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6 Ingredients You Must Avoid in Shampoos to Prevent Hair Loss

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I know many people who try to take good care of their hair, but they don’t give a good read to the label whenever they buy a shampoo. That’s for hair loss. I’m losing hair, so that’s the one. Wrong. Just because it addresses hair loss, it doesn’t mean a shampoo won’t contain harmful ingredients that may damage and weaken the strands. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of what their shampoo actually contains. It may not seem too important, but in the long term, these elements in your shampoo can lead to severe hair conditions. Harsh chemicals not only affect your hair and scalp but can also compromise your immunity. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not very strict regarding the ingredients used in cosmetics, so it’s your duty to make sure they’re safe for you.

The truth is we can’t say for sure that shampoo ingredients are factors that trigger hair loss because there’s not enough evidence to support that. So why is it good to avoid these ingredients if they don’t cause hair loss? Shampoo not only provides the cleaning of hair, but it also serves to condition the scalp. Studies concluded that an unhealthy scalp leads to unhealthy hair, which is more prone to fall. Some ingredients aim to beautify the hair’s appearance, but they affect the scalp’s condition, making it drier and more irritating. An unhealthy scalp is more likely to produce thinner hair. If you want to get a shampoo that won’t cause you hair loss, pick one with clean ingredients that aim for scalp conditioning.

6 Ingredients To Avoid In Shampoos

Hair regenerates, and it’s OK to lose between 50-100 strands of hair a day. If you lose way more than that, you might want to think about what you are missing. As far as you get concerned about the hazardous ingredients in your shampoo, it’ll be easy to target and eliminate them. Read on to find out which ingredients are known to cause hair loss:


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 and are said to have the deepest cleansing effects. However, they can negatively affect the hair, especially for those with sensitive scalp skin or hair. You would think that foam is a good thing that helps cleanse the scalp and hair. But what about the part where it breaks down the proteins that the hair needs to grow, stripping away the protective oils and drying the scalp, as this study suggests. If these oils get removed away too often, the resulting dryness may lead to hair breakage and loss. Another research confirmed that sulfates’ harsh cleansing quality might cause skin irritation, skin dryness, and inflammation. 

Although it’s known that high concentrations of SLS may affect the hair, no evidence actually shows that SLS exposure directly causes hair loss. Some suggest that the deposition of SLS on the hair follicle resulting from poor rinsing might penetrate the scalp and degenerate the follicle. But there’s no data to support any of these assumptions. 

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


Most shampoos contain parabens, which are preservatives that help prevent bacteria growth. Methylparaben & propylparaben are the most commonly used in shampoos. The parabens’ side effects can reflect upon the health of your hair, as it’s been proved to cause hormonal disruption and allergies. The good news is that some manufacturers found effective alternatives to parabens 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’s a fair price to pay, especially for shampoos, which we regularly use anyway.


Obviously, we want our shampoo to leave a fresh, fantastic scent on our hair after washing it — the longer lasts, the better it is. More than men, women tend to buy shampoo by considering the smell only, but that’s not always right. Why? Under the term fragrance, it can lay many harsh ingredients that might cause hormonal imbalance. It’s been proved that hair loss can arise from changes in hormone levels. Strong chemical fragrances can easily lead to a lot of hair damage. Some products may contain from 10 to 300 different compounds. On the other hand, though, 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 can still dry out the hair and scalp. Thus, it can give you an itchy scalp, eventually degrading its health in time. Sodium chloride is used as a thickener in products containing SLS, not suitable for the hair length either, making your hair brittle. You 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 added to help the scalp absorb other shampoo ingredients 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 listed as hazardous by the Environmental Working Group. The main concerns are skin irritation and organ toxicity.


When used in high concentrations, alcohol dehydrates the 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 label’s top, the higher the percentage in the product.

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