Avoid These Chemicals in Hair Wax
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Avoid These Chemicals in Hair Wax

Over one-third of hair waxes in our test contain problematic chemicals. We guide you on which substances to avoid and which products are free from unwanted chemicals.

Katja Ravn · Foto: Getty Images · 11. april 2024

You might use hair wax every morning to style your hair, and that brings you into close contact with the substances in the hair wax. 

In our test, you can see which chemicals to avoid and find a good choice of hair wax that's free from unwanted chemicals. 

Avoid Parabens in Hair Wax 

Some of the unwanted substances you can avoid are parabens. Parabens are a larger group of substances, that are suspected endocrine disrupters.  

In our test, seven products contain parabens, mainly in the form of methylparaben and ethylparaben. Therefore, they get the lowest rating, the C-rating. 

We also found butylparaben in a hair wax, a substance that is classified as a suspected endocrine disrupter for humans and is on the EU's list of Substances of Very High Concern, also known as the Candidate List. 

One Hair Wax with a non-degradable substance 

A popular hair wax in our test is ID Hair Extreme Titanium, which is the most scanned hair wax in our app Kemiluppen.  

It contains cyclopentasiloxane, which is both environmentally damaging and suspected of being an endocrine disrupter. 

The substance is also on the EU's list of Substances of Very High Concern. Moreover, the EU is working on new regulations where the substance will be allowed only at concentrations of 0.1% in products. This is because the substance has a poor biodegradability and can accumulate in the environment. 

This means that only a tiny amount of the substance will be allowed in cosmetics and personal care products in the future. 

You can also find hair wax from ID Hair that's free from unwanted chemicals like cyclopentasiloxane. In our test, ID Hair Sensitive Xclusive receives the best rating, the A-rating, because it's free from unwanted chemicals. 

Here Are Good Choices of Hair Wax  

The hair wax test gives you a good opportunity to find hair wax that's free from unwanted chemicals. By choosing a top-rated product, you can avoid substances that can cause allergies or are suspected endocrine disrupters. 

The Nordic Swan label and allergy labels are found on many of the products with the best rating. However, there are also hair waxes with the top rating that don't have these labels. 

These 15 hair waxes are free from unwanted chemicals: 

  • Apotekets, Mud Wax Medium Hold 
  • Clean Up, Wax 8 
  • Derma, Man Mud Wax 
  • Gun-Britt, Mud Wax 
  • Hairdo!, Organics Mudwax 
  • ID Hair, Sensitive Xclusive 
  • Ingredien, Concrete Paste Hardcore Wax Fragrance-Free 
  • Matas, Hard Mud Wax 
  • Olivias Tryllesalve, Augusts Tryllevoks 
  • PARK, Paste 
  • Pure & Simple, Wax 
  • Rema 1000, Fragrance-Free Hair Wax Soft 
  • Stuhr, Styling Wax 
  • ZENZ Organic, Styling Paste Pure No. 06 
  • Änglamark, Mud Wax 

Problematic Chemicals Can Contribute to an Undesirable Cocktail  

It's important to remember that suspected endocrine disrupters in hair wax aren't problematic for your health on their own.  

However, cosmetic products like hair wax can contribute to your overall exposure to suspected endocrine disrupters. It's the cumulative risk, known as the "cocktail effect," that's a concern. 

Unwanted chemicals can come from many different sources in your daily life, such as food, indoor air, clothing, and personal care products. It's a good idea to avoid these substances when possible. 

When you choose products with the A-rating in our test, you're contributing to a daily life without unwanted chemicals for yourself and those around you. 

About the test

  • The test was conducted by The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals in the spring of 2024. We purchased 43 different types of hair wax from Danish stores and online. 

    We examined the ingredient lists on the hair wax for content of problematic chemicals. This includes substances suspected of being endocrine disrupters or causing allergies. 

    We sent the results to the companies for verification to ensure the products are current and to ask if they have any comments on the test. 

  • In the test, 43 hair waxes receive the following ratings: 

    • 15 hair waxes receive the best rating, the A-rating. They are free from various unwanted chemicals. 
    • 10 hair waxes receive a moderate rating, the B-rating. They contain, for example, perfume, which can cause allergy. 
    • 18 hair waxes receive the worst rating, the C-rating. They allergenic preservatives or suspected endocrine disrupters.  

    Among the good choices, there are many hair waxes with ecolabel and allergy labels, but also several without. 

    These Substances Lead to the C-Rating:  

    We found different ingredients that trigger the C-rating. These are substances that are suspected endocrine disrupters, environmentally problematic (non-degradable), or allergenic preservatives. 

  • We found suspected endocrine disrupters in 17 products: 

    • Parabens (preservatives) were found in 7 hair waxes in the test, with methylparaben in 6 products, ethylparaben in 5 products, propylparaben in 4 products, sodium methylparaben in 1 product, and butylparaben in 1 product. 
    • BHT (antioxidant) in 7 products. 
    • Benzophenone-4 (UV filter) in 6 products. 
    • Benzyl salicylate (perfume, UV filter) in 5 products. 
    • Cyclopentasiloxane (softening silicone) (also a C for the environment) in 1 product. 
    • Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (UV filter) in 1 product. 
    • Ethylhexyl salicylate (UV filter) in 1 product. 
    • BHA (antioxidant) in 1 product. 
  • We found allergy-inducing preservatives in 4 products: 

    • Diazolidinyl Urea in 2 products. 
    • Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate in 2 products. 
    • DMDM Hydantoin in 1 product. 
    • Imidazolidinyl Urea in 1 product. 
    • 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol in 1 product. 

    Additionally, we found: 

    • Perfume in 27 products. 
    • Plant extracts that can cause allergy in 6 products. 
    • substances that may be problematic to the environment in 16 products. 

    These substances lead to a moderate rating, the B-rating.