Ready For Some Hair Flips? 7 Harmful Ingredients You Should Avoid In Your Haircare Routine

Larissa PintoLarissa Pinto  |  Sep 16, 2020
Ready For Some Hair Flips? 7 Harmful Ingredients You Should Avoid In Your Haircare Routine


Consumers in 2020 know what they want from their beauty products, they know the formulation that works well for them, the harmful toxins that some companies hide in their products, and what the benefits of switching to clean beauty products are. Words like parabens and sulfates have become common and people are actively avoiding these when it comes to hair care products.

With the amount of information available to everyone, people now know that some of the shampoos and conditioners available in the market could be giving a gorgeous shine and bounce to their hair momentarily but the long term effects could be hazardous to their hair and health.

Obviously, not all products and ingredients are harmful but knowing which ones are will help you steer clear of them.

7 Harmful Ingredients That You Should Avoid In Your Haircare Routine

The next time you shop for your shampoo and conditioner, instead of looking being enamoured by the packaging, look at the ingredients listed at the back- they will give you a clear picture of whether this product will actually improve your hair health or have damaging consequences.


sulfate-free shampoo and conditioners


If you’ve read anything on how girls with curly hair should look after their hair, then we’re pretty so that you’re familiar with sulfates. They are basically cheap cleansing agents that help dissolve the oil and dirt accumulated in your scalp and hair but because they are cost-effective, they are used by many cosmetic brands. They are aggressive chemicals that not only remove the excess oil but also strip the scalp and hair of its natural oils. If your shampoo lathers up a lot, there are high chances that it contains sulfates. So, the next time you shop for shampoos stay away from products that contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), SLES (sodium laureth sulfate), and ammonium lauryl sulfate.


Another common ingredient that is used in many products are parabens. They are used to increase the shelf life of a product and prevent the growth of bacteria in your makeup, skincare, and hair care products. Recent studies have shown that parabens like Butyl, propyl, parahydroxybenzoate, and ethyl parabens can disrupt the functioning of hormones like estrogen and can even increase the risk of cancer. Yeah, scary, right?


Phthalates-free haircare products


This ingredient is used to improve the texture of a product. It is also mixed with synthetic fragrances to make the scent stronger and long-lasting. So, your shampoos with that strong, pleasant fragrance that you like may actually contain Phthalates. But why are they such harmful ingredients? Well, there studies to show that they might be disrupting the endocrine system resulting in early puberty in girls and low sperm count in men. Some brands label these phthalates as fragrances on their products, so the next time you shop from shampoos and conditioners make sure that they are labelled as fragrance-free or phthalate-free.

Coal Tar

Do you love your bright strawberry pink shampoo, well we hate to break it to you, but the product is doing more harm than good. Coal tar is a common ingredient used in hair care products and hair dyes to give it an artificial colour. This harmful ingredient has been linked to health issues like skin tumours and neurological damage. If you want coal-tar free hair products, avoid products which have ‘FD&C’ or D&C’ written on the label.


Choose alcohol free hair products


Like with any cosmetic product, alcohol can cause dryness whether it is on the skin or the hair. Alcohols like propanol and isopropyl alcohol are used as thickening agents in hair care products like shampoos which dry out the scalp and weaken hair strands. While picking out your products make sure to read the labels for Alcohol Denat, SD Alcohol 3-A, SD Alcohol 30, SD Alcohol 39-B, SD Alcohol 39-C; if they contain these ingredients, they won’t do your hair any good.

Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic Fragrances consist of a wide range of ingredients. Many brands choose to not reveal most of the ingredients used in their hair care products and put them in one category- fragrances or parfum. We all want to smell great from head to toe, but most of these synthetic fragrances are man-made and derived from petrochemicals which can damage your hair strands and cause irritation to the scalp. So, your favourite lavender smelling shampoo might not necessarily contain any traces of lavender. If your haircare products have words like fragrances or parfum on it, it’s best to steer clear of them.


Formaldehyde-free hair care products


Planning on booking a hair smoothening treatment at the spa? Before you do, you should read this. Most keratin or hair straightening treatments contain formaldehyde-releasing ingredients like glycol, formalin, methanal, and methanethiol. When these ingredients come in contact with heat or water, formaldehyde is released into the air and can have a terrible impact on your health.

Your hair deserves some TLC and by avoiding these ingredients you will ensure that gets the best possible care!

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