We the consumers have the curiosity to a certain level. It falls prey for the ingredients these advertisement industries mislead us into. To look beyond the highlights of the shampoo into the ingredients can help us further analyse, what exactly the shampoo can do to your hair.
An ideal shampoo to all of us is to help us deal away with the thinning and prevent hair fall. A clean healthy scalp is what one might look out for. A shampoo that nourishes your hair and helps bring the natural lustre to it.
But, are we all aware of the chemicals that false alarm you with the temporary effects on your hair? Here are the 12 main ingredients you look for to discard the shampoo out of your beauty routine.
Diethanolamine (DEA) or Triethanolamine (TEA):
Known as the wetting agents in a shampoo, they are as dangerous as they don’t seem. Here is a false notion, they create a rich lather, as we think that our hair deserves the reckless cleaning.
The nitrite used as a preservative in shampoos is highly reactive. The two chemicals are likely to react leading to (on exposure to oxygen and air) nitrosamines. This is a cancer-causing compound.
Harmful effects of DEA or TEA:
• Can damage your liver and kidney severely
• Potentially a cancer-causing ingredient.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES):
It is one of the most common ingredients found in shampoos and soaps. It is found in most of the cleaning agents such as in garage floor cleaners, engine cleaners etc., & it is used as a foaming agent in most of the shampoos.
The alcohol version of SLS forms the Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). Again, this is also a higher-foaming variation of SLS. One take on the SLES is it is less irritating compared to SLS. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is often contaminated with carcinogens like 1,4 dioxane and ethylene oxide.
Harmful effects of SLS and SLES:
- This triggers hair fall.
- Damages hair follicle.
- Causes skin inflammation
- Has protein denaturing properties
- A threat to the immune system.
- Enhances allergic response.
- May cause cataracts in adults.
- Hinders the growth of children’s eyes.
This is the most common and most dangerous agent known as the sensitizer. It includes, DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Quaternium-15, Bronopol are some shampoo ingredients in which it is present.
Harmful effects of Formaldehyde:
• It destroys natural protective oils of the skin and thus causes various skin irritations.
• Burning sensations in the eyes
• Causes chest pain if taken excessively & it reduces the breathing rhythms.
• Longer exposure to this chemical may also cause asthma.
These elements form a thin film on your hair shaft to give a feeling for ‘softness’. Both ladies and gents have an innate liking to have soft hair over coarse hair.
Everyone likes the feel of ‘soft hair’ after shampooing right? Well, do check if this softness is coming because of silicones. To find out if shampoo and conditioner contain silicone or not look at the ingredients on the label.
If the ingredients on the label say Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone or silicone, avoid using the products. Remember that Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone are silicone derived emollients. Silicones coat your hair making it look soft and shiny in the short term. However, they slowly start coating hair completely, creating a buildup and effectively sealing off moisture from reaching the cuticle. If you are using silicones shampoo/ conditioner, however, be sure to use a clarifying shampoo periodically to prevent their harmful effects.
They are a kind of preservative used in shampoo. Methylparaben, propylparaben, benzyl paraben and butylparaben are all parabens which are used in various shampoos.
Harmful effects of Parabens:
- Can cause tumors in the breast
- Can cause skin irritations, rashes, eczema etc
- Causes endocrine disruption.
- May cause immunotoxicity.
- Can trigger allergies.
They are added in shampoos for fragrance. Whenever you see a word ‘synthetic fragrance’ on a shampoo bottle just remember it is this.
Harmful effects of Phthalates:
• Negative effect on the immune system
• Can cause nausea
• Skin rashes
• Hormonal disruptions
• Liver cancers
• Birth defects
• Can affect the central nervous system.
Added fragrance can clog the lymphatic system. They are usually added to appeal to customers who want their hair to smell good.
Harmful Effects of Fragrance:
- Causes skin, eye irritation.
- Excessive dryness.
- Triclosan: Commonly found toothpaste, shampoos, it is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent.
Harmful Effects of Triclosan:
- Can cause skin, eye irritation.
- Disrupts endocrine system.
- Can trigger asthma and allergies.
It’s an anti-microbial agent which releases formaldehyde, widely used in cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, hair gels, etc.
Harmful Effects of DMDM Hydantoin:
- Formaldehyde component.
- Can trigger allergies.
- Can cause skin irritation.
Polyethene glycol is widely used in household cleaning products. It is most often list as PEG-20 or PEG-40 in the ingredients list. It is often contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane which are both carcinogenic. It makes it easier for other toxic ingredients to enter the body.
Harmful Effects of Polyethylene Glycol:
- Increases toxic load in the body.
- Contaminated with carcinogens.
It is a preservative used widely in beauty products to prevent them from spoiling.
Harmful Effects of Potassium Sorbate:
Causes eye and skin irritation.
Negatively affects immunity.
Toxic to human DNA.
It is a surfactant and emulsifying agent widely used in shower gels and shampoo. It is also used as a fragrance component. It’s usually treated with carcinogenic with ethylene oxide.
Harmful Effects of Polysorbate 20:
Causes skin irritation.
Contaminated with ethylene oxide which is carcinogenic.