10 harmful ingredients to avoid in your shampoo & conditioner

Chemical free shampoo

Chemical-based Hair Products

We have been using chemical-based products for years to wash our hair and take care of them. Even though they make our hair shiny and soft, they also damage them and you don’t even know it. Shampoos with chemicals can make your hair feel nice but in the long run, they can also cause serious problems such as dull, dry and damaged hair.

When it comes to hair products, most of us are not very knowledgeable about what’s inside our shampoos and conditioners. We just watch the commercial and buy it blindly! 

Some of the harmful ingredients that may be present in your shampoo and conditioner are sulphates, fragrance, alcohol, parabens, etc. Today, we are going to discuss each harmful ingredient one by one. 

  • Sulphates: 

  • Sulphates are detergents that help remove dirt and excess oil from your hair. But when they bind with sebum, they wash off all the essential oils from your hair and scalp. They can also be very irritable and can cause scalp rashes. Therefore you should always use sulphate-free shampoos.

  • Parabens: 

  • Parabens are preservatives present in shampoos that help prevent fungal contamination and increase hair life. Parabens are present in many types of beauty products and you can also find them in cosmetics, deodorants, sunscreens, toothpaste and shaving cream. If you examine the label on your shampoo bottle, you will most likely find them there too. Parabens have also been linked to hair loss and premature greying.

  • Formaldehyde:

  • Formaldehyde, also known as formalin or methanal, is a colourless, flammable chemical made of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Formaldehyde is most commonly found in hair care products as either a part of an ingredient or as a preservative. Formaldehyde helps preserve products longer by preventing microbial growth and can also serve as an antistatic agent. Formaldehyde, when used in excess, can break down the proteins responsible for making hair strong. The result is thinning of hair or baldness.

  • Alcohol

  • You may not know this, but alcohol is a common ingredient in many shampoos and conditioners. It is very important to know about this ingredient in order to make an informed decision when choosing a shampoo or conditioner. The use of alcohol-based hair products has been known to cause baldness and hair fall. While they provide a rich lather that helps sell the product better, the rich lather can make your hair suffer damages. These alcohols commonly include ethanol or ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol, and benzyl alcohol that might strip off natural oil and nutrients from your scalp and hair.

  • Triclosan

  • Triclosan is a chemical antibacterial agent that can cause hormonal disruptions. This can eventually lead to cancer and other fatal conditions.

  • Synthetic Colours

  • The synthetic colours in shampoos are usually derived from metals such as iron oxide, copper sulphate, aluminium hydroxide or titanium dioxide. They can break the protective barrier of your scalp and hair, which in turn can make your hair sensitive to damage.

  • Sodium Chloride

  • Sodium chloride is an inexpensive ingredient because it is extracted from saltwater. Sodium Chloride can cause the hair to dry out and lose its natural moisture. Some of the symptoms people who have used shampoos that contain sodium chloride have complained of are a dry scalp, hair loss, hair thinning and split ends.

    Sodium Chloride is neither a natural nor a healthy ingredient for human skin. It is also not properly removed by our body so it builds up in our body causing internal damage. For example, if you were to apply soap to your skin and then put it underwater containing soap residue, your skin will absorb that soap and it will end up accumulating inside your body leading to health problems.

    Sodium chloride, also referred to as salt, has been identified as a primary factor in the drying out effects of hard water on hair. It is used in many shampoos and conditioners as a way of regulating and controlling the PH balance of the body.

    The presence of salt and other ingredients in hard water affect the texture of the hair by making it dry, brittle, stiff and lifeless. Hard water also leaves mineral deposits on the scalp which can block hair follicles.

    Clay minerals found in hard water are particularly damaging as they clog the pores on the scalp. This causes tiny particles to enter the hair shafts and can affect the ability of our hair to absorb moisture. This can lead to excessive dryness and damage due to constant exposure to dry air and high temperatures.

  • Fragrance

  • Some shampoos and conditioners also contain fragrance that has many hidden chemicals. These chemicals can harm the reproductive system, cause skin and scalp irritation. It can also cause hair thinning, cancer and asthma.

  • Polyethylene Glycol

  • Polyethylene glycol is a thickening agent derived from byproducts of petroleum. It is a toxic agent as it causes hair thinning, damages the texture of hair and makes it rough and brittle.

  • Dimethicone

  • Dimethicone can make your hair healthy and lustrous but just like mineral oils, Dimethicone also locks up the hair, preventing it from absorbing necessary nutrients. It can clog the pores, which then causes skin rashes, itchiness, acne and ingrown hair. It is highly recommended to avoid using Dimethicone if you have sensitive skin.

    Take Away

    Among the many things that people prefer to have when it comes to their wellness, there are a few that stand out. Of these, one item is the hair. Because of its importance, and because it is very sensitive, using the right products is necessary for anyone who wants to maintain their hair in great shape.

    Chemicals like formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulfate, or cocamide DEA are added to shampoos and conditioners primarily to provide a rich lather that helps sell the product better. While you enjoy the rich lather, your hair suffers damage. These chemicals are harsh on the scalp and lead to dryness of the skin and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.

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