Women who use natural beauty products may be more likely to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle, new research suggests.

According to US surgeon general Regina Benjamin, women who rely on potentially harmful hair care treatments such the use of hair straighteners are less likely to stay fit through exercise compared to those who have low maintenance regimes.

Dr Benjamin pointed out that those who spend hours tending to their hair are also less likely to want to take part in physical activity for fear that it will ruin their hairstyles.

"Often you get women saying, 'I can't exercise today because I don't want to sweat my hair back or get my hair wet'," she said.

"When you're starting to exercise, you look for reasons not to, and sometimes the hair is one of those reasons. I hate to use the word excuse, but that's one of them."

Many women believe moisture and motion can undo all the hard work, time and money they have put into their hair, so they simply forgo maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.

However, women were urged to consider opting for other forms of exercise that enable them to work out their muscles and improve their overall wellbeing without compromising their hairstyles.

Dr Emma Williams of the British Nutrition Foundation pointed out that carrying out simple household chores or going for a brisk walk can be effective forms of exercise that won't make women feel hot and flustered.

Also, using organic shampoo and other natural hair care products will enable women to maintain a healthy hairstyle that is suitable for all types of exercise, while a low maintenance style will save time afterwards.

A recent study published in the Environmental Health Perspective journal found that some chemicals found in shampoos have been linked to behavioral problems and an increased risk of mental and psychomotor problems among children.

Posted by Laura Andrews