Choosing the right shampoo product when looking for them can be challenging. There are many options. Each one contains different ingredients and promises different results. Some claim to shine your hair, while others promise hydration. Some claim they can clean your hair faster than others.
These products have a long list of ingredients. Some ingredients are difficult to pronounce, making it difficult for people to understand their purpose. In addition, it can be challenging to understand the details they give you.
What ingredients do shampoos most often contain?
International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, also known as INCI, is the list that breaks down every ingredient in a product. This is the place to go before buying anything. For example, manufacturers must identify which elements are used in shampoos to ensure they comply with the FDA’s requirements. Although you don’t need to know everything on this list, it is the majority of shampoos.
Carrying agents are agents found at the top of the INCI listing. These ingredients are there to aid active ingredients in shampoos achieve their effects. For example, Aqua, which is water, is one of the most common carrying agents.
Other shampoos may contain alcohol as an ingredient. Some shampoos can dry out your hair and make it brittle. This happens with propanol, ethanol, and isopropyl.
“Fatty Alcohols” are a unique composition that is great for hair because they lock in moisture. These include Cetyl alcohol and Cetearyl Alcohol.
Shampoos are thickened with thickeners. This is done by manufacturers adding small flakes of the correct chemicals, such as glycol distearate. These chemicals increase shampoo flow. They have no adverse effects on hair health. These are the most common shampoo thickeners:
Surfactants are ingredients that make shampoos more effective cleaners. They are detergents that make shampoos lather. This gives you the illusion that your hair is being cleaned. You’ll see these surfactants on many shampoos:
- Ammonium lauryl sulfate
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Ammonium laureth sulfate
- Sodium trideceth sulfate
Surfactants are dry agents that strip your hair of all oils. Shampoos that do not contain sulfates are better choices. For the best lather effect, the surfactant used to replace sulfate might be higher in quantity. The drying effect is more significant the more shampoo you use.
Preservatives in shampoo
These prevent mold growth in shampoos. Mold can pose a health risk if there is too much water in your shampoo. The most common preservatives used in food are potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate.
Parabens, which are also used in cosmetics, are also very popular. Some scientists believe they could cause breast cancer. Parabens have been found in cancerous tissues and other body parts. You might see parabens on shampoo products such as:
These ingredients work to counter the effects of surfactants. In addition, these ingredients help to keep your hair’s follicles moist and prevent it from becoming dry. To prevent friction from causing damage, they also lubricate your hair’s strands. As a result, your hair will look healthier and more vibrant.
Examples of emollients include aloe vera, vegetable oils, and mineral oils. Silicone is also popular because it seals the hair cuticle and improves its shine. The most popular silicone type in shampoos today is dimethicone.
What ingredients are harmful to your hair?
Shampoos are designed to deliver instant results. But, the long-term effects can be disastrous. These are the shampoo ingredients that you should avoid:
Sulfates in your shampoo
Sulfates increase skin sensitivity and strip the hair of its natural oils, causing dryness. The most popular sulfates are sodium Laureth-sulfate and potassium Laureth-sulfate. Your shampoo may be sulfate-free if it doesn’t lather. However, the harsh cleansing properties of sulfates can cause irritation, dryness, or inflammation. Sulfates can increase skin sensitivity and worsen conditions like rosacea, acne, and contact dermatitis. In addition, sulfates can cause hair to lose natural oils and dryness. Sulfates can also cause hair damage by disrupting natural sebum formation.
Parabens increase skin cancer risk. Studies have shown parabens can be quickly absorbed through the skin and penetrate bodily tissue. This can lead to allergic contact dermatitis. In addition, evidence suggests that parabens may have estrogenic properties. As a result, they can interfere with hormone regulation in the body, affecting pregnancy and menstruation. Parabens also hurt breast tissue and increase susceptibility to breast carcinoma.
Phthalates are harmful to the environment and can cause hormonal disruptions. Phthalates are a group of chemicals commonly used to make plastic flexible. They are used in cosmetic products such as shampoo as binding agents. It is linked to infertility, hormone disruptions, lower sperm counts, and other reproductive and genital problems. In addition, research shows that exposure to phthalates may increase the risk of pregnancies ending in loss and gestational diabetes. Further research has shown that phthalates can harm the kidneys, thyroid, and immune systems.
Formaldehyde in your shampoo
Formaldehyde is carcinogenic. The skin quickly absorbs it. Formaldehyde, a chemical compound, is used in household products and building materials. It also serves as a preservative for some consumer products like shampoo. Formaldehyde has been shown to cause allergic contact reactions and induce dermatitis. It has also worsened existing allergic skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. The Department of Health and Human Services lists formaldehyde as a human carcinogen. Studies have shown that workers exposed to high levels of this chemical compound could develop myeloid leukemia, rare cancers, and even throat cancer.
Dimethicone is a product that prevents moisture from getting into hair and clogs pores.
Retinyl palmitate causes itching, scaling, and peeling.
Alcohol in shampoo
Alcohol can make your hair dry and brittle.
Toluene can cause congenital problems and hamper the immune system.
Imidazolidinyl irritates the skin and eyes.
How to choose a hair shampoo
To avoid using harmful ingredients, you should consider natural shampoos. Natural shampoos are those that contain no sulfate or organic components. Natural shampoos are often made without synthetic ingredients and contain essential oils, fruit extracts, and certified-organic properties. Plant-based ingredients are generally considered mild. This includes seed oils and extracts. Therefore, they are less likely to alter the natural pH and oil balance of hair and scalp. Nevertheless, ensure that you test for allergies before using any ingredient you might be allergic to.
Natural shampoos include:
- Essential oils like lemon, peppermint, and lavender
- Certified-organic ingredients
- Coconut oil
- Hemp oil
- Organic honey
- Amla oil, Jojoba oil, and geranium oils are a few examples of plant and fruit oils.
Many shampoos are available on the market, each with its unique formula and various ingredients.
You want the best hair results, so choose organic, natural, and plant-based products. Avoid sulfates and parabens.
You’ll be able to identify your hair type and the best ingredients. This will give you shiny, healthy locks.