Social media's biggest beauty gurus, curly girls and naturalistas have "cancelled" a cult-favorite hair gel of ours, and the internet is absolutely falling apart over it (as am I). In case you haven't heard: Recent research has revealed that EcoStyler Professional Styling Gel uses harmful ingredients that eventually cause hair to be dry, brittle and weak. This is all in addition to causing long-term effects such as scalp, eye and skin irritation, and even cancer. Though this may seem like automatic reason to toss our ginormous $3 containers immediately, like many others, I am still hesitant to throw away such a staple product of my daily hair routine! Is it really time for us to find a new holy grail?
In Bri Hall's Youtube video about EcoStyler, she describes every sketchy ingredient, and talks about her personal experience with a new product of theirs (EcoStyler Gold). The video got tremendous attention, inspiring dozens of Twitter threads, Instagram posts, boycotts, and emotional meltdowns almost instantly. See for yourself below:
When you are a fan of a product, or anything for that matter, it is hard to take in bad news about it (i.e., Kanye West's recent monstrous behavior, but we won't talk about that today), so I gave myself a few days to digest the hype and think about my next steps. Might I add, this digestion period consisted of slick ponytails, prosperous braid-outs, and stay-all-day buns galore, just in case I decided to give up the product for good. After a long, stubborn thought process, here's why I'm deciding to continue using EcoStyler gel, shamelessly:
1. Personally, I have never experienced any of the aforementioned side effects of the product. Being such a long time user, I'm sure if I was effected by any of the short term or long term effects, I would have seen at least a single sign by now. It's been 3+ years and I still have a full head of hair, all of my edges, and have never had a watery eye that wasn't due to my severe seasonal allergies. So, on to the next reason.
2. I am by no means an "organic" kind of girl. The amount of chemicals I encounter, apply to my face, consume, and put in my hair on a daily basis would be Kourtney Kardashian's worst nightmare. If any product does it's job as well as EcoStyler does it's job, it has a thumbs up in my book. A little EcoStyler and a wet hard-brush has never failed me, or my morals. Take a look at your food, mattress, car, or any other daily object
3. It’s important to remember that concentration and exposure type play a huge role in the hazard of an ingredient. Coming into contact with a very small percentage of an ingredient as part of a cosmetic formulation is very different than say, ingesting a large quantity of it or inhaling it in its pure form. Just because an ingredient causes cancer or respiratory problems under these more extreme scenarios, it does not mean that any and all exposures will cause the same negative effects.For example, hydrochloric acid is a deadly substance on its own, and can disintegrate human flesh in just a few seconds; But did you know we house that very same acid in our own stomachs, and can't digest our food without it? The same goes for products we use– some ingredients are simply necessary to get the job done. A Google search of a product's individual ingredient effects is not sufficient enough evidence for me to stop using a product altogether– sorry, not sorry.
4. The price, and the product, just work for me. EcoStyler cost $2 for the smallest container, $5 for a large, and less than $10 for an entire crab-leg-entree-sized pail of gel. In a world full of overpriced natural hair products and products that simply haven't worked for my hair, that's just not a price I'm willing to give up over a bad Youtube review or two.
5. EcoStyler put all of the recent rumors to rest with this statement on Instagram. So seriously, all is well!:
If you have experienced any of the "common" EcoStyler side effects that all of this buzz is about, then by all means, discontinue use of the products immediately; But if you haven't, it is 100% your choice whether or not to keep your container, girl! I for one, will certainly be keeping mine.