What are Parabens? Why We Only Stock Paraben-Free Products


What is a paraben?

Parabens are a class of compounds called esters (basically, preservatives) used in all sorts of beauty products. They are very effective at preventing bacteria, fungi, and yeast growth, all of which can cause beauty products to go bad.

The typical parabens used in cosmetics and haircare include methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, and propylparaben. Most paraben-containing products include more than one paraben to protect against a broad range of microorganisms and extend the product’s shelf life.

Why are people concerned about parabens?


Parabens have a chemical structure resembling that of estrogen (the female hormone). A 2004 study found that parabens were found in breast cancer tumors, indicating a possible link between the compounds and cancer. Further, since parabens mimic estrogen in our bodies, they’re potential disruptors to our hormones, including our reproductive systems.

The EU makes a distinction between the safety of parabens; sorter-chain parabens, like methylparabens, are less concerning since they’re water soluble and don’t penetrate the skin. The oil or lipid soluble, longer-chain parabens, like isobutyl- and butylparabens however, can penetrate the skin and accumulate in our bodies’ fat deposits, which may lead to problems.


What can we do?

While there is no conclusive evidence that parabens pose a health risk, many beauty brands have chosen to stay on the safe side and go paraben free.

At Reds we feel strongly about promoting and protecting the health of our clients, staff, and the environment. Every product we use has been handpicked for its sulphate, paraben and cruelty free credentials, as well as its efficacy. We proudly stock KEVIN.MURPHY and Eleven hair care and styling products, which have both made the commitment to go completely paraben free.


We can vouch that these brand’s commitment to go paraben free hasn’t come at the expense of quality – or shelf life! You can rest assured that these salon-only, professional, luxury hair care and styling ranges will give you great hair and not risk your health in the process.



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