How many times have you ended up buying the shampoo that is either on the best offer or popularised? You’re not alone! It can be difficult to choose the right shampoo unless a dermatologist recommends one for you. Even if you try to fathom the science-y words at the back of the shampoo bottle, you are hardly able to decode them. If you have to struggle with the same, here is a guide to help you steer clear of the worst ingredients in your shampoo that can lead to several hair problems.
In an exclusive chat, Dr Ramadevi, senior dermatologist at Kamineni Hospitals, Hyderabad, shared a list of the worst and the best ingredients in your shampoo you should know.
Toxic ingredients in your shampoo to avoid
Here’s a list of the worst ingredients in your shampoo that you need to avoid at all costs in your hair care haul.
Don’t you love it when your shampoo when foams up? We hate to break it to you but that is not good for your hair. Sulphate is a cleansing agent that foams up to clear the dirt from your scalp. While it can clean your hair, it will strip your scalp of its natural oils. Dr Ramadevi states, “Sulphates make the skin more sensitive and dry out the hair by removing its natural oils. They might even cause an allergic reaction to the scalp and frizzy hair.”
You must have heard of Parabens! They are basically preservatives in your shampoo that you need to avoid. Dr Ramadevi explains that Parabens (butyl, propyl, and ethyl parabens) mimic the action of oestrogen, a female hormone involved in reproduction. Studies have shown that Parabens raise the risk of breast cancer. “They help the perfume adhere to your hair and scalp. Parabens can even cause early puberty in girls and a decrease in sperm count in men because they are endocrine disruptors. They pose a serious environmental risk as well.”
This compound is a colourless and flammable gas that has a pungent smell. It is generally used in products to increase their shelf life but at a very high cost. As per the expert, formaldehyde is a strong irritant that can get easily absorbed into the skin and cause cancer.
As much as you love the nice, flowery fragrance in your shampoos, it can be harmful to your scalp, hair and overall health. Naturally occurring fragrances in flowers and fruits are obviously not added to your shampoo, and synthetic fragrances that are added can lead to several problems. Synthetic fragrances have been linked to asthma attacks, reproductive problems, and cancers, says the expert.
Caution: You might need to avoid more ingredients in your shampoo if you are suffering from a problem like alopecia areata. It is best to talk to your doctor to know what suits you the best.