What Ingredients in Shampoo Need to be Avoided?

What Ingredients in Shampoo Need to be Avoided?

Everyone has their favorite shampoo that brings out your confidence and makes your hair silky, smooth. Once you have a shampoo that meets the needs of the type of hair you have, purchasing that particular shampoo becomes a habit. However, you may not read the list of ingredients in your shampoo that can actually cause more damage to hair than nourish it. Certain governments have even labeled different elements in shampoo as toxins. The following chemicals and compounds in various cleansing products should be avoided when purchasing shampoos.

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Both of these sulfate compounds are harsh detergents. Sulfate is a common ingredient that needs to be avoided in shampoos.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a harsh detergent used to create the foaming lather in hair commercials. This chemical destroys your hair by stripping it of the essential oils it needs to stay healthy. Proteins are broken down and healthy hair growth is hindered. The cleansing effect of SLS actually overwhelms and strips hair.

As SLS is created for hair care products, it goes through ethoxylation leading to the production of the isomer 1,4 dioxane. This particular byproduct, also in sodium laureth sulfate, is considered a potential carcinogenic agent. The byproducts are molecules that are small enough to seep through your skin and scalp into your body.

Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride is perhaps best known as table salt, but is also used as a thickener in shampoos and conditioners that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Dry, itchy scalps as well as hair loss are due to sodium chloride. If you use keratin treatments, avoid this compound as it undoes the benefits of the keratin method.

Polyethelyne Glycol

Another thickening ingredient, polyethelyne or polyoxyethelyne strips hair and skin of their natural moisture.

Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)

Using products that contain DEA and TEA can cause scalp irritations and harmful allergic reactions. These components of hair care products also destroy the good elements in your beautiful locks, such as keratin, which makes your tresses dry, brittle, and dull.


Parabens such as methylparaben and proplyparaben are in shampoos and conditioners to help prolong their shelf life. These chemicals are actually known for their toxic nature. Parabens irritate skin leading to an unhealthy scalp. A hormonal imbalance is connected to this chemicals causing hair loss.


An excessive amount of formaldehyde used on your tresses can cause some hair loss. Formaldehyde is only in certain shampoos.


The majority of products made to care for your locks contain some form of alcohol which causes your hair to dry out if high concentrations of the element are used. If alcohol is one of the first four ingredients listed, this means more than the usual amount of alcohol has been used to make that particular shampoo.

Synthetic Fragrance of Parfum

There are over 3,000 chemicals in just one fragrance and when various fragrances are in hair care products, complex mixtures of dozens of chemicals are formed. Parfum is an irritant and can lead to scalp infections.

Synthetic Colors

Artificial colors are mainly for aesthetic purposes in cleansing products. These components are noted by a FD&C or D&C followed by a color along with a number. Color pigments are a possible cause of skin sensitivity and scalp irritation.

Propylene Glycol

Better known as the antifreeze you put in your car, propylene glycol is also used as an ingredient in shampoos as well as other care products to ensure they do not freeze during storage and shipment. Propylene glycol actually irritates your skin, alters skin structure, and cause allergic reactions.

Lanolin, Petroleum, and Mineral Oil

Greases and pomades for ethnic hair contain these components which do not provide any moisturizing benefits. When these compounds are present together, the natural oils produced by your scalp are not able to be absorbed by the hair shaft. These ingredients can also weigh your tresses down.


Dimethicone is form of silicone with two methyl groups as well as a synthetic polymer. The main use of dimethicone is as a surface sealant in skin and hair products to coat surfaces. By sealing in moisture, this compound is a smoothing, texturing additive.

Various reactions are caused by the silicone derivative such as skin and scalp inflammations leading to chapped skin, rashes, burning, and itching. Cystic acne is another effect of dimethicone as it clogs pores and seals in oils as well as bacteria. Your skin and scalp are unable to breath causing an increase in acne and irritations to your hair follicles.

You might be wondering what to wash your locks with if shampoos contain so many harmful chemicals. A natural way to wash your hair is with shikakai, which has cleansing and healing capabilities for your tresses. Shikakai purifies your locks of the ailments caused by ingredients in shampoos. A link to an article about this natural remedy is provided for you.

For more useful articles related to hair subscribe to my blog.

Follow My Blog
Do you find my posts helpful? Sign up for updates. It's FREE!
Posted in: Hair Care

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *