To learn more about the potentially harmful chemicals in many popular beauty products, watch our three part episode of Exploring Your Health. 

Silent Spring Institute found many chemicals in the Black hair products they tested. We couldn’t list them all by name in our Harmful Beauty stories because of time limitations, so we created this downloadable PDF of the potentially toxic ingredients. 

We also featured the LA-based advocacy organization Black Women for Wellness in our stories. They created their own list of harmful ingredients, a card women can keep in their wallets to use while they shop. Here’s that link. 


Searching for less toxic beauty and home products can be overwhelming and time-consuming, but there are plenty of online resources that have already done the research. With these resources, it has never been easier to find what is safe for your health and beauty routine.

  • An extensive guide to safe products can be found at Gimme the Good Stuff. Their mission is to be a simple resource for parents to have a healthy home. They create guides for products ranging from baby food to sunscreen, and have products for every cabinet in your home.

  • A resource that doesn’t only let you know that a product may be hazardous, but also educates you on why, is Good Guide. Their system rates products on a scale of 1-10 based on the ingredients in the product and their scientific history. The site also allows you to click on an ingredient and learn about the reported effects and restrictions that exist.

  • The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit that has created their own label to further clarify the safety of cosmetics and cleansers to the consumer. One of their standards to earning their label is to fully list all components when the ingredient “fragrance” is listed. Their personal care database lists many beauty, baby, and men’s products that have earned their EWG Verified™ label.

Want to try your hand at making your own hair care products?

While the internet can be overflowing with so many recipes and DIYs, here are some recipes that are simple to follow, and that can always be customized to suit your personal needs.

  • For those with textured hair, Naturally Curly is a great resource that has solutions to many curly-hair difficulties. When looking for a simple conditioning mask, this collection of recipes only requires a few ingredients, a hair cap, and a few hours to set in.

  • If you are looking for more than just moisture treatments, here are some recipes from LeafTV for shampoos, conditioners, and natural growth stimulators that can be prepared in less than thirty minutes. It is fascinating how useful that bottle of olive or coconut oil can be.