Did you know you could be ruining your hair with dangerously cheap shampoo and conditioners? Most people assume all hair products are essentially the same, but they couldn’t be more wrong. The impact of dehydrating and harsh chemicals can cause lasting effects on your hair.
Here are some Chemicals to stay away from:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate:
These ingredients are toxic and known cancer-causing chemicals because of their refining process called Ethoxylation. Ethoxylation results in a byproduct called 1,4 dioxane—it’s not listed on the label, but that is the cancer-causing aspect of the ingredient. So, avoid any ingredients ending in ‘eth.’ Which means you want to avoid ammonium laureth sulfate. While it used to be found in almost every shampoo, when concerns were raised over the ingredient’s toxicity level, a lot of companies switched over to the ammonium versions—not that it’s much better.
This is a common foaming agent found in most shampoos and body washes. Although its not toxic to your body, it is definitely an unnecessary additive.
This solvent or emulsifier helps to bind oil and water together, and is often used to dissolve in the fragrance or other oil additives. And while it’s predominantly found in conditioners, there are some shampoos that carry it, too. It’s damaging at a few levels- the reaction with the scalp (in haircare products) and the skin (in face and body products) since it often leaves a residue on the skin, disrupts the skin’s natural pH, and emulsifies lipids in the natural protective barrier.
The most common type of glycol is polyethylene glycol, and often listed as PEG. These are ethoxylated and are cancer-causing chemicals. It’s used as a solvent to incorporate products into a formula, and they’re extremely dangerous—they’re known carcinogens.
That smooth feeling you get when you run your hands through freshly conditioned hair? That’s amodimethicone, a silicone-based polymer used to seal in moisture. Dimethicones and silicones are occlusive, meaning they don’t allow something to breathe—they seal in moisture and seal out everything else. Avoid dimethicones and silicones when possible because the scalp needs to breathe. Sealing the scalp could lead to thinning of the hair. However, on the hair follicle, it can protect it from heat and provide shine. Instead look for natural oils like jojoba, argan, rose hip, sweet almond, olive oil or shea butter.
This chemical is commonly used as a preservative to cleanse and kill bacteria in hair. However it can cause unwanted irritation because of its aggressive qualities. This alone is often not the sole preservative—most formulators use a combination of preservatives, each with its own particular function or bacteria to attack. If you’re concerned, though, look for products with dehydroacetic acid and benzyl alcohol instead.
These are just a few hazardous chemicals to stay away from because they can strip the essential oil and nutrient from your hair while also clogging pores with toxic chemicals.
Feel free to contact your local hair stylist experts at La Mode Salon in Murrieta if you have any questions!