natural”? That’s most likely an exaggeration.
2. “Naturally derived” – The idea is that a “Naturally derived” ingredient is gentler than one that isn’t. Lots of companies take full advantage of this, and it’s annoying. The truth is that almost EVERYTHING is “Naturally derived”, and this fact has very little to do with whether they are gentle or not. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (one of the harsher surfactants out there), is “derived” from coconut oil.
Please Note: I’m not saying that all “naturally derived” ingredients are bad or harmful. I’m simply saying that in the grand scheme of things, that label really doesn’t provide us as consumers with any useful information. It’s simply used to put consumers at ease.
3. “Chemical free” – okay, I know y’all really want to be “chemical free” and use “chemical free” products, but I have to tell you … there is no such thing. It’s true! “Chemical free” does not exist! Before we go any further, let’s remember that just because something is a chemical doesn’t mean it is bad/harmful. Chemicals are all around us! Our bodies are made from chemicals, our brain couldn’t send signals without chemicals, we need to drink a chemical (dihydrogen monoxide, or water) to live! When people or companies usually say “Chemical free”, they generally mean synthetic chemicals (not found in nature), or maybe they mean specific types of chemicals, in which case they typically will say “sulfate free” or “paraben free”. Bottom line, stop saying your natural hair is “chemical free” ladies and gentlemen! That phrase makes absolutely no sense in the world we live in! ^_^
These are the 3 most commonly misused phrases that I’ve seen, are there any you all can think of? Leave them in the comments below!