Is ECO Styler Gel Cancelled?
If you have curly hair, then you definitely have come across Eco Styler Gel at some point. In the natural hair community, it was the best thing since sliced bread. From the early days of the natural hair movement, Eco Styler was one of the “OG” products that truly worked effectively in kinkier hair textures. And as if it couldn’t get any better, the product was (and still is) inexpensive. A 16 oz. jar usually runs for about $3-5. This, my friends, was the holy grail.
Why past tense, you ask? Well, recent developments in the natural hair community have resulted in major controversy concerning the ingredients inside Eco Styler Gel. If you are not living under a rock, it has been quite difficult to ignore the uproar that has plagued YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and even Tumblr.
So What's the Deal?
What really brought attention to this matter, were the comments and experiences of notable YouTuber and Influencer, Bri Hall (SmartistaBeauty). A couple of weeks ago, Hall uploaded a video titled “ECO Styler Gel is CANCELED!!!,” wherein she detailed her adverse reaction to the company’s newest product release—ECO Gold.
While Bri Hall served as the catalyst, she was not the first to mention these concerns. Looking at the history, people have long before been discussing the “side effects” of Eco Styler. Complaints about flakes, irritated scalp, and damage were floating about the web. However, these videos went largely unnoticed. One of the most notable videos—one in which Hall refers to multiple times in her own video—is by YouTube creator AlopeciaFreeWithJass. This video was uploaded in May of 2017. The main chemical called into question? Triethanolamine or TEA/TEOA, which is known to be a carcinogen and skin irritant.
EcoCo, Inc. has since responded to the controversy. They seem to be reiterating the same thing—their ingredients are FDA approved and that they only use “Cosmetic Grade" TEA, which is supposedly not a carcinogen. The brand also mentions that they “use the lowest produced dose of TEA (Lower concentration version) and of that less than 1% goes into [the] hair gel.”
With all these developments, the natural hair community is divided. Some believe completely cutting the product out is the way to go. Others believe using less of it may be the answer. And another group think things should stay as is.
So What Should You Do?
My advice? Do you boo. Stay conscious, stay up to date, and do your research. But ultimately, know that you are the judge. You decide what is best for you, and what you want to consume. If you love it, keep rocking it! If you hate, toss it in the trash! It is totally up to you.
Personally, as a naturalista myself, I take the middle ground. ECO Styler is cheap, and effective. As many say, “you get what you pay for.” I understand that certain ingredients in their products have the potential to be harmful, however due to it being just trace amounts of said ingredients, it may not be that big of a deal. In the same breath, repeated long term use of this product can possibly prove to be dangerous, so I will be cutting back. I believe EcoCo, Inc. needs to listen to the concerns of their consumers and try to improve their formula, rather than aggressively defending their current one. The way I see it, they stand to lose a lot if they don’t make a change in the coming months. I’m interested to see what will happen next.
So for all you curly queens (or kings!) out there, is ECO Gel cancelled? Tell us what you think in the comments below!