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6 Ingredients You Must Avoid in Shampoos to Prevent Hair Loss

ingredients cause hair loss in shampoos
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Everybody wants to take good care of their hair, and search for various methods and products to prevent hair loss. 

Because is much easier to prevent a condition than trying to treat it, we highly suggest bearing in mind all these ingredients that you must avoid in your shampoo.

The reason why we lose most hair when washing it is mainly because of the ingredients in our shampoos.

Hair regenerates, and it’s ok to lose between 50-100 strands of hair a day, but if you lose way more hair than that, you might want to think about what you are missing.

Harsh chemicals present in some shampoos not only affect your hair and scalp but can also compromise your immunity.

6 Ingredients To Avoid In Shampoos

For many of us, the shampoo labels don’t make much sense, but among all that ingredients are compounds that are harsh and can cause hair loss when used in the long run. 

In this article, you will learn which chemicals cause hair loss so that you can start your therapy against hair loss from the very base.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Laureth Sulfate

Among the many types of sulfates, SLSs and Laureth Sulfate are the ones you should be most aware of.

These compounds are used to produce all that nice, bubbly lather, but, in fact, they affect negatively the hair and the scalp.

You would think that foam is a good thing that helps cleanse the scalp and hair. Actually, it breaks down the proteins that the hair needs to grow, stripping away the protective hair oils, drying the scalp and hair. If these oils get removed away too often, the resulting dryness can lead to hair breakage and loss.

Just so you know, SLSs can be easily replaced by natural saponins. Many plants produce saponins that have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity.

You can read more here about plants and vegetables that contain saponins.


Most shampoos contain parabens, which are preservatives that help prevent bacteria growth. 

Methylparaben & propylparaben are the most commonly used in shampoos.

The paraben’s side effects can reflect upon the health of your hair, as it’s been proved to cause hormonal disruption and allergies, encouraging hair loss in men and women.

Some manufacturers found effective alternatives to parabens in order to prevent microbial growth in personal care products. These products indeed have shorter shelf lives than conventional products – around 3 to 6 months, yet it is a fair price to pay, especially for shampoos, which we use regularly anyway.


Obviously that we want our shampoo to leave a fresh, fantastic scent on our hair after washing it — the longer lasts, the better is.


Women, more than men, tend to buy shampoo by considering the scent only, but that’s not the right approach. Why?

Under the fragrance term, there can lay many harsh ingredients that might cause hormonal imbalance and it’s been proven that hair loss can arise from changes in hormone levels.

Individual products may contain from 10 to 300 of different compounds.

Strong chemical fragrances can easily lead to a lot of hair damage.

On the other hand, many shampoos use essential oils to provide scent, so you can start looking for that instead.

Sodium Chloride

Even if it’s just table salt, known as a non-toxic compound, it still dries out the hair and scalp. Thus, it can give you an itchy scalp, eventually degrading your scalp health in time. 

Sodium chloride is used as a thickener in products containing SLS, not being suitable for the hair length either, making your hair brittle, and we already know that brittle hair snaps off easier. 

This dryness can lead to breakage and hair loss, especially if you’re repeatedly using a salt-laden shampoo.

Propylene Glycol

PEGs are used to help the scalp absorb other ingredients in shampoo, and were already classified as a skin irritant.

Also known as polyethylene or polyoxyethylene, this is another thickener ingredient that strips away hair moisture, degrading keratin level, and weakening hair.

Even though its purpose is to condition the skin, propylene glycol is still listed as hazardous by the Environmental Working Group, main concerns being skin irritation and organ toxicity.


Used in high concentrations, alcohol dehydrates hair and scalp. When hair is too dry it’s weakening and tends to break easily.

The truth is that almost all shampoos contain alcohol, so you might want to avoid those listing alcohol as one of the first five ingredients.

Keep in mind that the closer is to the top of the label, the higher the percentage in the product.

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To our readers

The information from this article is not entirely medical-grade level and should not be treated as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. No one will know you, your medical history, the meds you’ve taken or are taking, your sensitivities and drug interactions, allergic reactions, and your lifestyle, but your doctor does.

Amanda Blake
Amanda Blake
Amanda Blake is a passionate woman sharing experience as a beauty advisor and content writer for over 5 years. Merging all the passion with much work, she established Women's Concept community, a place where women can seek and share everything about beauty and personal care.
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