These so-called “hair-care products” are nothing but a flood of toxin for our hair. The chemicals contained in shampoos are:

1.Sodium Lauryl Sulphate

The chemical that creates lather in a shampoo. But this chemical is known to break down proteins, and our hair is nothing but proteins. It also extracts the natural moisture cover from the hair and the scalp, thus leaving it vulnerable to all kinds of infections and irritation. It brings absolutely no benefit to the hair, only tears it apart after a long-term use. Are we willing to take this risk only for soapy bubbles!

Sulphates (Sodium or Ammonium Layryl, Laureth, Myreth, Sulphate)

Sulphates are essentially synthetic ingredients that are used to create foam or to allow liquid to spread or absorb easily. Sulphates are commonly found in soaps, shampoos, bubble baths, toothpastes and shower gels. Sulphates can irritate the skin and, in some cases, cause eczema. Sometimes sulphates can be contaminated with 1, 4-dioxane that can cause cancer.

What to watch out for on labels of your shampoos

 SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate), SLES and other ingredients with the letter’s “eth” (e.g., sodium laurethsulphate) on labels.

2.Parabens

These are preservatives that are used to prevent any microbial growth in shampoos and cosmetics. They have terrible resemblance to human female hormones estrogen. It can create hormonal chaos in the body and lead to many hormonal disorders like breast cancer in female and breast enlargement in males. Here we are talking something much more serious than just hair fall or hair thinning. This chemical is life threatening!

Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Ethyl, Butyl)

Parabens are synthetic preservatives that are commonly used in products like gels, shampoos, lotions, deodorants, toners, sunscreens and antiperspirants.

What to watch out for on labels: Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, butylparaben

3.Propylene Glycol

A shampoo thickener does not add any nutrition to the hair as advertised by most companies, This secret chemical takes away all natural oil from our hair making them dull and dry over a period of time.

4.Sodium Chloride

We have salt not only in the toothpaste but also in the shampoo and all other hair products. But no company advertises that because it is not good for hair. According to Ayurveda, excessive salt intake causes baldness, early greying and hair thinning. And here we are putting salt directly on our head! The ad should be showing “guaranteed hair fall, up to the extent of baldness very soon!”

5.Alcohol

Wine is traditionally used to wash and bring lustre to the hair. But some strong synthetic alcohols used to preserve the shampoos can be very harmful to hair. Alcohol is an acidic substance and pouring a harsh acid on your hair is going to do nothing but to burn your hair right away. This substance is the culprit behind the frizzy and thinning hair.

6.Petrochemicals (Petroleum, Petrolatum, Mineral oil andParaffin

These are commonly found in lip balms, moisturisers for babies, shampoos and conditioners due to it being a moisturising ingredient and moisture barrier. Research has shown they potentially cause cancer, disrupt DNA and can cause birth defects.

What to watch out for on labels: Mineral oil, paraffin, Petrolatum

7. Perfume/ Parfum / Synthetic fragrance (Phthalates)

These are widely used in almost any ‘fragrant’ product you can think of. Commonly found in perfumes, hair products, deodorants, nail polishes and body lotions, prolonged exposure to this ingredient can disrupt the DNA, cause cancer and can be linked to birth defects. Unfortunately Phthalates are not required to be listed on labels (as they are classified as proprietary).

What to watch out for on labels: Products that claim an ingredient such as ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’.

8. DEA/ MEA/TEA (diethanolamine, triethanolamine, monethanolamine)

They are almost always present in foaming products like shampoos, bubble baths, facial cleansers, body wash, etc. Prolonged exposure to this ingredient can cause mild to moderate eye and skin irritations. Research has shown that this ingredient can cause liver cancers and precancerous changes in skin and thyroid.

What to watch out for on labels: Ingredients that begin or end in DEA, MEA, TEA – e.g. Cocamide DEA, TEA Lauryl Sulphate, etc

9. Glycols/PEGs

Polyethylene glycol (PEG), otherwise known as poly (oxyethylene) or poly (ethylene oxide) (PEO) are commonly used in cosmetics as cleansing agents, emulsifiers, skin conditioners and surfactants. Impurities found in various PEG compounds include ethylene oxide; 1, 4-Dioxane; polycyclic aromatic compounds; and heavy metals such as lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic. This causes skin irritation, fluctuates the pulse rates, causes headaches, nausea and dizziness.

What to watch out for on labels: propylene glycol, ingredients with ‘eth’ (e.g., polyethylene glycol)

So the next time you are buying cosmetics, keep a look out for the following:

Does it contain toxins?

How much of the content is actually natural/organic?

Are all the listed ingredients natural or is it just a portion of ingredients that are natural?

Are there any ingredients that are not available in organic forms?

Besides, fragrance and colours used in shampoo can contain heavy metals and other cancer-causing chemicals. Artificial colours used in shampoos are derived from petroleum and coal tar and can be highly carcinogenic.

The other hazardous chemicals found in shampoos much longer Quaternium-15, formaldehyde, Imidazolidinyl Urea (imagine putting urea in your hair for better hair growth), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Triclosan, Retinyl Palmitate, etc.

All of these chemicals have a severely degenerative effect on hair growth. These chemicals might lead to temporary shine and free-flowing hair, but they cause great harm to the hair in the long term. The result is hair loss, dandruff, scalp skin disorders, baldness and so on.

After reading this, it would be amply clear to everyone why this generation does not have the kind of hair that our grannies had!

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