As with many products on the market, we place our trust in certain products we use daily, and hope that no harm will come to our health. Shampoo is no exception. And while it may seem as though shampoo can’t do that much harm to our hair, some shampoos contain ingredients that can be detrimental to your hair’s health and growth.

Rather than naming some big brands that put destructive chemicals in their products, below is a list of four actual ingredients you should stay far away from.

Sulfates

That foamy texture you get when massaging shampoo into your hair and scalp is caused by sulfates in the shampoo. Sulfates are strong detergents that work by way of a chemical reaction, in which they bind with water and the sebum on your scalp, and although the foaminess might be amazing, you should stay far away from sulfates in your shampoos.

Products with a high concentration of sulfates can lead to cell damage and excess stripping away of natural oils and hair proteins. Your natural oils and proteins are what protect your hair from damage and brittleness, so by using shampoos with this ingredient, you are allowing it to strip the shield from your hair. Sulfates also fade the color in your hair and increase the frizz.

The ingredients to look out for would be sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), ammonium lauryl sulfate, and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES).

Parabens

Parabens are used as preservatives in your shampoo to prevent bacteria from developing and growing, and although this might sound like a good thing, it is anything but.

Parabens can disrupt the normal hormonal cycle of the body, and can mimic the hormone estrogen, reducing the production and increasing the risk of breast cancer. They have also been suspected to be the cause of early puberty in girls.

Parabens are easily absorbed through the skin and scalp, making them harmful to your hair, health, and body. For men, products contain parabens may also cause low sperm count and testicular cancer.

Specific names to look out for are butylparabens, propylparabens, and methylparabens, as well as Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates.

Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride, most commonly known as salt, can be found in shampoos, as well as conditioners, to thicken the consistency. A thicker consistency allows an easier spread across the whole head of your hair. However, sodium chloride is considered an irritant and slightly hazardous. It promotes dryness and can make your develop an itchy scalp/dandruff.

Sodium chloride also strips moisture from your hair, as well as strip a layer of your hair, causing the natural protective barrier of your hair to be damaged, which will then lead to weak, brittle hair as well as hair loss.

You should also watch out for this ingredient if you undergo keratin treatments, as it will undo the effects.

Dimethicone

Dimethicone is a type of silicone that’s used in many shampoos and hair products, acting as a protective cover on the surface of your hair. But because it forms a sort of plastic-like barrier on the outside, it halts any moisture or nutrients from coming through and instead, collects dirt and residue, contributing to product buildup that makes your hair feel greasy. Dimethicone also clogs the pores on the scalp and causes skin irritation.

Silicones are not water soluble, meaning simply rinsing them out with water will not remove it, which is why they can build up, and unfortunately, the ingredient that removes this harsh chemical is none other than sulfate based ingredients.

Other ingredients to stay far away from would be polyethylene glycols (PEG), diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA), formaldehyde, alcohol, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colors, cocamidopropyl betaine, triclosan, and retinyl palmitate. Each of these ingredients can bee extremely harmful to not just your body, but to the environment as well.

If you want to make it easier on yourself, rather than looking at the ingredient list on all the shampoo/ conditioner bottles, try using DHT blocking shampoos/conditioners.

Kiierr’s DHT blocking shampoo not only stops hair loss by blocking the hormone DHT, but is also packed with incredibly healthy ingredients that stimulate hair regrowth, maintains hair strength, boosts cellular metabolism in the scalp, and effectively stimulates microcirculation which reactivates the hair’s natural life cycle.

Don’t waste your money on products that only cause damage to your hair! There are products out there that will make your hair healthy, strong, and vibrant without all the harmful ingredients.