As with many products available on the market, people place trust in some items they use daily. They hope that using these products will not harm their health. And when it comes to shampoo and conditioner, there is no exception. 

While many people may think that shampoo can’t harm their hair, some shampoos contain detrimental ingredients that can damage your hair health and affect growth. Instead of including some known brands’ names, we have enlisted destructive chemicals in the products you should stay away from. 

That is to say, you need to be more conscious about the products you use daily.  And knowing what is on the label can definitely help you make an informed decision. Look for the given chemical or ingredients in your shampoo as they can damage your locks and can be harmful to your skin too. 

Keep reading to learn more about shampoo ingredients that can be harmful to your hair.

Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

shampoo ingredients to avoid


Sulfate is one of those ingredients that make the foamy white texture you get when you massage shampoo into the scalp and hair. Note that sulfates are typically strong detergents that almost all shampoos contain.  These detergents work as chemicals and bind with the sebum and water on the scalp. 

Although this foaminess may feel amazing, it is essential to stay away from sulfates to promote hair health.  It is merely because hair products that include a high quantity of sulfates may lead to severe hair damage. Also, sulfates’ high concentration often strips away natural oil and proteins from hair.

Your proteins and natural oils play an essential role in protecting hair from brittleness and damage. So, when you use a shampoo that includes sulfate ingredients, you allow it to strip the protective shield from your locks. Sulfates can also fade the natural color of your hair and make it frizzy and dry.  

Wondering which ingredients to look for in your shampoo? 

 Here are a few of them,

  • Laurel sulfate (SLS)

  • Ammonium lauryl sulfate

  • Sodium Laureth sulfate (SLE)

Sodium Chloride 

Your shampoo may contain sodium chloride – the salt you use in your food.  Manufacturers use a high salt or sodium chloride concentration in shampoos and conditioners to thicken or condense the consistency. A thick consistency of the shampoo is necessary as it allows an easy spread across the head and hair. 

Note that sodium chloride often acts as an irritant, and if used in high quantities, can be hazardous for hair health. It also promotes dryness in hair and can cause you to develop an itchy scalp and dandruff.  An excessive quantity of salt can strip moisture from your tresses, causing the protective barrier of hair to be weakened. 

Eventually, it can lead to dry, dull, and brittle hair. You may also experience significant hair thinning potential baldness. If you’re considering receiving keratin treatment, it is better to watch out for salt as an ingredient in the products to make the treatment less effective.

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Almost all shampoos come with high paraben concentrations as they make their formula more powerful against developing and growing bacteria. Manufacturers use parabens as preservatives to prevent microorganisms. You might be wondering what parabens are an acceptable ingredient and essential to include in the shampoo. In reality, parabens are anything but good. 

Keep in mind that parabens are chemicals and capable enough to disrupt the hormonal cycle of your body. They can often mimic the estrogen hormone and may be one of the causes of early puberty in young girls. They easily penetrate your hair and skin, and that is what makes them harmful for your locks and overall health. 

It doesn’t end here; men using hair or cosmetic products with a high quantity of parabens can also cause testicular cancer and low sperm count. Here are some names and types of parabens you should look for in your shampoo.

  • Butylparaben

  • Propylparaben 

  • Methylparaben, 

  • Alkyl para hydroxy benzoates 


shampoo ingredients

Dimethicone is a silicone type that manufacturers use in hair products and shampoos to protect hair.   The chemical ingredient acts as a protective cover on your scalp or surface of your locks. Although it does create a protective barrier on the hair, it forms a plastic-like barrier on the surface. 

This barrier halts essential nutrients and moisture from entering the hair follicles. Instead, it collects residue and dirt from the outside and contributes to producing a buildup that can make your hair feel dirty and greasy. Besides this, dimethicone can clog the tiny pores on your scalp and cause skin irritation.

Remember that silicone is not water-soluble, which means merely rinsing it out with plain water doesn’t remove its particles from hair. This is the reason why its particles build up on the surface of your hair. Unfortunately, to remove silicone from hair,  you need to use a shampoo that contains harsh chemicals like sulfate.

However, there are other ingredients you can try to stay away from such as; 

  • Polyethylene glycols (PEG)

  • retinyl palmitate

  • Triclosan

  • Cocamidopropyl betaine

  • Synthetic colors

  • Synthetic fragrances

  • Alcohol

  • Formaldehyde

  • Triethanolamine (TEA)

  • Diethanolamine (DEA)

Synthetic Colors

Shampoos and conditioners containing synthetic colors are not uncommon. Manufactures use dyes and artificial colors in hair products to give them a nice mixing texture.  No matter how nice and rich the color of a shampoo looks, you must know that they come from coal-tar sources or petroleum. All of them can have harmful effects on your hair. 

Using synthetic color in hair products and shampoos is illegal in many countries. In short, using shampoos that have synthetic colors can deteriorate your hair condition.

Shampoo With Natural Ingredients

shampoo with natural ingredients

Now, instead of focusing on shampoo ingredients that should be avoided, let’s discuss some that can be beneficial! Shampoos with natural ingredients are one of the best options you can use to benefit the health of your hair. For example, the Kiierr DHT-blocking shampoo provides the necessary ingredients to both stop hair loss and promote new hair growth!

Some of the main ingredients that this DHT-blocking shampoo contains is:

  • Vitamin E

  • Keratin

  • Jojoba Oil

  • Collagen amino acids

  • Pro Vitamin B5

 Summary: Ingredients in Shampoo to Avoid

ingredients in shampoo to avoid

The major ingredients to avoid in your shampoo can include sulfates, sodium chloride, parabens, dimethicone, and synthetic colors. As you have learned throughout this article, these particular shampoo ingredients can harm the health of your hair.

In a nutshell, choosing expensive and high-end products for your hair doesn’t always mean they will promote your hair health. You must be familiar with the ingredients and content of your shampoo and conditioner. It is best to use chemical-free and/or natural shampoo to keep your hair strong and healthy.


Aside from shampoo ingredients, there are many other factors that play into hair loss. To learn more about what could be causing your condition, read: What Causes Hair Loss?


Shampoo Ingredients FAQs

How can I find the ingredients in my products?

All products should have an ingredient label listed on the bottle. You can also consult your hair dresser if you have questions.

What shampoos are best for hair growth?

Shampoos that contain natural ingredients are the best for hair health. Stay away from harmful chemicals.

Does Kiierr have a hair growth shampoo?

Yes. Kiierr offers a DHT-blocking shampoo for men and women that helps block the DHT hormone to stop hair loss, while also promoting healthy growth.