So if you follow any pages associated with natural hair or follow natural hair gurus on YouTube, you've probably been hearing the tea that Eco Styler gel is cancelled. I've used Eco Styler gel since I first went natural 3 years ago, so I felt it was only fair that I sit down with ya'll and discuss my thoughts on this "controversy." Okay, so let's go back to the beginning. This mini movement to cancel Eco gel began about a week ago when popular natural hair YouTuber Bri Hall posted this video:
As Bri Hall states in the video, her content was inspired by an older video, which I watched a while back, where another YouTuber broke down the ingredients in Eco Styler gel and claimed that some of them are carcinogenic. Her channel is called AlopeciaFreeWithJass, and this is her original video:
Both videos mention the potentially harmful ingredients present in Eco's large line of gels, claiming these ingredients are in almost all of their products and that the products should be "cancelled" and replaced with more natural gels that do not include the same harmful, and possibly cancer causing, ingredients.
Let me start off by saying this: I am a huge fan of Bri Hall and think her content is great. I don't think either of these women intended any harm in making their videos, in fact I know they posted their content with the intention of spreading important information and helping fellow naturals take better care of themselves. I have nothing negative to say about either of them as people and this post is not meant to be an attack on them or their content in any way.
Okay, so...how do I put this delicately....
The "Cancel Eco Styler" movement is complete BS.
There, I said it.
I'm not a scientist. I wasn't a Bio major in college. So don't take my opinions as gospel. I'm just speaking from common sense and my own understanding of the situation based on having read and watched things from BOTH sides of this issue.
The ingredients that are in Eco Styler gels...are in most of your hair products. They're in the other gels you're considering switching to. And they're also in the processed food you eat, your drinks, and many other items you're probably blissfully unaware of. The only way to eliminate this from your hair routine specifically would be to go the DIY route and make all your hair products yourself. There is nothing wrong with this and I admire people who are willing to put in the time, effort, and extra money to make this happen. However, this is not realistic for all naturals.
If you think buying products for your natural hair is expensive now, you should see how expensive it is to make some of these DIY shampoos, hair butters, and gels. You can easily rack up $100 on Amazon trying to get all the essential oils and all natural soaps and butters required to make this stuff. And that's not counting the BPA-free containers, baking mixers, blenders, and other incidental things you may not have lying around that you would also have to buy. And after all that work, you will then have created a product with no preservatives in it, which means it has a VERY short shelf life. With refrigeration, it'll last two weeks at most, so you have to use up whatever you made by then, and then you're back to step one as far as buying ingredients to make more of it. This isn't true of all products -- flaxseed gel, for example, is very cheap and quick to make. I'm talking about DIY-ing your entire natural hair routine -- your shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, and styling items. That would require an enormous amount of effort on your part.
This is an unpopular opinion and I acknowledge that. I feel like the "revelations" regarding Eco Styler are just another part of the cancel culture we're currently in. Finding out anything unsavory about anyone or anything becomes immediate grounds for a boycott or cancellation, often without any search for context or further info from the loudest voices in the group. There are plenty of others trying to counter the anti-Eco bandwagon by explaining that the ingredients in question are in low concentrations, and that they have not been conclusively proven to cause cancer in anybody, but those voices are getting shouted down by the majority, particularly on larger social media platforms like Twitter.
If you are like me and you love Eco Styler gel, and find that it works for your hair, you're not a bad person for wanting to continue to use it. I have a large tub of the olive oil variation of this gel and you'd best believe I intend on using all of it, and buying more when it's done. Will I try other gels that have healthier ingredients? Sure, I'm always trying new products because I'm a blogger and because I like to experiment. Am I going to yell at people I see using Eco Styler and tell them they're giving themselves cancer when that may not even be true? Absolutely not. I suggest everyone do the research and read into the ingredients in their favorite items. Don't jump on a bandwagon because your favorite YouTuber said something, go online and find this information yourself, and decide on your own whether you think a product is worth the risk or not. It is a personal, INDIVIDUAL choice, not something you should decide based on what your fave said on social media.
Were you a fan of Eco Styler gel before the recent controversy? Will you continue using it now? Let me know in the comments and on the Scared Curly Facebook page. Let's get a discussion going!