10 Harmful Ingredients to Avoid in Shampoos and Conditioners

Are you suffering from hair damage? If yes, then you have come to the right page. Most of the people of the 21st century blame various brands for hair damage. But did you know that the problem can lie in the ingredients of your shampoo and conditioner? Yes, you read it right! Several ingredients damage your hair shafts and follicles in such a way that you can never imagine. But you have nothing to worry about now as the following article will enlighten you regarding the harmful ingredients to avoid in shampoo and conditioner. So go ahead and have a look!

What Ingredients in Shampoo and Conditioner Can Harm Your Hair?

People get mesmerized by various advertisements, which most brands use for promotion purposes on various social platforms. But most of them do not give detailed information about the toxic ingredients the product contains. It is time for you to break the stereotype and get adequate knowledge of your shampoo’s and conditioner’s harmful ingredients. The following list might of great help:


You must be so confused with the term SLES, right? It is the Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate in your Shampoo. It is a form of the detergent present in the Shampoo, which does many chemical reactions. It has got an adhesive force for the scalp sebum and water in your hair. When you pour the Shampoo and massage it on your scalp, the SLES particles attach themselves to the sebum and dirt along with the water droplets on your hair. As you rinse off the Shampoo, the SLES particles wash away along with all the dirt and clean your hair. But at the same time, it leaves your hair brittle and dry.


Yet another ingredient that you should avoid in your Shampoo is the SLS particles which are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It forms a great lathering effect on your hair while shampooing. Some of you may love the thick lather on your hair, but in reality, SLS is one of the most harmful ingredients for your hair follicles as it might dehydrate your follicles and suck out the natural oil strands. In addition, SLS particles cause the most harm in colored or chemical-treated hair!


You must be aware of the term paraben, which most dermatologists forbid their patients to use. It is one of the most common ingredients which you might find in shampoos of the 21st century. It helps shampoos from staying away from bacteria and other microorganisms to extend the product’s expiry date. Parabens can mimic the estrogen level in men and women, which might lead them to great difficulties in mere future. Parabens affect the cancer cells in breasts by acting as a catalyst for their growth.

Sodium Chloride:

Are you surprised reading the name of common salt in your shampoo ingredients list? If yes, then it is justified. Many brands use Sodium Chloride salt particles to increase the volume of the Shampoo in the container. You might also find it in the conditioners. But it would be best for you to avoid them as they can leave your scalp itchy and dry, which would ultimately lead to hair loss.

Polyethylene Glycols (PEG):

If you have not heard about the term PEG, then it is time for you to widen your knowledge of the harmful ingredients in Shampoo. There has not been adequate information on how PEG particles cause direct harm to your hair. But it is the effect of the ultimate shine you get in your hair after applying Shampoo as it is a petroleum component. It consists of a huge amount of byproducts which can turn out to be quite harmful to your hair!


It is another harmful ingredient that you might find in several shampoos. It is a chemical that acts as the preservative in shampoos and conditioners. But the carcinogen gets absorbed in the skin with time which can cause severe damage to your hair follicles and the shaft ends. It will eventually give your hair some shine and softness, but later on, it would harden your dead ends and cause splits which cause stunted growth in hair.


There exists a myth among the people of the 21st century for a long time now that alcohol is healthy for hair growth. But, unfortunately, it is not true at all. Most of the alcohol with a prop in its name can cause severe damage to your hair due to its dehydrating effect. But there are also a few exceptions like Stearyl alcohol or Cetearyl alcohol, which adds moisture to the hair and protects them from drying up fast. Dry hair follicles can make your hair rough with time and eventually fall off the scalp!

Synthetic Fragrances:

You must avoid hair products like shampoos and conditioners during your hair wash with an amazing aroma. Aromatic hair shampoos often come with many hidden mysteries in their ingredients list in the form of beautiful fragrances. But now you can be more careful as a synthetic fragrance in your Shampoo can cause reproductive issues in women, breast cancer, and most importantly, asthma in general.


If you are using a shampoo with triclosan in its ingredient list, it is high time for you to change your Shampoo. Triclosan had been officially banned from being an ingredient in soaps in 2016. But top-notch brands and other companies still use triclosan as an antibacterial agent in their products like hair shampoos and conditioners. But it would help if you immediately stopped using the product as it might lead to cancer and other health determining fatal diseases.

Retinyl Palmitate:

The above ingredient is another skin irritant that you should avoid using in your conditioner and shampoo. Retinyl Palmitate is one of the commonest ingredients that you would find in the products of several top-notch brands. But the painful truth behind its use is that your scalp might get a skin infection, redness, skin peeling off, itching, hair loss, and even fatal diseases like reproductive problems, cancerous cell growth, organ toxicity, etc.


Besides the above ingredients, there are several other toxic ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner which might affect you in various ways in terms of your health. Some of them are Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Dimethicone, etc. Now you have got an adequate knowledge of shampoo ingredients and can easily choose which one to use and which not. What keeps you waiting? Buy your safe Shampoo and conditioner today!


I am Jessica Coles, a hairstyling and trends expert who also holds a master's degree in cosmetology. I am one of the leading hair care experts who has been offering support round the clock.

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