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Avoid these hair care product ingredients if you want healthy hair

Did you know there are harmful chemicals in a lot of shampoos and other hair care products? Common ingredients in many hair care products actually cause dryness or breakage. Some of these chemical compounds strip the scalp of its natural oil, resulting in a lot less volume for your locks. If you want to maintain a healthy head of hair, it’s important to know what’s in the stuff you use to take care of it. When you’re shopping, look for these hair care product ingredients to avoid. And reconsider buying any product that has them in its ingredients list.


Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a harsh detergent that can strip hair of its natural oils and make hair brittle. It also dries out the scalp, which leaves it vulnerable to other harmful agents like dandruff.

The reason why sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is an ingredient in the first place is because it’s what makes shampoo and soap foam up into a lather. It’s a chemical compound that is used in many other personal care products to create bubbles. That means you can find it not only in shampoo but  also toothpaste, mouthwash, detergent, furniture polish and more But it’s particularly harmful for your hair. Since it strips away natural oils from your scalp, you’ll need more conditioner to repair the damage. The loss of natural, healthy oils also leads to dryness, itchiness and difficult hair management.


The first thing you need to know about polyethylene glycols is that they are not water soluble. So keep that in mind when using them on your hair. There are several different types of PEGs you’ll find in many common hair care products. These include PEG-8, PEG-17 and PEG-32. Each different type acts differently on the hair and has different formulations with other ingredients such as alcohols or silicones.

Polyethylene glycols are common ingredients in the beauty industry. They act as moisturizers and thickeners. You’ll find PEGs in shampoos, conditioners and other hair treatments such as oils. Many of these products advertise themselves to have added benefits for your hair, like giving you shinier locks or restoring moisture back into your dry scalp.

But what you may not know is that PEGs, like sodium lauryl sulfates, actually strip your natural oils from your scalp. That’s why your hair feels so “clean” after you wash it with shampoo containing this ingredient. The loss of natural moisture can lead to skin irritation and hair that is dry and brittle.


Parabens are preservatives that act as a protectant for products like shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Ever since the 1980s, parabens have shown up in many household and consumer products. But these preservative chemicals actually damage your hair follicles and cause dryness on your scalp.

To make matters worse, studies show a link between parabens and a whole host of serious health problems. According to Dr. Lara Shahine, “Parabens are endocrine disruptors which alter hormonal function in the human body and have been associated with infertility, obesity, and cancer risk.”


Certain formaldehyde-releasing preservatives function in hair products to prevent the growth of microorganisms that can cause hair and scalp problems. They also have the added benefit of helping to reduce drying time. But they can release formaldehyde when heated or used with other chemicals like ammonia.

Formaldehyde is toxic to the human body. It is a known human carcinogen, and it may cause health problems such as asthma, cancer, headaches, nausea, dizziness or difficulty breathing if you inhale it at high levels. The EPA sets the safety level of formaldehyde in that air at 0.75 parts per million. And while the presence of formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in hair care products may not reach that level, do you really want to wash and treat your hair with a chemical we know causes cancer?

According to Safe Cosmetics, you should check hair care product ingredients to avoid “formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.”


Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in many shampoos, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other personal care products. It is often added to these products because of its ability to fight bacteria and fungus that can cause infections.

Triclosan and antibacterial products in general have come under scrutiny in recent year for their potential health effects on humans. Studies have shown that triclosan may be linked with cancer, endocrine disruption, bacterial resistance and more. In addition, there is widespread concern that the use of antibacterial agents leads to more antiobiotic-resistant bacteria. Companies like Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson claim that their products are safe to use, but some scientists say they don’t know the long term impact. The Food and Drug Administration also said that they’re currently reviewing data from studies done by these companies about the safety of triclosan’s use over time.