6 Harmful Ingredients in Shampoo to Avoid

From cosmetics and deodorants to hair care, there are a plethora of potentially dangerous ingredients in many of the things we use every day.

Certain ingredients can be absorbed into the skin and body, while others can’t, so it’s important to know which ones to avoid to keep you healthy and safe.

Read on for a list of six harmful ingredients in shampoo that you should avoid to get healthier hair and better overall wellness.

1. Sulfates: A Common Culprit

The term sulfate has only recently become something more health-conscious people are aware of. In fact, more shampoo manufacturers than ever are touting their products as “sulfate-free.”

To better define what sulfates are, they’re technically chemical detergents that can do a wonderful job of ridding your hair and scalp of oil and dirt. However, this ingredient can be extremely harsh on your hair, stripping the natural oils away and causing dryness and breakage.

Certain sulfates may also contain traces of a known carcinogen called dioxane. This byproduct may potentially interfere with kidney function, so it’s best to avoid sulfate and consider it one of many harmful ingredients in shampoos. 

2. Harmful Ingredients in Shampoo: Parabens

You may notice that lots of shampoos and other hair care products are now claiming to be paraben-free, too. This group of chemicals has a similar makeup to the hormones found in the human body known as xenoestrogens.

This hormone may disrupt your body’s natural hormonal balance, and could even potentially raise the risk of certain types of cancer. There have been some studies linking parabens to breast cancer, although it doesn’t necessarily mean that they caused cancer directly.

Think of parabens as a preservative that’s commonly added to shampoo and other products in order to increase their shelf life. Overall, it’s best to avoid parabens just to give you peace of mind and to ensure you’re getting a quality product. 

3. Steer Clear of Alcohol

Alcohol is known to have a strong drying effect, so it’s not surprising that you wouldn’t want it in your shampoo. The higher up you see alcohol in an ingredients list, the more that product contains, so be aware.

While certain forms of alcohol aren’t as bad for your hair as others, there are specific types you should avoid. Anything starting with a C or S like Cetearyl alcohol or Stearyl alcohol isn’t as bad for your hair and may even help it to retain moisture.

If you want to know which alcohols to avoid, steer clear of anything listed with the term “prop” in the name. Examples are Isopropyl alcohol or propanol, as both of these types have extremely drying properties. 

4. Avoid Polyethylene Glycol

Polyethylene Glycol, or PEG, comes from petroleum that can be cross-contaminated with some harmful byproducts. Many shampoos use it as a thickening agent to help produce a creamy lather.

While there is not any conclusive evidence that PEG is toxic when it’s in your shampoo, the byproducts can still cause harm. The state of California has determined that PEG is a “developmental toxicant” that could interfere with human development (pregnant or nursing women should especially take heed).

What’s another reason to avoid PEG in your shampoo? This ingredient is also often contaminated with dioxane, which is known to cause certain types of cancer. This makes PEG part of the list of toxic shampoo ingredients to avoid.

5. Stay Away from Synthetic Fragrances

Wonderful scents in your shampoo can make your hair smell divine, but artificial fragrances are actually one of the top five allergens in the world. This ingredient can potentially expose you to hundreds of chemicals with every use.

Make sure your shampoo says it’s made without synthetic fragrance, or that it’s scented using natural essential oils. Anything listed as a specific scent means that it likely contains synthetics. Organic shampoos may have fragrances, but they likely come from natural sources such as plants and oils. 

The general term “fragrance” on ingredient labels has been given a free pass by the FDA, so shampoo companies can avoid listing what that fragrance is composed of. Be very wary of anything that doesn’t specifically tell you where that fragrance came from, as it could be harmful to your body and hair.

6. Say No to Triclosan

The ingredient triclosan has been linked to numerous negative effects on human health including the endocrine and immune system. It’s also been shown to contribute to developmental and reproductive issues.

In 2016, triclosan was banned from being used in antibacterial soaps. However, you can still find it listed in some shampoos and other beauty products.

If you use a shampoo that contains triclosan regularly, it can accumulate in your body, leading to a constant toxic state. Read labels carefully and steer clear of these harmful shampoo ingredients. Generally, it’s best to avoid anything you can’t pronounce or that looks like a strange chemical. 

How to Choose Shampoo

When you’re shopping for shampoo, look for items that have natural, healthy ingredients like our Tricovel shampoo. This fortifying shampoo promotes cell self-repair, leaving you with thicker, healthier hair.

A special blend of ingredients includes wheat protein to repair the hair and give it a natural softness and shine. Patented release technology ensures that the active ingredients continue to work long after rinsing.

If your hair is weak, fragile, or brittle, Tricovel┬« Fortifying Shampoo with Physiogenina can help. Exposure to sunlight, an improper diet, stress, and seasonal changes can lead to these problems, so it’s important to find a shampoo that combats these issues safely and effectively.

Healthy Ingredients Means Healthy Hair

Once you’re aware of these harmful ingredients in shampoo, you’ll be able to make better decisions about the products you use every day. Whether it’s sulfates and parabens or alcohol and chemicals, these ingredients can wreak havoc on your hair and your health.

Always read the labels on your shampoo and other hair care products to ensure they’re made using only safe and pure ingredients.

Shop all of our products online or contact us today to find out more! 

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