As we all know, shampoos are an essential part of our daily hair care routine. However, not all shampoos are created equal. Some contain harmful chemicals that can damage your hair in the long run. They can also contribute to poor scalp health, causing it to dry out and/or create excess oil. Here are the top 5 ingredients to avoid in shampoos:
- Sulfates – Sulfates are a common ingredient in shampoos that create the lather and foam we all love. However, sulfates can strip your hair of natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. The most common sulfates you need to stay away from are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS). Keep in mind, all hair is different and certain fabrics may require a harsher soap to penetrate and clean. Even the strongest hair fabrics could benefit from a less harsh sulfate.
- Parabens – Parabens are used as preservatives in many shampoos, but they have been linked to breast cancer and hormone disruption. The parabens used most commonly in cosmetics are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben.
- Silicones – Silicones are used in shampoos to create a smooth, silky feel to the hair. However, they can build up on the hair over time, leaving it looking dull and lifeless. Clarifying your hair once a week can help with this build up immensensely. We are not completely opposed to all silicones, as some are water soluble. Some of the ones you want to try to avoid are dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and amodimethicone. Some water soluble silicones are, dimethicone copolyol, lauryl methicone copolyol, and any silicone with PEG as a prefix.
- Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is often used in shampoos as a preservative. However, it is a known carcinogen and can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. The most common ones you will see listed are DMDM Hydantoin and Diazolidinyl urea which will release formaldehyde.
- Alcohol – Short-chain alcohols are often used in some hair products for their drying effect. They evaporate quickly which may be helpful in some regard, but that drying can whisk away the moisture that your hair needs. Stay away from alcohol denat., isopropyl alcohol, and ethyl alcohol.
- Salt – Sodium chloride, which you may know better as table salt, is used as a thickener in shampoos and conditioners containing sodium lauryl sulfate. Sodium Chloride may also be the cause of dry and itchy scalp in addition to hair loss.
It’s important to read the labels on your shampoos and avoid these harmful ingredients. There are many natural and organic shampoos available that are free from these harmful chemicals and are better for your hair and overall health.
If you need any help analyzing your products at home, please feel free to email a picture of the ingredients list to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you determine if it is the right product for your hair.