Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Healthy Hair Care and the Environment
Request a Hair Care Guide
For an informative guide on the potential health effects from chemicals in hair care products and possible alternatives, contact Jessica Counts-Arnold in EPA's Pollution Prevention program.
Consumers have choices among hair products and styling techniques. The ingredients you apply to your hair have potential effects on your health and the environment.
EPA recognizes the importance of choosing greener products and is working to increase public access to chemical information. In 2011, EPA launched the Greener Products website to help consumers understand what products are less damaging to human health and the environment when compared with competing products and services.
This website and the companion guide support EPA's commitment to ensuring greater transparency in the ingredients in products and to increase public access to chemical information.
In 2008, the Environmental Finance Center (EFC9) received a grant from EPA Region 9 to examine the use of toxic chemicals in African-American hair salons in California. Working with salons and cosmetology schools throughout the state, EFC9 identified chemicals in hair care products that may adversely affect human health and the environment. For example, they identified hormone-containing hair products linked to early puberty in children and higher rates of several different types of cancer in hair salon workers.
An African American Hair Salon Roundtable was convened to discuss the practice, science, regulation and business of the ethnic beauty industry and how EPA could help address the health and environmental impacts of toxic chemicals in hair products. The EFC9 project led to these resources on potential health effects and healthier hair care practices.