Most of use commercially sold shampoos to wash our hair, don’t we? These shampoos are meant to cleanse the hair and help get rid of dirt, product buildup and grime. These shampoos are made of cleansing agents, preservatives, thickening agents, foaming agents etc.
But let’s be honest here, how many of us check out the ingredient list before buying the shampoo? I’m sure not many of you do that.
Well, maybe you should! This is because most commercially sold shampoos contain harmful ingredients that can be detrimental for the hair and cause hair loss and hair damage.
In this article, we will talk about some of the ingredients that are harmful for the hair and you should avoid buying shampoos that contain such ingredients.
Top ingredients to avoid while buying shampoos:
Sulfates in the form of SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) are cleansing agents that help make the lather in the hair while it gets mixed with water. While they help strip away the dirt and grime from the hair, they are toxic for the hair because they can also strip away all the hair’s moisture, making the hair become dry and brittle, thus leading to hair fall.
Alcohol is a carrying agent that helps improve the functioning of the other active ingredients in a shampoo. These alcohols come in two types. Alcohol like ethanol, propanol etc can be harmful to the hair because they are extremely drying for the hair and can cause hair loss due to dryness and hair breakage in the long run. Alcohol like lauryl alcohol or ceteraryl alcohol is safe for the hair as they provide hair nourishment.
Parabens like butylparaben, methylparaben etc., are preservative agents that avoid the formation of fungi or bacteria in shampoos. This is because parabens contain antibacterial and anti-microbial properties. But over prolonged usage, they can cause skin conditions that affect the scalp skin where the hair follicles can get damaged.
4. Diethanolamine and Triethanolamine
If you find DEA (diethanolamine) or TEA (triethanolamine) in the ingredient list, it is because these ingredients are foaming agents. But these ingredients aren’t harmful to the hair by themselves, but when they blend in with the other ingredients of the shampoo and get mixed, they can cause scalp dryness and scalp conditions, thus damaging the hair follicles in the scalp.
5. Polyethylene Glycol (PEGs) and Sodium Chloride
If your shampoo feels thick in texture, then it is because it contains polyethylene glycol or PEGs. This ingredient contributes to thickening of the shampoo’s consistency, while also helping to cleanse the hair. This ingredient is known to cause scalp skin irritation and can be toxic for the hair follicles.
Sodium chloride is nothing but salt and salt acts as a thickening cum cleansing agent in a shampoo. Salt can cause scalp skin irritation and also lead to hair damage in the long run, which may result in hair loss.
6. Potassium Sorbate
Potassium sorbate is another preservative ingredient that is used in place of a paraben because it is less harmful than a paraben, but can still cause skin irritation and skin conditions on the scalp wherein the hair follicles can get damaged.
Fragrances make shampoos smell good, but they are not be good for your hair. Synthetic fragrances are often formulated with chemicals, and that can be irritants and contain mildly toxic substances that can lead to damaged hair and unhealthy scalp.