Have you ever pay attention to the label of your shampoo bottle? you would be surprised how those ingredients may pose a treat to your health. We use chemical shampoos almost every day. We use shampoos to remove dirt, but simultaneously we would like to take care of hair follicles and increase hair growth. We use the conditioner to obtain tangle free hair. When we buy cosmetics, we pay attention to the kind of them as well as to the fact if it is dedicated to straight, frizzy, dry or just normal hair. But what if we realized that a lot of shampoo makers put harmful chemicals such as a cleaning agent, fragrance, parabens or another foaming agent into hair care products?
Type’s of hair
There are different hair types and all of them need diffferent care routine in different form. for example frizzy hair needs to be washed with condicioner shampoo but straight hair needs mild shampoo. There and many shampoos for many times of hair. Shop’s are full of many many many shampoos but the most important thing is to get the one that is right for your hair.
Should we use shampoo daily?
You probably heard that even for once in your live that you should use shampoo daily beacuse it is better for your hair. So the question is who should shampoo their hair daily? and the answer is that people who sweats a lot, lives in very humid place or have very fine hair should do it daily.
Hair structure and hair follicles
Hair is an element of our beauty. But can you explain its structure and functions? Do you know why the application of chemicals on the skin results health disturbances? The roles of hair are protection against external factors producing sebum and providing thermoregulation. Also, this is a source for stem cells. Hair consists of two distinct parts: the follicle and the hair shaft. The follicle is responsible for the production of new generation hair and has a continuous growth, which depends on many factors, including age, nutrient, but also hair care. Hair shaft consists of three layers (cuticle, cortex and in certain cases medulla) and through cuticle cells adhere tightly to the cortex cells. Cuticle cells are some kind of barrier against chemicals and physical damage.
Anathomy of a hair follicle
Hair follice are tiny “holes” in our skin and they r responsible for hair grow, it is a tunel-shaped structure in the outer layer of the skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology it is common for normal person to have about 100,000 of hair follicles.
The consequences of toxic hair products application
Most shampoos possess a negative impact on health leading not only to skin irritations but even to cancer. This effect is enhanced especially by prolonged exposure. We should pay more attention to reading the labells to avoid toxic effects when you wash your hair and obtain positive effects of shampoo. Let’s take a cup of tea and go on the journey through the harmful chemicals used in shampoos and conditioners.
What should we avoid? Effects of shampoo and skin irritation
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
One of the most toxic ingredients, and subsequently, the component of numerous shampoos, are sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). These ingredients belong to a foaming agent family, they are not only chemicals to remove dirt. They both possessed harmful effects. Sodium laureth sulfate could lead to eye irritation and skin problems as well as alter the immune system. Moreover, sodium laureth sulfate is really toxic and leads to serious health problems, such as cancer, especially breast cancer.
Polyethylene Glycols (PEG)
PEG maintain thicker consistency in hair care products, shampoos and conditioners. PEG is a product from petroleum, which is harm to the skin. It could irritate the hair follicles leading to massive hair loss. Also, it has a harmful impact on human health and could disturb the immune system.
Using alcohol in shampoos and conditioners is tricky. It can help your hair retain moisture, but it is an illusion. In fact, they make the hair dry. Among the most commonly used alcohols are Cetearyl alcohol and Stearyl alcohol.
What about… fragrance?
Most shampoos contain fragrance. It is another dangerous ingredient, because the chemicals besides the creation of nice smell when you wash your hair very often result in scalp problems like skin irritation, hair loss or hair follicle damage. The fragrance consists of a wide spectrum of different toxic chemicals that possess really negative consequences on human health. The women could have impaired reproductive system, disturbed hormone homeostasis and exposure could lead even to cancer.
Are you having skin problem’s after washing your hair?
Fragrance is one of the most common allergen. Your skin is acctually the first thing that will let you know that something is wrong and it had conntact with the allergen. The effect of contact with the allergen will show withing 24h after using the product which had the allergen inside but sometimes it even takes a weak to reveal it’s working.
There are few symptoms of an allergic reaction:
- Sensitivity on sun
- Scaly patches
- Burning, read or itchy skin
Those allergic reactions can be shown in areas like eyelids, neck, face, upper back or scalp.
Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in cosmetics. This is a controversial matter, since parabens are responsible for immune system alterations. Paraben also mimics the estrogen hormone and thus disturbs the homeostasis one, which may even lead to breast cancer. The condition of health and hair depend on your choices.
A few words about conditioner
The beauty of curly hair depends on the application of a special conditioner. Conditioners often contain silicon. It possesses a harmful effect, resulting in scalp or skin irritation . The hair is weak and we could observe the hair follicle damage, following hair loss. The base of the hair care conditioners should be natural oils, for instance, coconut oil, which is a perfect opportunity to strengthen hair follicles and support hair growth. We know from cosmetics science that natural oils, which stem from other plants also provide healthy hair.
Nowa day’s using natural oils for your hair care is top trend, it starts with essential oils and comes even to homemade coconut oil condicioner (which makes hair moisturized).
Have you ever wondered about the benefits of natural oils? here are few of them:
- Coconut oil- Makes hair softer and increase shine in them,
- Rosmery oil- Stimulates the roots,
- Lavender oil- Helps control dandruff,
- Almond oil- Moisturizes the scalp,
- Jajoba oil- Adds nutrients
Can you answer?
So the question is how to choose the best shampoo and conditioner as well as to have desirable effects of shampoo? How to enhance its beauty? How to avoid harmful ingredients? We should choose the ones made from natural ingredients enhanced with natural oils, extracts from tea along with active ingredients. These products not only get’s rid of dirt, but also provide nutrients through natural oils.
What should we choose?
In the shops, there are a lot of shampoos and conditioners that are ‘natural’. We should have the basic knowledge about ingredients to determine which products are really useful and worth buying. Reading labels is a clue, so they should be short and clear. The product must be foaming agents free, PEG, alcohol. The sign of the percent of natural ingredients should be on the label. Of course, it is impossible to completely avoid chemicals.
The beginning will be difficult. Your hair is addicted to the toxic chemicals, so it will take a few weeks until they will be ‘sober’, just free from chemicals. But remember, the effort is really worth the final result. You can try a few different natural shampoos until you find the proper one.
The price of shampoos could not be the main determinant during the shopping. You should check the label, which is written on the shampoo bottle. The function of the shampoo is to make your hair beautiful, in good condition, shiny, without split ends and tangle free. To reach these goals, you have to choose hair care products based on natural ingredients. The consequences of the negative effects of shampoo could result in skin irritation, hair loss, dry hair, or disturb the immune system leading to allergic reactions. Most people are not aware that a cheap shampoo containing harmful ingredients could lead to breast cancer. Even if it is not your cup of tea, you should know it. No one wants to have cancer because of the toxic compounds of hair care products, like shampoos and conditioners.
1 thought on “Can the chemicals in the shampoo pose a health risk?”
To be honest I would never thing that shampoos could do any harm to me or that only people who sweats a lot or lives in very humid place or have fine hair should do it daily. Thank you so much for those super important informations. Great article!