Shampoo has become a necessity in our lives and we don’t care to look for its ingredients before using it as we do with food items. Why do we do such a thing? Because we think that we are not drinking it, we are just using it superficially. The common perception about toxins is that they harm the body only if ingested but this is only partially true.
Anything which comes in contact with our skin also affects our body and if it is able to penetrate the skin barrier of the body then it will directly go to the bloodstream which can be riskier for the body.
How to identify whether Shampoo is harmful or not
If you are thinking that how can you identify that your shampoo is harming you then look for the symptoms like flaky skin, itching and irritation on scalp, wheezing etc. Prolonged use of a chemical based shampoo can cause severe problems like allergies, asthma and even cancer. Since your body can’t recognize these foreign chemicals therefore it can lead to frequent occurrence of viral and fungal infections.
Here is the list of chemicals which you must look for onto the label on shampoo bottle and if you find any of them then put it back on the counter and move on
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
This chemical is found in various cleaning products such as hair care, body care, household cleaning products and industrial cleaning agents. It is commonly used as a foaming agent or surfactant. This chemical can easily penetrate the skin barrier and mix into the blood stream.
\It can circulate in the body for up to 5 days and leave chemical residue in major organs like heart, liver, lungs and brain. The noticeable symptoms of this chemical is dry hair and skin, rashes, hair loss and flaky scalp. According to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the skin and hair damage occurs due to cracking and severe inflammation of the derma – epidermis tissue. Another study says that it can damage the DNA as well.
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
It is a close relative of SLS and frequently teamed up with 1, 4 Dioxane which is a byproduct of ethylation oxide. It is a possible carcinogen and can also damage your kidneys. Dioxane content of this compound can stay in the body for long period as it cannot be metabolized by the liver effectively.
This compound is commonly known as table salt and use as thickening agent in shampoo and conditioner containing sodium lauryl sulphate. This compound can make your scalp dry and itchy besides enhancing hair loss. This can reduce the effect of keratin treatment therefore it should be avoided by the people who have undergone such treatment.
This is another thickening agent used in shampoo and conditioner. This compound can strip off the natural moisture of your hair and scalp and make them dry and dull.
Common ethanolamine compounds in shampoo are Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) are able to cause different scalp and hair problems such as scalp irritation, allergic reaction, loss of keratin, dry dull and brittle hair.
These compounds are used to increase the shelf life of the product and methylparaben and propylparaben are common paraben found in shampoos. It not just irritates your skin but also cause hormonal imbalance in body which further enhances the hair loss.
A single fragrance can contain around 3000 chemicals. These unspecified chemicals can cause damage to nervous system, liver toxicity, allergy, brain fog, asthma, headache, contact dermatitis, organ toxicity, and cancer. Many of them are made from petrochemicals and phthalates and found to be involved in learning disabilities and developmental abnormalities in fetus whose mother has come in contact of such fragrances.
It is petroleum based compound and used to give the creamy texture to your shampoo. It is found to cause genotoxicity, developmental abnormalities, irritation and system toxicity if applied on broken skin.
We generally perceive that these chemicals are present only in products for adults but the hard reality is that these chemicals are also present in products intended for infants and children. Therefore, it is better to switch to organic products or make homemade shampoo with natural ingredients. It is better to be safe than sorry!!!