Haircare products like shampoo are supposed to help you look good and feel better about yourself, but many contain chemicals that are detrimental to the health of you and your hair. Some have even been linked to cancer.
You can limit your exposure to these harmful chemicals by reading the packaging and staying vigilant while you shop.
Read on to learn seven ingredients to avoid in shampoo.
Parabens are an incredibly common additive found in many shampoos. Their role is to help prevent the growth of bacteria in cosmetic products.
You absorb these chemicals through the skin on your scalp while you clean your hair. When they enter your bloodstream, they act like a weakened version of estrogen.
Parabens can disrupt hormonal cycles and have been linked to larger breast cancer cells.
Sulfates are another group of shampoo ingredients to avoid. They contribute to the foaming action that occurs when you lather your hair with shampoo.
These chemicals can cause your hair to dry out, become brittle, and lose its natural oils. Sulfates also contribute to skin irritation and can cause extreme discomfort to those with sensitive skin.
Triclosan is another preservative similar in function to parabens. The FDA banned this chemical from antibacterial soaps, but it’s still found in shampoos.
It’s an endocrine disruptor and can contribute to a host of health issues. These include infertility and immune system disruption. It also can harm fetuses.
Some might be surprised to find that formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is still used in shampoos. Look for it listed as quaternium-15. Of all the bad ingredients in shampoo, it might be the worst.
You can easily absorb this substance through your scalp. It can cause asthma and a range of different kinds of cancer.
5. Polyethylene Glycol
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is commonly used to thicken hair care products.
By itself, it can dry out your hair and make it more prone to breakage. While the EPA doesn’t classify PEG as a carcinogen, many of its by-products are.
6. Synthetic Fragrances
“Synthetic fragrances” is a catch-all term that could apply to thousands of harmful shampoo ingredients. They could be dangerous to your health and even contribute to skin irritation and hair loss.
A hair-thickening shampoo might help fight the effects of these chemicals. Read about thickening shampoos here.
7. Sodium Chloride
Sodium chloride, or salt, is used as a thickening agent in shampoos. While it does its job, it can also contribute to scalp irritation and hair loss.
The Many Ingredients to Avoid in Shampoo
Some shampoos nurture your hair, helping it grow stronger and thicker. Unfortunately, many shampoos contain harmful substances.
Parabens and formaldehyde can contribute to cancer while salt and the chemicals that compose synthetic fragrances could cause your hair to fall out. Be sure to check the labels for these ingredients to avoid in shampoo. You’ll be glad you did.
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