What's in your shampoo?

What's in your shampoo?


It’s nice to feel clean. There is nothing more satisfying than a good old head scrub with a ridiculous amount of foam frothing from the lovely perfume scented shampoo you just purchased, after all, it's guaranteed to repair damage and produce shine. 

What they don't tell you however, are the chemicals formulated within the shampoo to produce your damage free shiny hair. Every day we are exposed to a litany of chemicals from every conceivable source, including what we put on our hair. 
So what chemicals should you look to avoid? Let's look at the 4 most common.

1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) 
This one being the most common chemical known to avoid. 
A surfactant found in many cleaning products!! Also an insecticide. The sodium and ammonium laureate sulphates are known cancer-causing ingredients. Also causes liver damage, skin rashes, depression, diarrhoea and eye damage.
Ethaircal haircare contains Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate which may sound like a sulphate, but it is not.
DLS “is a cleansing agent also known as a surfactant but is not considered a sulphate. It is a common chemical found in many ‘greener’ or more natural formulas that is used to replace the harsher sulphates because of its non-irritating yet effective properties. It is found in many shampoo and cleansing formulas and is used for its degreasing, foaming, and emulsifying benefits. 
It is known to be extremely gentle to the skin and hair even at higher concentrations.
Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate will cleanse the hair, but will not strip the moisture from hair the way harsh sulphates do.
2. Fragrance
They make your hair products smell so good!!!! 
But this is definitely something to look out for! The term “fragrance” can act as a backdoor for all kinds of chemicals to sneak into your products. It’s often used as an umbrella term for up to 100 ingredients. Unfortunately, many of these ingredients can be toxic to human health, like phthalates (linked to reproductive and developmental harm), and synthetic musks (linked to hormone disruption and build up in our bodies).
We use essential oils for a great alternative in making our shampoo and conditioner smell good. We know there is nothing wrong with unscented products, but lets be honest, we tend to be captivated and drawn to products with a scent!
Although, the scent may not be as strong, it does the trick and can also benefit your hair in other ways!
One benefit some essential oils have is improving hair health. Different oils can do everything from helping hair grow to adding strength and shine.
3. Paraben
In order to preserve the shelf life of many shampoos, parabens are used. A paraben is a preservative and it is used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus in shampoos.
However, they may also disrupt the normal hormonal cycle of the body. Parabens can mimic estrogen and reduce the production of this important hormone in women. This increases the risk of breast cancer. 
Parabens are easily absorbed through the skin and because of this, irritation of skin conditions such as dermatitis occurs and also causes allergic reactions in some small children.
Look for the words ending in 'paraben' such as butylparabens, propylparabens and methylparabens.
4. Silicones
Silicone is like plastic. It acts as a coating against water and air, preventing moisture from penetrating the hair shaft. This unnatural ingredient can give your hair the illusion of shine, but it is anything but healthy for your hair.
Not only will it weigh your hair down, but the lack of moisture will cause your hair to become brittle and eventually break over time. 
Silicones, on the surface, give the hair the look we want. In essence, silicones smooth the cuticles, get rid of the frizzies, and give the hair a temporary shine. It makes detangling wet hair easy because of the added "slip" and can make hair that is damaged or dry look healthy instantly. Silicones provide a quick fix, but long lasting damage. 
Water-soluble silicones are the alternative which mean that they are able to dissolve in water and doesn’t leave a heavy buildup. 
Look for products containing cyclomethicone. This is the most commonly used silicone in silicone-free haircare products, and it does everything silicone promises to do, but won’t leave buildup on the hair. 

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