Are you trying out a vegan diet? Or considered a sustainable wardrobe? Consciousness is becoming our core value as we live with more awareness today. So, how familiar are you with the ingredients that make up your hair cleanser or shampoo? Let’s look at some of the harmful ingredients that go unnoticed.
Ingredients to avoid – a simple guide
Let’s face it – it is difficult for us to closely examine each ingredient that goes into the manufacture of our product, even if we carefully read the label at the back of the bottle with the best intentions. The scent, colour, features, and reviews become our guiding source instead. Harmful ingredients in shampoo can strip your hair of its natural oils and severely damage your hair. It’s time to make yourself aware of these chemical ingredients so it’s easier for you to spot them and stop them from harming your hair.
List of harmful ingredients
We’ve rounded up some of the common, damaging chemicals that go into building the formulation of a shampoo. These are the ingredients you need to look out for next time you are choosing a hair cleanser, for those beautiful, luscious and healthy locks.
- Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Sulfates are detergents that strongly work through a chemical reaction, they bind with the sebum on your scalp. Once you rinse off the product from your hair, the sulfates strip your hair off the natural oils and residue, making it brittle and prone to frizz over time.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
The lathering foam that most of us love (and need) while using a shampoo can compromise your hair follicles when left on the scalp. It has other toxic effects that affect the body as well.
One of the more popular ones, parabens are known to increase the growth of breast cancer cells. They prevent the growth of bacteria in products but tend to mimic the hormone estrogen.
- Sodium Chloride
Salt, or sodium chloride, thickens the consistency of the shampoo but it can make an already-sensitive scalp dry and itchy – ultimately causing hair loss.
- Polyethylene Glycols (PEG)
Derived from petroleum, contaminated with by-products, PEG is a thickening agent in our shampoos. The by-products are known to be toxic and harmful.
- Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)
These are emulsifiers and foam agents, which allow water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients to blend. The harmfulness of DEA and TEA not fully known yet, research dating back to 1998 suggest its cancerous effect when tested on animals.
A known human carcinogen and a common one in shampoos is quaternium-15. They can also be found in chemicals used for Brazilian blowouts at hair salons.
Alcohols like Cetearyl and Stearyl are not very bad for dry hair. In fact, they help it retain moisture. Alcohols that are bad for your hair usually have ‘prop’ in their name, like Isopropyl or Propanol.
- Synthetic Fragrances
When a product is explicitly fragrant, it is bound to have some chemicals hidden in its formulation. Unless it is a plant or flower derived product – like hibiscus or sandalwood. The harmful chemicals used for fragrance can disrupt your reproductive system and cause cancer or asthma. They can also irritate the skin and scalp, which can lead to hair loss.
- Synthetic Colours
Products dyed with a synthetic colour are harmful to your health overall. The colours are brought in from sources of petroleum and coal-tar. They can be read as FD&C or D&C combined with a number.
Cleansing the hair with coconut oil
Coconut – the miracle ingredient for your hair! Passed down from generations, coconut oil for hair growth is known for its ancient Ayurvedic properties. Virgin King Coconut oil penetrates 90% into hair strands and repairs damaged hair by reversing up to 50% of internal structural damage.
Ancient Ayurvedic wisdom calls it the elixir’ that hydrates our scalp. It is loaded with natural antioxidants and good fats that nurture the roots and moisturise your scalp.
Now that you know which ingredients are harmful for you and this miracle ingredient that’s all-natural, pure and good for you, the choice just became easier!